This case began with a terrible automobile crash that occurred in Charlotte in 2009 resulting in three deaths. The families alleged that in addition to the racing drivers, a proximate cause of the deaths was Crescent Resources’ decision not to fund – and the NCDOT’s decision not to install – a traffic signal at the intersection.
The case was first tried in state court against the developer, Crescent Resources, and the Mecklenburg County jury awarded three million dollars each to the estates of the two children who were killed in the crash. After the state court trial, we pursued the NCDOT in the Industrial Commission for its decision not to install the signal. The Full Commission unanimously agreed the NCDOT’s decision was a cause of the crash and awarded an additional one million dollars to each of the three estates. The NCDOT appealed and a divided Court of Appeals affirmed. The NCDOT appealed again. Last week, the NC Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeals’ decision. In all, the families were awarded nine million dollars in the fight against Crescent and NCDOT in the quest to make sure this does not happen again.