I represented a sixteen year old girl who was a passenger in a vehicle driven by an eighteen year old boy that was merging from Lovell Road onto the Pellissippi Parkway southbound when the vehicle in which she was riding was struck by a tractor trailer truck. I also represented a twenty-three year old male who was riding with his brother when they were merging onto Pellissippi Parkway southbound on the same entrance ramp from Lovell Road and collided with another vehicle approximately one year earlier. The twenty-three year old male suffered a knee injury requiring surgery but recovered. Unfortunately, both the sixteen year old female we represented and the driver of the vehicle in which she was a passenger were killed in the second accident.
As a result, I filed two lawsuits against the State of Tennessee contending that the State roadway making up the entrance ramp from Lovell Road onto the Pellissippi Parkway southbound and the Pellissippi Parkway at that point were unreasonably dangerous road conditions because of improper warning signs, the short length of the merge ramp and the fact that the bridge abutment for the bridge on Pellissippi Parkway over Lovell Road was very close to the end of the short merge ramp. I hired an engineer who evaluated the design and concluded that the design was unreasonably dangerous and that the design of the roadway, combined with the failure to warn drivers of the short and dangerous merge ramp, had caused both accidents.
These two claims were tried separately against the State of Tennessee in front of different judges on the basis that the injury to the twenty-three year old and the death of the sixteen year old female were caused by the dangerous roadway design and construction of the Lovell Road merge ramp onto southbound Pellissippi Parkway. Both cases ultimately resulted in judgments against the State for the victims’ injuries caused by the dangerous roadways.
During the pendency of the second trial over the death of the sixteen year old female and eighteen year old driver, the State of Tennessee announced their decision to reconstruct the entire merge ramp from Lovell Road onto southbound Pellissippi Parkway following the design guidelines prepared by our expert engineer and presented as proof against the State of Tennessee.