When my son was 17, he made a left turn from a one way street, on to a one-way street. Coming from his right was a motorcycle that witnesses said was going too fast. Cycle had to swerve to avoid my son, and cyclist fell. His cycle had some damage, but he appeared to be fine. My son was cited for improper left turn. He advised recruiter, paid fine and completed online traffic safety class. Military processing folks were advised and issue was vetted b4 he went into USAF (didn't require a waiver, as no disqualification trigger). So now, 2 years later, the lawsuit comes, naming my son, and me (policyholder). Suit contends soft tissue injuries. How serious an issue is this for my son, as respects his ongoing military service? Can he be kicked out just because he is being sued?
I have never heard of someone being kicked out simply because he is being sued. it is a negligence claim, not a criminal action.
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The lawsuit is just about getting money from your insurance company and will have absolutely have no long term effect on your son. It will either settle or go to trial. Whatever happens the insurance will end up paying whatever damages are owed provided that the damages are below the policy limits which it sounds like they will be.
If they need your son it will only be as a witness (even though he is named) and they can get his testimony by arranging for a phone deposition when he is available and using that in court in lieu of him personally appearing or they can postpone the lawsuit until he comes home. There are very stringent US laws that prevent a lawsuit from going forward against an enlisted person in active duty so if push comes to shove the lawsuit will just have to wait until your son is stateside and available. Most likely they will try to get permission to get his depo telefonically but again that's not a given and they might just have to wait.
The case can be abated which means put on hold indefinitely to wait for your son's return. Oregon courts have a process for this.
I don't know military law, You son should see one of the military attorneys about reporting requirements. But if he reports it, which my guess is that he should, it really is a non-issue because it does not do anything negative to him in terms of his character or in terms of interfering with his term of military service. Auto accidents happen all the time and are seen for the most part as inconveniences in life unless they involve drugs or alcohol or cause very serious injuries or death. I take it that none of the more serious implications were part of this accident. http://www.portlandlegalservices.com
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The military cannot use this as a basis to discharge him.
However, if he has or needs a security clearance this will be an issue. One of the questions on the SF86 application is about pending or past lawsuits. So he will have to declare this on the SF 86. I doubt it would be a real cause for concern, but he should contact us should he receive a notice of revocation or denial.
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