$56.5M Verdict Awarded to Severely Injured Calif. Highway Worker
By Dean I. Weitzman, Esq. on February 10th, 2017
A 26-year-old California road construction employee who was struck by a car while working on a highway project in Eureka, Calif. in 2011 has been awarded $56.5 million in damages by a jury to compensate him for catastrophic injuries he suffered in the incident, including a severe brain injury and quadriplegia.
The victim, Kyle Anderson, was working for his employer, All Phase Excavating, on a night-time project for the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) in August 2011 on the shoulder of Broadway and Highway 101 when Anderson was struck by an approaching vehicle, according to a Feb. 2, 2017 story by KRCR TV Channel 7.
All Phase Excavating officials had allegedly asked Caltrans to close the traffic lane where the workers were making repairs on the roadway, but Caltrans reportedly would not permit the lane closure during the work that night, the story states. Anderson and a fellow worker were later that night stuck by an approaching Acura that encroached into their work zone, according to the report.
In a trial that lasted almost three months, the plaintiffs alleged that Caltrans “removed a backhoe that functioned as a barrier vehicle, and adjusted a work light tower in a way that caused a blinding glare to oncoming drivers,” further endangering the road workers on the scene, the story reports.
A 42-year-old co-worker of Anderson, Shannon Moore, was also hurt at the site and was awarded $2.7 million in damages by the jury for medical expenses, wage loss, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the story continues. Moore was disabled in the incident.
Both men were working on traffic signal light wiring in a ditch on the roadway when they were struck, according to a Feb. 3, 2017, story by Law360.
The victims filed a lawsuit against Caltrans, Humboldt County Public Works, the city of Eureka and Selena Nicole Ranney, the driver of the Acura, “alleging that the state entities were negligent and caused a dangerous condition on the work site and that Ranney acted negligently,” the story reported.
The jury’s verdict “found the accident site was in an unsafe condition when the accident occurred” and “that the risk of an accident was foreseeable,” the story continued. The Acura driver was found to be negligent “but did not find her to be a substantial factor in the workers’ being injured,” instead assigning 100 percent of the responsibility for the incident to Caltrans, according to the report.
Anderson was awarded $20 million for medical expenses, $1.5 million for past and future lost earnings and $35 million for past and future noneconomic loss, the story added. Moore was awarded $75,000 for his medical expenses, $650,000 for past and future lost earnings and $2 million for past and future noneconomic losses.
These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.
We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States.
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