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Motorcycle Wrongful Death Case Settles for $1.025M

Craig J. Hubert, Esq

Szaferman Lakind Quarterly Newsletter – October 2014 Edition

Partners Craig Hubert and Janine Bauer obtained a $1.025 million settlement for the wife and estate of a motorcycle operator killed in a crash resulting from an ongoing roadway construction project that left an unsafe and unmarked condition between travel lanes. The victim was riding in the right lane on Interstate route 295 in Burlington County and lost control of his motorcycle while moving to the center lane in an area where the roadway resurfacing left a longitudinal 2 µ inch pavement edge. The elevation differential between the two travel lanes was described by an investigating state trooper as “nearly vertical” where the posted speed limit is 65 mph. A second fatal motorcycle accident occurred later the same day in the project area.

In litigating the matter, Personal Injury Attorney Craig Hubert collaborated with Janine Bauer, a partner at the firm with expertise in transportation law. In addition, the firm used an expert professional engineer to prepare a report addressing the transportation issues and cause of the accident. The engineer concluded that the 2 µ inch longitudinal vertical obstruction between lanes “was grossly and unconscionably defective, and was an unreasonably dangerous and defective condition.”

The project contractor, Earle Asphalt Company, was performing the work for the N.J. Department of Transportation and was subject to NJDOT Standard Specifications for road and Bridge Construction. The condition causing the crash did not conform to those specifications.

In addition to the consulting engineer, the firm retained both an economic consulting firm to examine and evaluate economic losses to the victim’s wife and estate and a physician to prepare a report on the pain and suffering experienced by the victim.

An economic settlement was achieved prior to the matter proceeding to trial.