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JerrySJD, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 821
Experience:  Attorney for business formation, business sales, tax, partnerships, sole proprietors and buy/sell agreements.
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3. (TCO C) Will E. Chancit, a 36-year-old attorney, was killed

Customer Question

3. (TCO C) Will E. Chancit, a 36-year-old attorney, was killed when his Ford Fairlane collided with some metal fence on the Harbor Freeway in Los Angeles. He was traveling at a speed between 50 and 70 mph. What happened was this: A city of Los Angeles construction crew had placed a "left lane closed ahead" sign with a "60 mph" speed limit sign under it. (The usual speed limit in that area was 70 mph.) However, the actual closed lane was the right lane. Speculation is that Will noticed at the last minute that he was in the wrong lane and over corrected, and that's how he slid off the road and hit the fence.
After the collision, the car spun and the driver's door flew open. Chancit was ejected from the car and sustained fatal head injuries. Had the door stayed closed, his injuries would have been relatively minor. Chancit was not wearing his seat belt, and his wife claims he had been up all night the night before after getting food poisoning at the local Chi-Chi's.

Discuss all defenses Ford Motor Company might have.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  JerrySJD replied 5 years ago.

JerrySJD :

Proximate cause of the accident was the negligent sign posting, showing the wrong lane. Also, Chancit contributed to the injury by not wearing his seat belt. If Chancit had his seatbelt on he would not have been thrown from the car, so Ford is not liable. Ford gives ample warning and notice that seatbests are required, and could reasonabl anticipate that they would be worn. Chi-Chi's is a red herring. Finally, Chancit was negligent in over correcting.

JerrySJD :

If Ford cannot be completely absolved, then liability should be shared under the concept of contributory negiligence. City of LA, Chancit are both complicit, negligent and share liability. Chi-Chi's is a long shot.