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Florida Appeals Court Decides Whether a Parked Tractor-Trailer in a Construction Site is Inherently Dangerous, L.E. Myers Co. v. Young, Case No. 2D13-6203 (2nd DCA 2015)

Our Miami truck accident lawyers have found there are often a wide variety of issues that plaintiffs may face in personal injury or wrongful death litigation involving tractor-trailer accidents. Tractor-trailers belong to a unique class of vehicles that carry substantially more risks in operation. Accidents may not be limited to traditional vehicle collisions or pedestrian mishaps – as the case below illustrates, tractor-trailers may also be involved in unique situations that raise specific issues of liability.

In the case of L.E. Myers Co. v. Young, the Second District Court of Appeals in Florida considered the issue of whether a particular situation involving a tractor-trailer was inherently dangerous. The case resulted in a fatality, and the deceased driver’s estate sued for wrongful death. The defendant in the case was a company that was hired by the electric company to replace power poles in a specified area. The defendant hired a subcontractor to install four concrete poles measuring 85 feet long and weighing around 21,000 pounds along a particular street. On the day of the accident, the one of the subcontractor’s drivers drove a tractor-trailer to the worksite with one of the poles strapped onto the trailer. The pole was long enough to extend from the back of the trailer by several feet. The driver had to park the tractor-trailer on the should of the street and maneuvered the cab and most of the flatbed fully onto the street shoulder. However, the truck’s outermost left rear tire of the trailer rested on and slightly over the white line on the edge of the street.

During this time, the now-deceased driver was traveling down the same street and stopped approximately seventy-five feet before the defendant’s work site where he was waiting to turn left into a parking lot. However, another car was traveling at high speed down the street and collided with the waiting car, which propelled it forward and slammed it into the end of the concrete pole. This collision caused the fatality that formed the basis for the suit. The deceased driver’s estate filed suit against the defendant, alleging that its negligence caused the accident.

The defendant raised the defense that the subcontractor was contributorily negligent and that it should not bear full liability since the subcontractor’s driver was not under its control or supervision. In response, the plaintiff argued that the defendant was engaged in an inherently dangerous activity and therefore was legally responsible for the negligence of its subcontractors. The trial court granted summary judgment in the plaintiff’s favor and decided that the activity was inherently dangerous.

However, the 2nd District Court of Appeals reversed the decision. It found that whether or not a stationarily-parked tractor-trailer in a construction site with a concrete pole constituted an inherently dangerous activity is a question for the jury to determine, not for the court to decide in a summary judgment. Therefore, the court remanded the case to the trial court for the issue to be determined by the jury.

If you or a family member has been injured or killed in a tractor-trailer accident, the Miami Truck Accident Lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano offer the assistance you need to obtain the results you desire.  With over 130 collective years of experience representing truck accident victims across South Florida, our firm provides legal representation of unmatched excellence.  Contact our firm as soon as possible to start on the road to protecting your legal rights.  Our firm received an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell and was ranked as a top firm in South Florida by the Miami Herald.   Put our exceptional personal injury attorneys to work on your case.  Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or you can visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.

 

 

 

 

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