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Motorcyclist loses case against the State of California for negligent road design

Accident Type: 
Motorcycle Accident
Incident Date: 
Wednesday, June 14, 1978
Result Date: 
Monday, May 23, 1983
Monetary Result: 
  This accident happened on June 14, 1978, at 4:10 p.m., in clear weather, on SR 36, at the Mill Creek Bridge in Tehama County. Daniel Blake, a 22-year-old assistant manager at a pizza parlor, was driving over the bridge when he ran into the re-acclimate seal on the roadway. He claimed that it was after the motorcycle ran over the seal that he lost control of his motorcycle. An oncoming vehicle struck Blake's leg and the rear half of his motorcycle. He suffered serious injuries that resulted in the loss of his right leg above the knee, as well as fractures and lacerations. He was in the hospital for three and a­ half months. Blake decided to sue the State of California for negligent road construction. He argued that there was not proper signage designating the appropriate speed crossing the bridge, and therefore he was driving too fast when he hit the seal on the pavement. The state contended that Blake was negligent in operating his motorcycle at a high rate of speed, and that his excessive speed caused the crash and his injuries. In the end, the state won its case, and Blake did not receive any award for his injuries.

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