License Plate Roulette

 

Personal injury action by P against Lawton's Supermarket. P was run down at an intersection in Lincoln, Massachusetts, by a truck with a Massachusetts license plate with five characters, the first three characters being "LAW''; P did not see the last two characters on the license plate. At trial, evidence is presented that Lawton's owns four trucks whose license plates read "LAW01'' to "LAW04'' and that Lawton's trucks were on the road making deliveries at the time of the accident. Lawton's introduces evidence that there are two other trucks with Massachusetts license plates that read "LAW -- --,'' one garaged in the neighboring town of Lexington and one in Springfield, 100 miles away.

What is the probability that the truck that hit P belongs to Lawton's? Should the statistical evidence be admitted? Is the evidence sufficient to support a verdict for P?



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