$450,000 Settlement Passenger Injured in Single Car Accident on Roosevelt Boulevard Prevails against PennDOT and Contractor for Clear Zone Violation

Philadelphia County

Our client was the injured passenger in a speeding car which crashed into a two feet high
tree stump located four feet off the edge of Roosevelt Blvd. where PennDOT failed to
remove the tree from the “clear zone” and the contractor failed to cut the tree down to 2
inches or less from the ground.

A row of 11 Sycamore trees had been planted twenty-five feet apart and four feet from
the edge of the roadway on Roosevelt Boulevard near 5th St. PennDOT had determined
that the tree required removal because it was dead. It therefore hired a contractor to cut
the tree down. The contract required that the contractor cut the tree to a height of no
more than 2 inches from the ground. The contract also required the contractor to comply
with PennDOT Publication 23, Chapter 13, which specifically addresses duties related to
the clear zone concept, and specifically, the duty to create a space free of woody
vegetation for vehicles to leave the roadway and safely recover. The contractor left
behind a huge stump, 24 inches in height and 30 inches in diameter. By not enforcing
the contract, PennDOT violated the clear space concept.

The crash occurred at 2 AM. The driver had been speeding and left the roadway striking
the large stump. Our client, a 30-year-old man, suffered lower extremity fractures that
required surgical repair.

The case was resolved for $450,000 shared between the contractor and PennDOT.

Contact Baratta Law

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