Driver runs off roadway into dry river bed because of washed-out bridge, says county's posted warnings were inadequate to warn of the danger.
Loren Branson: $121,204.94
James Schultz: $141,228.30
Loren Branson: $127,852.94
Avrek Law Firm by Melody Parman, Irvine (for James Schultz).
Dewitt Algorri & Algorri by Patrick Nolan, Pasadena (for Loren Branson).
Wade & Lowe P.C. by Richard Miller, Irvine.
Rama Pathi, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Apple Valley.
Gary Painter, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Loma Linda.
This lawsuit arises out of a single car collision that occurred on September 18, 2011 on Hinkley Road in the city of Barstow and the County of San Bernardino.
In particular, this portion of Hinkley Road contained a washed out bridge that was to cross over the Mojave River. In 2010, the bridge was damaged due to erosion caused by the current of the Mojave River.
On the date of the accident, James Schultz was driving Loren Branson as they explored the desert landscape and surrounding area in Mr. Schultz's truck. Mr. Schultz came out of one of the trail outlets that led to Hinkley Road. As he turned and traveled south onto Hinkley, there were no signs or barricades or other form of notice that the bridge had washed out. He was unable to stop his vehicle, and his truck plunged approximately 10 feet into a sand-bed below. Barricades and dirt berms were placed on the north side of the washed out bridge, roughly a quarter of a mile away. Schultz did not have car insurance at the time of the accident.
That the washed-out bridge constituted a dangerous condition of roadway and that the defendant county failed to take reasonable and sufficient steps to protect the public from a dangerous condition; that plaintiff Schultz was not negligent.
That County of San Bernardino took reasonable and sufficient steps to protect the public from a dangerous condition and that Schultz was negligent. Specifically, that he should have been aware of the dangerous condition, that he traveled over private land, and that he was not wearing his seat-belt at the time of the accident.
Mr. Loren Branson sustained lower back injuries. Mr. James Schultz sustained a fractured sternum.