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Road Injury Prevention & Litigation Journal
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Articles - March, 1997

March 1, 1997
Given Six Weeks' Notice, Is County Negligent for Failure to Remove Ice? It's a Question for the Jury

Motorist sued South Dakota county claiming that shelterbelt of trees made a particular section of road icy every year and that it had been icy for six weeks before the crash in which she was injured. The Supreme Court reversed the trial court's finding in favor of the county and said a jury must decide whether the county was negligent when it had time to correct a dangerous situation.

March 1, 1997
County Assumes No Duty by Assigning Police to State Intersections During Power Outage

When a storm caused a power failure in New York's Suffolk County, a motorist died in a collision at an intersection where signals were inoperative. Decedent's representatives sued, claiming the county owed a duty to motorists during a power failure based on their regular patrol of the highway and their directing traffic at some intersections during this outage. Reversing the county court, the supreme court concluded the deceased had no reason to rely on the county to prevent the collision.

March 1, 1997
Nebraska District Judge Comments on "Tort Reform"

In setting award amounts for a case where the State of Nebraska was found negligent in placement of a curb and delineator posts, Judge John P. Murphy commented on present attitudes in the United States toward large damage awards. His comments, quoted in this article, defend the court system's record of equitable awards.

March 1, 1997
Summary Judgment Granted: Montana Decision on Moose-Crossing Signs Subject to Immunity

A passenger injured when a vehicle hit a moose lying on a Montana highway sued the involved drivers and the State of Montana. The courts decided that the drivers responded reasonably and that the state's posting of moose-crossing signs would not have changed the outcome. Dissenting justices felt the drivers might have been more attentive had the state posted signs.

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