Articles Tagged with Wrongful death attorney Fort Myers

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The North Carolina Department of Transportation is still liable to pay $3 million for the deaths of three people on a state roadway where a traffic signal was promised but never installed. That was the ruling handed down recently by the North Carolina Supreme Court in Holt v. N.C. DOT.highway14

The state appealed the trial court verdict that found it was liable, despite the argument that fault rested solely with two drivers who were drag racing at speeds that topped nearly 90 mph. Justices ruled that fact didn’t negate the DOT’s responsibility to install this traffic light – one engineers knew was needed. Although state officials argued they could not anticipated every illegal action that might take place on a public road, the state high court justices found that speeding vehicles was a foreseeable possibility.

Victims in this case include a local professor and her 2-year-old daughter, who were on their way to church, and a 13-year-old boy who was returning from a nearby amusement park. According to appellate court records, the 13-year-old was riding in a vehicle with his 11-year-old friend, driven by a 20-year-old man. When the driver stopped for traffic at one intersection, he and decedent noticed two female friends in an adjacent vehicle. They began joking and gesturing at one another. When the light turned green, both drivers took off at a high rate of speed in the same direction, approaching the intersection where the professor was preparing to make a left turn. The two young drivers were engaging in a race in which speeds reached 86 mph.  Continue reading →

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Concerns about bus and motor coach safety have increased in recent years with a number of high-profile accidents, many resulting in multiple fatalities. busdriver1

Motor coaches are widely used for a variety of trips, including school sporting events, family vacations and outings for seniors. But a number of serious crashes have prompted the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to recommend the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) work with bus operators and the trucking industry to implement improved commercial vehicle safety measures that would include:

  • Flame-resistant interiors;
  • Data recorders;
  • A second door for emergency evacuations;
  • Pre-trip safety briefings for passengers;
  • Windows that can stay open during evacuation.

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Suing local government for personal injury or wrongful death is a complex process that involves a number of special rules and procedures and for which damages are likely capped. Many times, you must act very quickly, or else forever lose your right to bring a claim. skateboard1

Often, before the case ever gets to trial, the government entity will assert sovereign immunity. This is an age-old legal principle that essentially holds the government cannot be held liable for wrongdoing. However, there are instances in which the government grants its permission to be held liable, and in Florida, those instances of waiver of sovereign immunity are outlined in F.S. 768.28.

Still, instances in which a waiver of sovereign immunity is granted are highly case specific. Take, for example, the case of Kent v. City of Columbia Falls, before the Montana Supreme Court. Typically, government entities aren’t responsible for the engineering/design/maintenance of roadways and sidewalk features in private or gated communities. This would generally be the responsibility of the private land-owning association. However, in the Kent case, there was an assertion the government had taken in an unusually active role in the design/engineer/planning for the thoroughfares within a certain gated community where a man had fallen down a steep hill on his skateboard.