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Alleged palpably unreasonable conduct of municipal volunteer fire department in purportedly leaving water on roadway after fulfilling request from youth group to fill pool to prevent cracking in winter - Single vehicle accident - Alcohol consumption - Hip fracture requiring total hip replacement - Some cognitive deficit.

Mercer County

The 30-year-old plaintiff driver contended that after a vandals had apparently drained a non-party local youth group’s outdoor pool in winter, the group requested that the defendant fire department fill the pool to prevent the walls from cracking. The plaintiff contended that when doing so, the fire department acted in a palpably unreasonable manner in leaving water on the roadway which subsequently froze.

The plaintiff driver maintained that as a result, he lost control and struck a telephone pole. The defendant denied leaving water on the roadway. The defendant also contended that the plaintiff was intoxicated. The defendant’s toxicologist extrapolated that at the time of the accident, the plaintiff had a BAC of .15.

The defendant also presented the investigating officer who maintained that although the travel portion was cleared of snow, there was some accumulation in the center of the two lane roadway, and the defendant argued that the plaintiff, who was following his girlfriend, had attempted to pass her by traveling towards the center.

The jury found for the defendant. The plaintiff has filed an appeal and his arguments include, but are not limited to the contention that since the defendant was not engaged in its usual duties, Title 59 should not apply.

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