Jury says Hayward company is responsible for accident that left teen seriously injured
by Ben Charny
HAYWARD – A jury awarded a Dublin couple $6.5 million Tuesday, to be paid by a Hayward construction company, for an automobile accident that permanently injured their 16-year-old son.
“It’s been a long, long three years,” said Marshall Hickman, stepfather of Todd Andrews, who suffered major injuries in the accident on North Mines Road in Livermore.
After two days of deliberations, a jury found that Redgwick Construction Co. caused the accident.
Jurors ruled that the company, hired by the city of Livermore to repair the street, inadvertently left a mound of dirt in the middle of the roadway.
The car Andrews was driving near Charlotte Way struck the dirt mound and careened into a divider. It rolled three times before coming to a stop.
Andrews, who recently turned 19, is in a lifetime care facility in Texas, Hickman said.
After 2½ days of deliberations, a jury awarded the Hickmans $5.746 million in economic damages and $800,000 in non-economic damages.
Representatives for the company had no comment Tuesday.
Luke Ellis, who represented Marshall and Darlene Hickman in the lawsuit, said the roadway “had every violation there was,” including the mound of dirt left by Redgwick Construction.
“There were no lights, no warning signs about road construction – nothing,” Ellis said.
The city of Livermore has since fixed the roadway, Ellis said.
Ellis, of the Orinda law firm Gillin, Jacobson, Ellis & Larsen, asked the jury to award between $4 million and $6 million, the estimated cost of medical care for Andrews.
One of the major issues during the three-week trial was whether Andrews, who was found to have a .03 blood-alcohol level, was responsible for the accident.
As part of the verdict, the jury did find that Andrews was responsible for 30 percent of the accident.
The panel also found that the city of Livermore, which hired the construction company, was responsible for 30 percent of the accident.
The general contractor on the project, McBail Co., was found to be responsible for 23 percent of the accident. The jury also found that engineering company, Associated Professions Inc. was responsible for 15 percent of the accident, according to the jury verdict.
McBail, Associated Professions and the city of Livermore settled out of court in the case for an estimated $2.4 million, Ellis said. He could not provide a breakdown of the payments.
There will be a hearing later this month to determine whether the Hayward construction company should pay all of the settlement or just its percentage of fault as found by the jury, which was 2 percent.
What do you need to know about vehicle roll over accidents?
Rollover crashes are a serious issue in the United States, causing a significant amount of fatalities and injuries each year. A rollover crash occurs when a vehicle tips over onto its side or roof, and it is especially dangerous due to the lack of protection offered to passengers in this type of crash. Here are some key facts about rollover crashes in the United States:
- Rollover crashes account for approximately 35% of all fatal crashes in the country. This means that rollovers are a leading cause of death in vehicle crashes.
- Every year, about 10,000 people in the United States die as a result of rollover crashes. This number represents a significant portion of the total number of fatalities from car crashes.
- The risk of a rollover crash is highest for light trucks, vans, and SUVs, which account for about 75% of all rollover fatalities. These vehicles are more susceptible to rolling over due to their higher center of gravity and wider track width.
- The risk of a rollover is also increased when a vehicle is carrying a heavy load or towing a trailer. This can cause the vehicle to be more unstable and more likely to roll over.
- In the United States, approximately 2.5 million rollover crashes occur each year. This number is relatively high considering the dangers associated with this type of crash.
- Around 280,000 people are injured in rollover crashes each year in the United States. This number represents a significant portion of the total number of people injured in car crashes.
- The risk of rollover is higher in rural areas than in urban areas. This may be due to the higher speeds and more open roads in rural areas, which can make a vehicle more susceptible to rolling over.
- About 70% of rollover fatalities occur in single-vehicle crashes. This means that the vehicle rolls over without hitting another vehicle or object.
These facts highlight the importance of being cautious and taking steps to reduce the risk of being involved in a rollover crash. Drivers of light trucks, vans, and SUVs, as well as those who are carrying heavy loads or towing trailers, should be especially mindful of the increased risk of a rollover crash.
Most common vehicle roll over injuries
Vehicle rollover accidents can be some of the most dangerous types of car accidents and can result in serious injuries. Here are some common injuries that people can suffer from when their vehicle rolls over:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): TBI is a common injury that occurs when the head is hit, jolted, or shaken, causing damage to the brain. A rollover accident can cause the head to hit the roof, door, or window, resulting in a TBI.
- Spinal Cord Injury: The spinal cord is responsible for transmitting signals between the brain and the rest of the body, and a spinal cord injury can cause permanent paralysis or other serious problems. In a rollover accident, the spine can be damaged from being compressed, twisted, or ruptured.
- Fractures: Fractures are a common injury in rollover accidents, and can occur in any bone in the body. Some common types of fractures that occur in these types of accidents are skull fractures, rib fractures, and pelvis fractures.
- Internal Injuries: Internal injuries can be difficult to diagnose and can be life-threatening if left untreated. In a rollover accident, internal injuries can occur from being thrown around the vehicle, or from debris that has entered the vehicle.
- Burns: Burns are a common injury in rollover accidents that occur when the vehicle catches fire. Burns can range from minor to severe, and can result in permanent scarring, disfigurement, and other long-term effects.
- Lacerations: Lacerations are cuts that occur when the skin is torn. In a rollover accident, people can suffer from lacerations as a result of broken glass, metal, or other sharp objects that can be found in the vehicle.
These are just a few of the most common injuries that can result from a vehicle rollover accident. It is important to remember that every accident is unique, and the types of injuries that occur will depend on many factors, such as the speed of the vehicle, the type of vehicle, and the angle at which the vehicle rolls over. If you have been in a rollover accident, it is important to seek medical attention right away to ensure that your injuries are properly diagnosed and treated.