Plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle driven by one of the defendants. The driver was changing lanes and the car struck the rear end of a parked truck that was shielding workers who were removing safety cones that had been used to close one of the highway’s lanes. Plaintiff suffered injuries to his head, a knee, and a shoulder.
Plaintiff brought suit against driver and the driver’s employer for negligently operating a motor vehicle. Plaintiff also sued the contractor overseeing the roadwork project for negligently creating a dangerous condition which contributed to the accident.
Hach & Rose, LLP, representing the plaintiff, claimed that the driver failed to exercise due caution while changing lanes. In addition, plaintiff’s counsel successfully presented a highway-safety expert who opined that the parked truck created a hazard. The roadwork crew could have been adequately protected in a manner that did not require a truck being parked on the highway. Finally, plaintiff’s counsel claimed the contractor overseeing the roadwork project failed to adequately warn that a lane was closed.
Defendant’s counsel contended that warning signs had been posted two miles ahead of the roadwork site and intermittently thereafter. Furthermore, defendant’s counsel presented their own highway-safety expert who opined that the signage provided ample warning of the roadwork that was being performed.
The jury found that the defendants were liable for the accident. The driver and his employer were assigned 65 percent of the liability, while the contractor was assigned 35 percent of the liability.
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