A District Court jury has awarded nearly $4.4 million to the widow and children of a UT Payson man who suffered fatal injuries in 2006 when he tried to swerve around backed-up traffic on Interstate 15 and hit other vehicles.
That amount will be reduced by almost $2 million because of a state law that caps damages against the state and because of the victim’s share of responsibility for the accident.
The family of Richard Kunzler claimed in a lawsuit that the state Department of Transportation and a subcontractor working on a bridge reconstruction project near Spanish Fork failed to post appropriate signs warning motorists about traffic delays. Vehicles were backing up to Benjamin and drivers were given insufficient warning about the construction, the suit claimed.
The 38-year-old Kunzler knew about the construction, but didn’t know where traffic was backing up, according to Tyler Young, a Provo attorney who represents the family.
He said that as Kunzler came over the crest of a hill on July 18, 2006, the driver ahead of him saw stopped cars and slammed on his brakes. Kunzler tried to swerve and crashed; he died 13 days later.
The jurors determined damages totaling $4,396,268. They awarded $2,896,268 for economic damages and $375,000 each for Kunzler’s wife and three children for loss of care, comfort and companionship.
They also found that Kunzler was responsible for 20 percent of the negligence that caused his death, meaning about $879,254 will be deducted from the total award.
UDOT was found 35 percent responsible, and Staker & Parson Cos. was found 45 percent responsible. UDOT’s share will be reduced to about $500,000 under a law that caps damages that can be assessed against state agencies.
If you or a family member has been injured because of the fault of someone else; by negligence, personal injury, slip and fall, car accident, medical malpractice, trucking accident, drunk driving, dangerous drugs, bad product, toxic injury etc then please contact the Fort Worth Texas Wrongful Death Attorney Dr. Shezad Malik.https://www.shezadmalik.com/lawyer-attorney-1348881.html For a no obligation, free case analysis, please call 817-255-4001 or Contact Me Online.