Case details

Defective road design caused fatal crash, husband claimed





Result type

Not present

blunt force trauma to the head, head, killed
During a very heavy rainstorm on the evening of Oct. 13, 2009, plaintiff’s decedent Rosemary Sherman, 49, was driving north on Arroyo Seco Parkway in Los Angeles, when she veered off the highway, went through a chain link fence, and crashed into a tree. She was killed upon impact. The decedent’s husband, plaintiff Greg Sherman, sued the state of California, which owned the Arroyo Seco Parkway. He alleged that a road design defect existed on the highway, causing the accident and his wife’s wrongful death. Plaintiffs’ counsel contended that on the stretch of road where the accident occurred, the curves were too tight, the lanes were too narrow and the sight lines were poor. Counsel also contended that, compounded with the heavy rainstorm at the time, the stretch of the highway became a dangerous condition and that a barrier should have existed to prevent cars from veering off the road. Plaintiffs’ counsel argued that, according to history and accident frequency reports, the chain link fence in place was too flimsy and that the stretch of highway in question was more dangerous than other parts of the Arroyo Seco Parkway. Defense counsel argued that the roadway was safe when used with due care, and that the decedent was at fault for losing control of her vehicle. Counsel further argued that a barricade would not have prevented decedent’s ., Mrs. Sherman sustained blunt force trauma in the crash and was killed on impact. She was 49. Mrs. Sherman left behind a husband. Mr. Sherman sought recovery of noneconomic wrongful death damages for the loss of his wife’s love, comfort, care and society. He also sought recovery of economic damages for the decedent’s past and future lost earnings.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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