Greene Secures Unanimous Defense Verdict in Wrongful Death Claim

Korry Alden Greene, a partner in the firm’s Pittsburgh office, recently secured a unanimous (12-0) defense verdict for our client, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (“PennDOT”), in a wrongful death claim brought by the estate of a local motorcyclist.

The estate claimed that PennDOT failed to properly inspect a highway resurfacing project, thereby failing to identify a defect in a mountable curb, which allegedly caused the decedent to lose directional control and strike the median of the highway, leading to a crash that resulted in severe head trauma injury, causing his death.  Notwithstanding that the decedent had exceeded the legal limit of alcohol in his system at the time of the accident, his estate presented damages of 2.4 million dollars for economic losses alone, and sought well beyond that in total damages.

In addition to his many years of jury trial practice, Attorney Greene relied upon the experience that he gained as a highway construction worker during his college summers, when he learned first-hand how PennDOT runs highway resurfacing projects, particularly its inspection process.  As a result, he made sure that the jury heard detailed testimony regarding PennDOT’s daily inspections of the road surface.  PennDOT’s sole witness testified that any defects discovered during these inspections would be immediately remedied.  In the rare circumstance when same-day repairs could not be accomplished, PennDOT would implement alternative measures, so as to assure safety for all motorists.

Attorney Greene argued that PennDOT knew and understood its duty with regard to safety and that the evidence established that PennDOT met its duty through its meticulous inspection process.  The jury clearly agreed and rendered a unanimous defense verdict.

If you have any questions about this case, please contact Korry Alden Greene at kgreene@c-wlaw.com or (412) 563-2500.