Recently, Orange Circuit Judge Frederick Lauten made a decision in a case regarding class-action status for drivers caught on camera while running red lights in Orlando. He ruled against drivers’ requests and potentially saved the city from having to refund more than $4 million in fines.
“That would be the ultimate outcome in this case,” said David King, the private attorney who represented the city of Orlando in the case.
The attorney for a Kissimmee driver photographed while running a red light was undaunted, saying that he would appeal the judge’s eight-page opinion. The case will now be heard in the 5th District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach, where it could take a year or longer before a decision is made. Judge Lauten ruled that drivers who voluntarily paid fines of $125 or more after receiving notice from the city have no right to ask for their money back. The judge’s ruling also prevents motorists caught on camera running red lights from joining a class-action claim against the City of Orlando filed by a local lawyer.
Ironically, Judge Lauten ruled in August 2010 that Orlando did not have the authority to install red light cameras despite a vote by Florida lawmakers in spring of 2010 that allowed municipalities to do so. The law took effect on July 1, but, by that time, Orlando had already mailed out more than 50,000 tickets and fines for running red lights over the previous two years. Lauten based his recent decision on a Florida Supreme Court ruling issued in 1959 that stated that motorists who paid fines for moving violations could not get their money back whether they had paid voluntarily or were ordered to pay in court.
It’s hard to understand why people continue to run red lights and greatly increase the risk of a terrible collision, but it happens every day in Orlando and the surrounding suburbs. News reports feature grisly images of T-bone accidents due to people running red lights on a regular basis. Yet, thousands of negligent drivers still disobey traffic signals and endanger everyone nearby. If someone running a red light has injured you or a close family member and you would like to speak with an experienced, aggressive Orlando personal injury attorney, call 888-425-2004 or 407-425-2000 today. Schedule a free consultation with attorney James O. Cunningham to get answers to your questions. He’s on your side.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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