Single Car Accident Hazardous Highway Condition - Jury Verdict - $800,000.00
Jurisdiction: State Court of Cobb County
Robert F. Adams, et. al.
J.M. Huber Corporation and Tabsum, Inc.
Civil Action File No.: 2001A-757-2
Liability Facts: This automobile accident wrongful death claim occurred at approximately 9:32 a.m. on Sunday, October 10, 1999 on Georgia State Route 53 in Pickens County, Georgia. On this particular Sunday morning, Ms. Adams was traveling this roadway in order to go and visit with her mother who was in a nursing home.
Ms. Adams, the wife of our client, Mr. Robert F. Adams, Sr., was traveling westbound on Georgia 53 at an approximate speed of forty (40) miles per hour. It should be noted that the posted speed limit on this stretch of roadway was fifty five (55) miles per hour, however, due to the wet weather conditions and the pouring down rain, Ms. Adams had slowed her vehicle to a safer speed. Just prior to Ms. Adams reaching the stretch of roadway directly in front of the J.M. Huber Corporation, the rain became much heavier. Suddenly, and without any warning, the vehicle being driven by Ms. Adams encountered a heavy and dangerous area of water, mud and/or calcium dust, which had flowed or discharged onto the roadway by the adjacent commercial marble/calcium quarry driveway, being operated by J.M. Huber Corporation which was located on land owned by Tabsum, Inc. This dangerous and slippery condition on the roadway caused Ms. Adams to lose control of her vehicle, go into a side slide crossing over the eastbound lane of Georgia 53 prior to plummeting into a drainage culvert which had been designed and built by J.M. Huber Corporation and Tabsum, Inc. Ms. Adams vehicle flipped over and became airborne prior to coming to a final rest in an overturned position inside the drainage culvert.
A witness to this single car accident stated that he traveled this stretch of highway almost every weekend and that there was always marble dust in and on the roadway from this marble plant. If you mix marble dust with water, it becomes very slick. Therefore, it was alleged in the lawsuit that J.M. Huber Corporation and Tabsum, Inc. knew, or should have known, that they had negligently created a hazardous, defective, dangerous, mantrap situation by previous and subsequent automobile accidents, injuries and deaths that had occurred in the same or similar situation and location to the death of Ms. Adams. Even with this knowledge, J.M. Huber Corporation and Tabsum, Inc. blatantly failed to take corrective measures which would have either eliminated or substantially reduced the risk of harm, property damages, personal injuries and/or death to the motoring public.
The law offices of Falanga and Chalker utilized the expert services of John O. Laing, a meteorologist, Herman A. Hill, a traffic engineering and accident reconstruction consultant and Francis Rushing, an economist to prove the case and damages. Based on the facts as presented to the jury by the law offices of Falanga and Chalker surrounding this wrongful death claim, pain and suffering prior to her death at the age of 64, the jury awarded her estate the sum of $800,000.00.
Injuries: Death at the scene but an eye witness stated that they saw her moving around in the vehicle trying to get her seat belt off prior to her death. The county coroner listed her cause of death as being cardio pulmonary arrest due to blunt trauma.
Funeral expenses: $3,500.00
Attorney: Robert A. Falanga