Attorneys for the family of a physician who died in a bicycle accident involving a landscaping truck argued the improper parking of that truck directly led to the man’s death. The case went to trial and jurors ultimately awarded the man’s widow $3 million, but still found the doctor to be mostly responsible for the accident.
In the case, the 17th Circuit State Court jury in Broward County determined an E&S Landscaping crew’s negligence led to the death of the 61-year-old Dr. William Donley. Dr. Donley ran into the back of the truck while on a bike ride in August 2011. He was reportedly wearing a helmet and traveling at about 15 miles per hour when he crashed into the truck, which was parked on a path bike riders typically use.
Jurors still found that 70 percent of the crash was Dr. Donley’s responsibility, which significantly reduced the amount of money his widow received.
Arguments in the case
Dr. Donley’s attorneys secured testimony that workers could and should have used other, safer parking locations for the truck. The location of the truck forced cyclists out into the roadway and presented an unexpected obstacle for bicyclists familiar with the area.
However, the defense provided evidence that the crew had set out a warning cone and that the vehicle was visible from up to 500 feet away. The defense also argued that Dr. Donley was dehydrated at the time, likely affecting his vision and decision making.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident due to the negligence of another party, work with a trusted Bradenton personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh.