Yesterday, a judge refused Wellington polo mogul John Goodman's request to delay the wrongful death lawsuit filed against him for the car accident that killed 23-year-old Scott Wilson.
But Palm Beach Circuit Judge Glenn Kelley's ruling is small consolation in a case that has been marked by repeated delays and eyebrow-raising treatment for the multimillionaire founder of the International Polo Club, who is accused of driving drunk, crashing into Wilson's car, then leaving the scene.
"I can't even understand how we have to wait all this time to get answers," said Lili Wilson, Scott's mother, who was choking back tears after the ruling yesterday. "Every day, I keep thinking I'm gonna wake up. This is a nightmare."
Here's the pattern in the case so far:
-- The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office waited three months after the February accident to
charge Goodman with DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and failure to render aid. During that time, Goodman was free to roam, staying in hotels such as the Four Seasons in Miami and traveling back to his native Houston.
-- When Goodman was arrested last week, he sat in the Palm Beach County Jail for just a few hours before posting a $100,000 bond -- pocket change for the trust-fund heir -- and walking out.
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-- This week, Goodman entered a written plea of not guilty and demanded a jury trial. Chris Searcy, Lili Wilson's attorney, estimates that it could be 18 months before the criminal case goes to trial.
In court, Goodman's civil attorney, Dan Bachi, asked to delay the civil trial for four to six months. He said he was trying to protect Goodman's Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself during depositions.
"Mr. Goodman's not looking for an unfair advantage," Bachi told the judge.
So what kind of advantage would you call it?