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Connecticut suits dismissed against state

According to an Aug. 11 report, the Connecticut Supreme Court dismissed two lawsuits against that state, which alleged that a dangerously steep design on Route 44 plus inadequate safety measures led to a fatal crash in 2005. According to the court's ruling, under state law, the highway was not defective, and the victims' allegations were not within those exemptions regarding the state's lawsuit immunity.

The crash occurred in 2005 when a dump truck driver lost control of the vehicle due to a brake failure. The truck went down a 500-foot hill on Avon Mountain, and when it landed at the bottom, it caused a chain reaction crash, which ultimately involved 20 vehicles. The truck driver and three other people were killed while 19 others were injured.

According to authorities, the truck was owned by a trucking company, and the company owner was reportedly aware that the truck's brakes were not operating correctly at the time. He later received a six-year prison sentence for assault and manslaughter as well as for insurance fraud for trying to reinstate the company's truck insurance coverage after the crash.

A private lawyer that represents the Department of Transportation argued that signs were posted that warned drivers of a steep 10-percent grade at the time of the accident. However, an attorney representing one of the plaintiffs argued that the state ignored multiple warnings over several years regarding the road prior to the accident. In 2008, the state installed a runaway truck ramp and made other improvements.

When individuals are injured in a truck accident, they may possibly need assistance with filing a lawsuit against the responsible parties as well as with knowing their legal rights. An attorney could help with these issues and prepare a viable case for pursuing compensation.

Source: Greenwich Time, "Court dismisses lawsuits in Avon Mountain crash", Dave Collins, August 11, 2014

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