$9.274 Million Jury Verdict After Caltrans Refuses to Compensate Victims

Making Highways Safer from Truck Accidents

For decades, Highway 156 has been one of California's most dangerous highways. In fact, it has been operating beyond capacity since the mid-1970s and has quickly become not only dangerous—but also deadly.

When Caltrans had an opportunity to correct these issues, they only succeeded in making them worse by designing a rumble strip that created significant safety issues. The rumble strip encouraged drivers to legally stop in the highway in order to turn left across oncoming traffic. Also, by installing a rumble strip to discourage head-on collisions, they did nothing to account for rear-end accidents, which were 480% more prevalent than head-on collisions.

The actions by Caltrans led to a catastrophic and deadly trucking accident in 2010 that claimed the life of a young mother and a small boy.

In 2010, a motorist was legally stopped on the freeway to turn left into her private driveway when a big rig truck rear-ended her. The car and the big rig truck were thrown head-on into a car driven by Cassandra Jones. Ms. Jones, who was 7 months pregnant at the time, suffered serious injuries and was forced to witness the horrific death of her young 4-year-old son who was in the back seat at the time of the crash.

Further investigations performed by the lawyers at Cerri, Boskovich & Allard found that the truck driver did not have time to process and react to the stopped vehicle on the highway. This crash was, in fact, caused because of poor road design, and Caltrans' improper road maintenance and negligence.

"Rather than fixing the problem, Caltrans made a dangerous condition deadly. Highway 156 was a ticking time bomb, which predictably exploded. As a result, two families are forever shattered because of complete ineptitude."
--Robert Allard, attorney

In February of 2014, a Monterey County jury of 8 women and 4 men agreed with attorney Allard and held Caltrans accountable for a wrongful death Highway 156 truck accident. They awarded Mr. Allard’s client $9.274 million. Caltrans refused to accept responsibility prior to the trial and made no offer to Mr. Allard's client prior to the trial.

Going the Extra Mile Results in Justice for All

At first glance, it seemed to many that the truck driver was solely responsible for the horrific crash. Yet the lawyers at Cerri, Boskovich & Allard are not typical truck accident attorneys. They understand the intricacies associated with trucking accidents and are concerned primarily with obtaining justice for the victims and their families along with making roadways safer for all.

After a thorough investigation of the accident, it became clear that the truck driver was not entirely at fault—Caltrans bore much of the responsibility for placing the lives of motorists in a deadly situation. They reviewed engineering reports, crash data, and analysis to build a case against Caltrans. While other law firms shy away from going to court—the lawyers at Cerri, Boskovich & Allard are not afraid to go to trial and pursuejustice. As a result, they were able to protect a community from future disaster.

By going the extra mile and holding Caltrans responsible for their negligence, the lawyers at Cerri, Boskovich & Allard have sent a clear message to all government agencies in charge of roads in California: Negligence is never tolerated. Failure to fix roads, evaluate dangerous intersections, and provide safe solutions for motorists is unacceptable. If Caltrans had addressed this dangerous road properly, nearly 30 years ago, then this tragic and horrific accident would have never occurred.

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