Mobile County Jury Vindicates Another Alabama Roadbuilder

Danny Collier and Regina Cash of Luther Collier Hodges & Cash, LLP won a defense verdict from a Mobile County jury after a three-day trial on October 9, 2019.  On August 30, 2016, the firm’s client, Mobile Asphalt Company, LLC, had a nighttime paving project on I-10 East with dump trucks coming and going from its asphalt plant in Saraland.  Plaintiff Bradley Carden was driving a dump truck for Baldwin County Construction when he drove off the edge of the ramp after having his dump truck weighed.  The dump truck rolled over onto its side, and the plaintiff suffered personal injuries that led to suit against Mobile Asphalt.

The plaintiff’s theory was that the premises was unsafe.  The ramp had unguarded edges of at least 18 inches, and it lacked bollards, curbs or other visual cues.  Also, Mr. Carden complained about insufficient lighting on the site.  Mobile Asphalt defended on the ground that the premises was reasonably safe, as proven by thousands of dump truck drivers over many years.  Mr. Carden complained that another dump truck had been blocking his path and he was under implicit obligation to move his truck off the ramp.  Mobile Asphalt countered that the unguarded edge was an open and obvious condition, and the site was well-lit.  If Mr. Carden had only waited in line like other dump truck drivers, there would have been no accident.

The plaintiff asked the jury for just over $400,000 in compensatory damages and $600,000 in punitive damages.  After about one hour, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Mobile Asphalt and against the plaintiff.

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