“cutting” or otherwise “removing [the lap belt]”; she did not “personally recall unlatching” the lap belt; indeed, she “d[id]n’t recall anything” about the lap belt. Ibid. More emphatic testimony by a witness that she has no memory of a particular object is frankly difficult to imagine.
Once it became clear, however, after the filing of defendants’ summary judgment motion, that the position of the lap belt was critical to plaintiff’s case, Clark’s lawyers procured a supplemental affidavit from Hodson in which she stated, equally emphatically: “I did not cut or otherwise release the lap belt from Mr. Clark.” NR 54:Exh. 2 at 1 (emphasis added). She also declared:
Had Mr. Clark’s lap belt been buckled about his waist, it would have been my responsibility to cut it in order to release it and I did not cut or release such lap belt. It is my belief based on my memory as well as my practice, custom and procedure, that Mr. Clark’s lap belt was not attached around his waist at any time from when I first arrived on the scene to and including his extraction from the automobile.
Id. at 2 (emphasis added).
The contradiction between the affidavit and the sworn deposition testimony is obvious. There is simply no way to reconcile Hodson’s deposition testimony (“I don’t recall actually cutting * * * or removing” the lap belt) with her contrary assertions in her affidavit (“I did not cut or otherwise release the lap belt from Mr. Clark. * * * I did not cut or release such lap belt.”). Nor is it possible to square Hodson’s deposition testimony that she did not remember whether Clark’s lap belt was “buckled or engaged” (“The only one I positively recall was his shoulder belt.”) with her later assertion (allegedly based in part on her “memory”) that the lap belt was “not attached around his waist at any time.” And as if that were not enough, it is impossible to reconcile Hodson’s sworn testimony during her deposition that she “d[id]’t recall anything” about the lap belt with her various purported recollections concerning the lap belt that are set forth in her affidavit. As the district court correctly concluded, “Ms. Hodson’s statement in her affidavit that ‘she did not cut or otherwise release the lap belt’ contradicts, and, if not contradicting is