Parents Sue Utility Company After 3-Year-Old Dies In Pedestrian Accident
The allegations in this lawsuit are a bit different than you’re probably used to. In this case, a utility company is being sued for illegally parking their vehicle in a bike lane. The parents were on their way to drop their 3-year-old daughter off at summer camp when the accident occurred.
The mother had her daughter in a child seat carrier and attempted to maneuver around the utility truck that was parked in the bike lane. This forced her bike between the utility truck and a tractor-trailer. The tractor-trailer knocked the bike over and then ran over the girl with its rear tires.
Both companies have been sued over the incident. The family claims that the utility company illegally parked their vehicle in a bike lane which forced the bikers to exit the bike lane. This caused the collision between the bike and the semi-truck. The City is also being sued for failing to maintain the bike lane.
The City has announced plans to add concrete barriers to bike lanes.
Allegations against the utility company
Can a company be sued for creating a road obstruction that leads to an accident that causes a death? The answer is yes. In this case, that’s exactly what happened. While the totality of circumstances may not be on the utility company alone, they were the first in the chain of events that led to the death of a 3-year-old girl. Negligence is established simply by showing that the company’s employee parked the vehicle illegally. Had the employee obeyed the law, the girl would still be alive. Hence, the company is responsible.
The utility company can claim that the plaintiff contributed to the accident by unsafely maneuvering around the utility truck, but a jury will hear, “illegal parking caused fatal accident” and chances are bad the utility company wants to roll the dice there.
Allegations against the tractor-trailer driver
There aren’t any specific allegations against the driver yet. However, because the driver was involved in the accident, they have to be named in the suit, so that they can be deposed. The driver will likely say they had no time to react to the woman and didn’t see her, even after she was struck by the truck. The plaintiffs can claim that the driver failed to keep a proper lookout, but as football fans are prone to saying, it could have also been “bang-bang” timing. So, we don’t know that the second driver is responsible for the accident, but we need to ask them some questions.
Ultimately, they may be dropped from the lawsuit if the facts aren’t there. But, they may have contributed liability too.
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