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Caltrans found liable in motorcycle accident

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A former UCLA football player was recently awarded $35 million by a jury after losing his leg in a motorcycle accident and suing Caltrans. ABC 7 reports that the lawsuit against Caltrans was brought because the player claimed that the accident was due to the intersection being hazardous and Caltrans not taking appropriate steps to make it safer for those on the road. The jury ultimately agreed.

The accident, which occurred in July 2012 on the Pacific Coast Highway, caused the man to lose his leg and required 13 surgeries. He was hit on his motorcycle by a taxi cab that turned onto the highway at Diamond Street near Redondo Beach. He sued Caltrans and presented evidence that they were aware of the danger due to line-of-sight difficulties. Due to previous accidents at the intersection Caltrans had taken some steps, such as painting double-double traffic lines on the road. According to CBS Los Angeles, the intersection between the streets is at a sharp diagonal, and the cab driver did not see the motorcyclist when making a left turn. The man’s lawyer argued that if Caltrans had taken better precautions to protect motorists, such as installing a left-turn only light at the intersection, the crash would not have been able to happen.

The state took over the intersection from Redondo Beach, but it still had not been fixed at the end of the trial. Of the $35 million awarded, Caltrans must pay $27.5 million, and the driver of the taxi cab was held liable for the rest.


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