Wrongful Death Verdict Against ODOT for $4 Million

The family of an Ohio woman was awarded nearly $4 million dollars in a wrongful death suit filed against the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).

Awful story here. On December 26, 2008, a husband and wife and their two kids were returning home after visiting with family for the Christmas holiday. Traveling in two separate vehicles, the husband and daughter arrived at home. When his wife and son did not return, he retraced his route only to find his wife’s car off the road, against a fence. A tree had fallen on the car and medics were already on the scene. While the son was taken to a local hospital, the wife was pronounced dead at the scene.

The suit filed against ODOT claimed that they knew that the bank along that stretch of road was eroding, and that trees had been uprooted in the area. The tree that had fallen on the wife’s car had been leaning over the road, creating a hazard. The suit further claimed that ODOT had breached its duty to maintain the road and attend to any potentially dangerous situations.

The Court of Claims adopted a magistrate’s decision recommending judgment for the family of just under $4 million dollars. ODOT is still in the process of reviewing the circumstances of the legal decision, but has stated that they have no objection to the decision.

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