In a matter of seconds, a car accident can devastate a family, causing serious injuries or fatalities.
This was the case for a family in Texas. Alfonso Lopez and his father, Jose Lopez, were killed in a rollover accident on U.S. 290 between Manor and Elgin in May of 2016.
The Luke Dow Law Firm worked with the Wenholz Law Firm to reach a confidential settlement in the family's wrongful death lawsuit against Ford lawsuit.
After reaching this confidential settlement, the family went on to obtain $5.2 million in damages from TXDOT, the remaining defendant in the case.
Light Rain Made a Known Hazardous Stretch of Road Fatal
On Mother's Day of 2016, Alfonso Lopez was driving in a Ford F-250 on U.S. 290 during light rain. Driving at only about 50 to 58 miles per hour, the rear tires lost control and the truck rolled over. Three other people were in the truck at the time and survived the fatal crash.
The TXDOT Knew of the Hazardous Road Conditions
Unfortunately, these deaths were not the first fatalities on this particular stretch of highway and, more importantly, the TXDOT was aware of the dangers this area presented to the public.
In October of 2015, a weather-related accident occurred at the same location, resulting in the death of one woman. The accident was caused when a tow truck hauling a single vehicle hydroplaned. As a result, police in Manor advised TXDOT of the dangers of this stretch of road during wet weather conditions. This took place a full year before the accident that took Mr. Lopez and his father's lives.
Records also indicated that the TXDOT internally recognized the area as a public danger, referring to the area as a “hot spot” and noting the area's “serious wet weather crash history.”
The Manor police department brought the dangerous stretch of road to the TXDOT's attention again prior to Mr. Lopez's accident, advising them that the history of accidents at this site during wet weather was not a coincidence and even went so far as to tell officials at the TXDOT that many locals call the stretch of highway the “Bermuda Triangle of Manor.”
The TXDOT Failed to Take Action
Despite repeated warnings from Manor police, internal recognition of the high rate of weather-related accidents, and knowledge that locals were also aware of the dangers of this stretch of road on Highway 290, the TXDOT failed to take action and improve traction in this area.
When local and state governmental departments fail to act on public dangers in a timely manner, they should be held responsible when a preventable injury or fatality occurs. In the case of the TXDOT, officials let budget constraints prevent them from addressing the hazardous stretch of Highway 290.
Contact the Luke Dow Law Firm
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident you believe was caused by another party's negligence, we encourage you to call (512) 480-9502 and schedule a consultation with attorney Luke Dow to discover your legal options.