A man whose spinal cord was injured when a truck hit his car on an interstate highway on-ramp, has been awarded thirty million dollars. The jury in his car accident case made the multimillion dollar award based on victim Koti Hu's paralysis.
Mr. Hu sued the truck owner and the state Department of Transportation. Miami auto accident attorneys noted that the case against the DOT was that the on-ramp's design was defective.
Mr. Hu's vehicle was rear-ended while he was waiting at the metering light on an on-ramp in July 2007. The vehicle that hit his car was a privately-owned painting truck.
Koti Hu's lawsuit alleged that the metered on-ramp was so poorly designed that an accident like Mr. Hu's was easily foreseeable. The stop line for the meter is in shadows and is visible to drivers only after coming around a 180-degree curve.
The Washington state jury found the company that owns the truck was 60% responsible for the accident, and the state DOT responsible for the remaining 40%, which translates to $12 million.
The DOT will probably appeal the decision. As for Mr. Hu, he has moved back home with his parents because he needs constant care. Koti Hu is thirty years old.
Mr. Hu has established a website that discusses his life after the accident. "My neck was broken by severe whiplash in the force of the collision, and my spinal cord badly damaged," he says on the site.
Koti Hu was a musician before the accident, but now he cannot move his fingers and he cannot walk.
Source: Seattle Times "Jury awards $30M to man paralyzed in I-405 crash" 10/20/2010