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San Bernardino County, CA

In this negligence matter, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendant driver was negligent in making an illegal unsafe left turn at the intersection where the collision occurred. The plaintiffs also alleged that the defendant state and department of transportation were negligent for permitting the dangerous condition of the intersection to exist. As a result of the collision, the plaintiff sustained catastrophic injuries to his brain and spinal cord which resulted in the need for 24 hour around-the-clock nursing care for the remainder of the plaintiff’s life. His wife sued for loss of her husband’s consortium.

The plaintiff was a career prosecutor who was riding his motorcycle eastbound on SR ________ near its intersection with Mountain Road. The plaintiff was struck by the defendant driver’s vehicle which made an illegal and unsafe left turn. As a result of the collision between the plaintiff’s motorcycle and the defendant’s vehicle, the plaintiff suffered catastrophic injuries to his brain and spine which leave him requiring 24 hour around-the-clock medical care that he will need for the remainder of his life.

The plaintiffs brought suit against the driver of the other vehicle alleging negligence in the operation of his vehicle and against the state of California and the California Department of Transportation alleging negligence in the unsafe configuration of the intersection. The plaintiff contended that the intersection was considered a "skewed" intersection and vehicles making a left turn cut the corner at the intersection.

The defendant driver admitted liability, but alleged that the co-defendant department of transportation was partially responsible for the collision. The defendant state and the defendant department of transportation denied that there was any dangerous condition at the intersection, and denied that there was any actual or constructive notice of any dangerous condition. The defendant state maintained that the defendant driver was entirely liable to the plaintiff for any injuries or damages.The matter was tried over a period of 14 days. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury deliberated for six days before returning its verdict in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendants. The jury determined that the defendant driver was 85% liable for the collision and the defendant state was 15% liable for the collision. The jury agreed with the plaintiff’s position that the condition of the intersection was dangerous and the defendants’ failure to install pylons that would have prevented drivers from cutting corners was negligent particularly in light of its knowledge of the substantial risk of harm. The jury awarded the plaintiffs the sum of $________ consisting of $________ to the plaintiff and $________ to the plaintiff’s wife.

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