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Lawsuit continues against Connecticut DOT for 2005 crash

Dump trucks may not seem perilous, but just like semi-trucks these vehicles pose a danger to other drivers and passengers by virtue of their size and weight. It is important that all trucks and commercial vehicles receive regular maintenance and repair in order to be as safe as possible to prevent semi-crashes and accidents. Failure to do so may mean that a truck company or driver could be liable for any injuries that result due to negligent maintenance or upkeep.

This is what one Connecticut victim is attempting to prove nine years after he was severely hurt in a crash caused by a dump truck. In 2005, the dump truck's breaks failed, sending the truck careening out of control down a long hill. At the bottom of the hill on Route 44 in Avon, the trucking accident caused a 20-vehicle crash. Four people died in the truck accident and 19 others were injured.

One of the victims is now arguing that the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) should be held responsible. The victim claims that state officials were aware for years that this route was dangerous but did not address the problem. Adequate safety measures should have included a runaway truck ramp in the event that breaks failed. The now 44-year-old man suffered a punctured lung and a number of broken bones in the accident. He also has post-traumatic stress as a result.

The DOT countered, stating that the road was not defective. The DOT also argues that they are protected by government immunity. Under Connecticut law, the government is shielded from lawsuits in certain circumstances, but individuals are still able to bring a suit against the state regarding road design defects. After a couple of appeals, the case now sits before the state Supreme Court.

This is not the first (nor likely the last) lawsuit in connection with this horrific accident. The head of the truck company that owned the dump truck was given a six-year prison sentence for manslaughter and other charges for knowing that the breaks were faulty and trying to reconcile the problem after the fact.

Source: Claims Journal, "Crash Victim Blames Connecticut for Fatal Wreck," May 2, 2014

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