Practice Area: Personal Injury
Outcome: Reversal of Summary Judgment Dismissal
Description: Plaintiff and his girlfriend had an argument and she left the house, got into her car and drove off. He followed, tried to pass her, pull in front and slow her down. There was not a no passing stripe at point he started to pass. As he moved into the oncoming lane, an oncoming car appeared out of a dip in the road. He tried to avoid this car, and hit a power pole, suffering injury. He sued the county for failure to have a no passing stripe in place, as the dip required under applicable regulations. In response, the defense established that he was familiar with the roadway and that he knew the general characteristics of the road. The trial court dismissed the case, ruling that this knowledge the plaintiff could not prove that the absence of a no passing stripe caused the collision, because of the plaintiff's familiarity with the road. The court of appeals reversed. It held that the defense did not show that the plaintiff knew of the dip in the road which concealed the oncoming car. His general knowledge of the area did not mean that he was entitled to no protection from the hazard of the car concealing dip. The court remanded the case for trial.