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VerdictSearch Case of Note for Week of October 12, 2011: Dangerous Condition of Public Property

Family of Man Fatally Struck on Side of Road Gets $11.7M*

Laura Tindall and Erin Tindall v. Gregory Hoedt, County of Contra Costa and the State of California
Contra Costa County

The family of a North Bay man hit and killed by a car while coming to the aid of another motorist obtained an $11.7 million dollar verdict against the County of Contra Costa for creating a dangerous condition of public property. The deceased was driving on Marsh Creek Road in unincorporated Brentwood when he observed an overturned car on the side of the road. The motorist involved in the first accident had lost control of his vehicle when he entered a curved section of Marsh Creek Road that was being re-paved and was covered with loose gravel. After exiting his car to assist the first motorist, the plaintiff was hit by another motorist who swerved when he encountered the uneven roadway.

The county denied liability, arguing that it had taken adequate measures to mitigate the impact of the resurfacing project by erecting 25-mph speed limit signs to alert drivers to reduce their speed. Plaintiff’s counsel argued that these measures were insufficient and that the county had failed to cover existing 45-mph speed limit signs or to remove the loose gravel from the roadway the night before the accidents occurred.

The jury found the county 100 percent negligent and awarded the plaintiff $11,700,796.

*Summarized from content provided by VerdictSearch: http://www.verdictsearch.com/index.jsp Full case reports available to VerdictSearch.com subscribers.

VerdictSearch at the Law Library

The library maintains a subscription to VerdictSearch Online. Library visitors can access VerdictSearch Online free of charge on computer terminals at the Main Library in Oakland. VerdictSearch Online features searchable case reports for every jury verdict, settlement agreement, judgment, and ADR decision that has been reported in a VerdictSearch publication (formerly Jury Verdicts Weekly) since 1985. By reviewing awards and settlements obtained in similar cases, attorneys and litigants can use VerdictSearch Online for case valuation. Users can save, print, or email results.

Additional Library Resources

The library has numerous practice guides that can assist attorneys and litigants pursuing a claim against a government entity for creating a dangerous condition of public property. See the library’s research guide: Resources for Filing Claims Against Government Entities & Employees

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