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Colson Hicks Eidson Partner Patrick S. Montoya Speaks at IP Utility Fleet Safety Conference & Expo

May 9, 2018
Colson Hicks Eidson

Montoya Provides Insight on the Various Liability and Safety Risks Associated with Semi-Autonomous Capabilities

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (May 8, 2018) – Attorney Patrick S. Montoya, partner at the Coral Gables-based law firm Colson Hicks Eidson, recently presented at the spring 2018 IP Utility Fleet Safety Conference & Expo in Loveland, Colorado on the trending topic of autonomous vehicles, increased technology in vehicles, and the various liability and safety risks associated with semi-autonomous capabilities.

Montoya’s presentation focused primarily on the popularity of technological advancements and driving aids such as backup cameras, blind spot detectors and automatic braking devices. The audience at the conference consisted mainly of utility fleet managers concerned about the safety of their workers and exposure to liability with driver incidents and accidents. Montoya emphasized that as drivers become more reliant on technology, they become more complacent and driver incidents are on the rise. Montoya also demonstrated that despite the advances in technology, the devices have many shortfalls that drivers need to be aware of.

The presentation titled, “Going Into Autopilot: Is Technology Preventing or Causing Increases in Driver Incidents?” provided insight on the reliance on autopilot technology, backup cameras, blind spot detectors, and automatic braking, among other technological innovations. From a legal perspective, Montoya also discussed a movement towards punitive damages for texting and driving, the violation of internal rules and regulations, violations of traffic code and industry standards, and Electronic Control Modules (ECMs). Montoya spoke alongside Senior Driver Instructor and Safety Consultant for Driving Dynamics, Carl Cormier. The spring conference gave industry experts an informative update on new regulations, products and services to assist in their mission.

With more than 15 years of experience, Montoya represents plaintiffs in personal injury litigation, commercial litigation, products liability, class action, and wrongful death. He has secured numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for his clients, including a recent $52 million verdict in Ocala, the largest in Ocala history, for a family involved in a catastrophic car accident.

Montoya lectures nationally to attorneys and paralegals on a variety of legal issues and is a former adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law in the Legal Research and Writing program. He recently published a book on Florida Evidence and Procedure, a practical perspective on Florida’s evidentiary and procedural codes from a trial lawyer’s point of view.

Montoya earned his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law as a member of the Moot Court Board and Inter-American Law Review. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, with a concentration in Ethnic Studies, from Davidson College where he also lettered in football.

About Colson Hicks Eidson

The Law Firm of Colson Hicks Eidson is a trial firm with nearly 50 years of experience handling local, national and international litigation, and arbitration. Members of the firm have been involved in some of the country’s most high-profile and landmark cases resulting in impactful and precedential rulings. A mid-size firm with a diverse staff comprised of more than 50 percent women and minorities, Colson Hicks Eidson prides itself on a track record of developing future leaders within the legal profession and its civic and community involvement. Members of the firm have held notable positions serving on the boards of prominent institutions, such as the State University System of Florida and the Florida State Board of Education, and holding high-ranking offices, including President of the 60,000-member American Association for Justice; President of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers; President of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers; President of the Dade County Bar Association; President of the Miami-Dade Florida Association of Women Lawyers; United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; and Chairman of the Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission.