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Jury awards $6.7M for fatal I-95 crash

A jury has awarded $6.7 million, finding the state of Connecticut partially responsible for a crash on Interstate 95 that killed a Texas man and caused serious injuries to a Wallingford resident in 2008. The family of the victim received $4 million for the accident and the other victim will receive $2.7 million for a severe leg fracture he suffered in the fatal highway accident.

In 2008, a state Department of Transportation worker negligently parked his truck while removing debris in a traveled lane near Exit 41 of I-95 in Orange. This caused a chain reaction collision involving both victims, one driving a tractor-trailer truck.

A Superior Court jury found the Department of Transportation to be 30 percent negligent for the crash following two weeks of trial. According to lawyers representing the plaintiffs in this case, the state could have settled the case out of court for only a fraction of a verdict. Now, based on a review of the evidence by the jury, the state is accountable for what was a preventable accident.

After any accident, it is important to involve an experienced attorney as soon as possible. An independent investigation can determine the cause of the accident and preserve any relevant evidence. Any negligent individuals or entities can be responsible and liable to pay for damages. In this case, the DOT worker is considered an agent of the department, leaving the government liable for his negligence.

The state does plan to appeal the verdict; however it is unclear whether they will be successful. The jury in this case reviewed the evidence and found that the DOT driver was negligent for leaving a vehicle in a well-traveled lane.

Source: Connecticut Post, "Jury Awards $6.7M in fatal crash on I-95," July 30, 2012.

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