Government Tort Liability for Dangerous Roadways

February 1, 2008

Another Successful Statewide Masters Seminar

By Brent Bixby, Seminar Co-Chair

On February 1, Consumer Attorneys of California and San Joaquin County Trial Lawyers Association co-sponsored a masters seminar in Modesto on "Government Tort Liability for Dangerous Roadways," featuring Ronald H. Rouda of Rouda, Feder, Tietjen & Zanobini. Among his many awards, Mr. Rouda was named "Trial Lawyer of the Year" by CalABOTA in 1995, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from SFTLA in 2002, and is a past president of American Board of Trial Advocates and CAOC. Mr. Rouda discussed an auto versus pedestrian case he tried in Los Angeles where he claimed a dangerous crosswalk was a major factor in his client suffering permanent brain injuries. Mr. Rouda stressed the importance of producing evidence of the dangerousness (not necessarily evidence of prior accidents) at the location of the accident. Local residents were canvassed, and some were discovered who had made prior complaints to the City regarding the crosswalk. Admission of a videotape reconstruction of the accident was particularly persuasive to the jury. The case was tried over five weeks and deliberations lasted eight days before the jury awarded an eight-figure verdict against the City. Attendees at the seminar received MCLE credit and included many CAOC members, as well as members of the local defense bar.
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