Reminder That Government May Be Responsible For Creating Dangerous Traffic Conditions

Car Accidents

In the case of Antonio Bejarano v. City of Coral Gables, Case Number 3D17-2636 (Fla. 3rd DCA July 10, 2019), Florida’s Third DCA reversed a summary judgment in favor of the city regarding the placement of palm trees near a roadway so as to obstruct the view of motorists.

Summary Judgment Granted By The Trial Judge

The City of Coral Gables obtained a summary judgment from the trial judge on claims by the plaintiff that the City was negligent in the design and placement of palm trees with wooden supports that end at the center of medians and obstructed the view of motorists from oncoming traffic. The City argued that the placement of the palm trees were a “planning” decision that did not create a foreseeable danger.

This meant that the City enjoyed absolute sovereign immunity from the plaintiff’s lawsuit. Bejarano appealed and the Third DCA reversed.

Case Commentary

While no one know can say what the jury will do with this case at trial, this case is a reminder that sovereign immunity is not a total bar on liability for dangerous traffic conditions when the governmental entity has knowledge of the danger (or should have knowledge) but fails to warn motorists of the dangerous condition.

In this case there was conflicting evidence from engineers and other motorists about the visibility issues presented by the trees.

If Visibility Is Unreasonably Limited You Might Have A Case

If you have been in a car accident in Lakeland, Florida due to limited visibility, you may have a case against either a business or the government for creating a dangerous condition on the roadway. Cases against the government are subject to Florida law that provides for a limited waiver of sovereign immunity and require special procedures unique to these cases.

Call today to talk to a Lakeland car accident lawyer about your case. A consultation is free and cases are accepted on a contingency fee basis.

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July 12, 2019