Q: On my motorcycle, immediately after rounding a corner that was almost a pin turn, I came upon a stretch of road that was entirely littered with loose stone and gravel. So I lost control. This occurred on a state highway that the Department of Transportation had recently repaved.
I have found out that, as part of the project, the DOT deposited some loose stone and gravel – called ‘crusher run’ – along the shoulder. It was then supposed to be smoothed and tamped into place by a steel drum roller. But some of it escaped – as workers soon told the DOT.
Cars had caused some of the crusher run to be pulled onto the roadway itself, before the roller came along the shoulder. Those cars, exceeding the speed limit, would run off the road onto the shoulder, and then stray back onto the road – dragging along stone.
In response to the notification that crusher run was being carried onto the roadway by passing vehicles, the DOT had merely swept it back to the shoulder, in order to be rolled, after all. However, the crusher run was no longer moist and workable, and there was no hot mixed asphalt with which to stabilize it.
A: The State owes the public a nondelegable duty to maintain its roadways in a reasonably safe condition. Your attorney will point out that – not only was it foreseeable that cars would stray off the shoulder and pull back gravel – the State had actual notice of the hazardous condition. In addition, the State’s so-called remedial efforts were unreasonable.
By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial
The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.
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