Coble Family Caltrans Lawsuit

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Calibaby
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Coble Family Caltrans Lawsuit

Postby Calibaby » Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:02 pm

The Coble family, who lost 3 of their children in a heartbreaking auto accident in 2007, are in the midst of lawsuit against Caltrans:
http://www.ocregister.com/articles/cobl ... html?pic=1


I don't know of a single person who doesn't feel compassion for the Cobles. That said, when victims of tragedies such as this decide to go after the deep pockets of government agencies, I think they are misplacing their anger and grief. Sue the driver of the truck who caused the accident, his responsibility is undeniable. Deposition the drivers employer to confirm that they were not responsible for knowingly placing an unsafe driver behind the wheel of a big rig. Heck, even check into the truck manufacturer to make sure that the vehicle he was driving did not have some inherent issues that would have caused the accident to occur. But for heaven sakes, when you file a flimsy suit like this against Caltrans declaring that the design of the freeway was the cause of the accident, all you are doing is suing your neighbors.

Unfortunately, as in the case of the Dugard child/woman who was kidnapped, too many people mistake their feelings of "they deserve the money" with who should be responsible for paying it. They think with their hearts instead of their heads and once again, taxpayer money is given away.



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John Q. Public
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Re: Coble Family Caltrans Lawsuit

Postby John Q. Public » Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:12 pm

WOW! I agree with RSM. :shock:

Don't tell anybody. Got a reputation to uphold, ya know.
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Re: Coble Family Caltrans Lawsuit

Postby not4u13 » Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:46 am

Two things to consider here. Yes, the big rig driver is primarily to blame. However, from what I have read, Caltrans was notified some time ago through a traffic study that this freeway area posed a special risk due to the combination of the poor traffic flow at the freeway offramp and the limited visibility caused by the rise in the road. Traffic coming up to that point at freeway speeds may find themselves having to brake quickly to avoid traffic backed up waiting to exit. The suit alleges that Caltrans knew of the hazard and failed to take any action whatsoever. Perhaps they could have posted warning signs prior to the rise, advising traffic in the right lanes to slow?

I don't like deep pocket suits either, but I don't like Caltrans ignoring known hazards on our crowded freeways either.
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Re: Coble Family Caltrans Lawsuit

Postby Parrotpaul » Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:18 am

not4u13 wrote:Two things to consider here. Yes, the big rig driver is primarily to blame. However, from what I have read, Caltrans was notified some time ago through a traffic study that this freeway area posed a special risk due to the combination of the poor traffic flow at the freeway offramp and the limited visibility caused by the rise in the road. Traffic coming up to that point at freeway speeds may find themselves having to brake quickly to avoid traffic backed up waiting to exit. The suit alleges that Caltrans knew of the hazard and failed to take any action whatsoever. Perhaps they could have posted warning signs prior to the rise, advising traffic in the right lanes to slow?

I don't like deep pocket suits either, but I don't like Caltrans ignoring known hazards on our crowded freeways either.

Does anyone know if signs have now been placed in that area, or is it still an unposted dangerous zone?
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Re: Coble Family Caltrans Lawsuit

Postby Troglodyte » Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:32 am

not4u13 wrote:Two things to consider here. Yes, the big rig driver is primarily to blame. However, from what I have read, Caltrans was notified some time ago through a traffic study that this freeway area posed a special risk due to the combination of the poor traffic flow at the freeway offramp and the limited visibility caused by the rise in the road. Traffic coming up to that point at freeway speeds may find themselves having to brake quickly to avoid traffic backed up waiting to exit. The suit alleges that Caltrans knew of the hazard and failed to take any action whatsoever. Perhaps they could have posted warning signs prior to the rise, advising traffic in the right lanes to slow?

I don't like deep pocket suits either, but I don't like Caltrans ignoring known hazards on our crowded freeways either.

The biggest known hazard on our crowded freeways are other drivers. Caltrans can't correct that. In that particular location there's signs a few miles back that indicate the 5 and 405 freeways split. Failing to position themselves, or waiting until the last minuet and trying to make a left across 4 lanes of traffic to get on the 405, causes the backup. Drivers slowing down or comming to a complete stop at the far left lane and the carpool lanes at the enrty/exit points screws things up further. Most drivers have no idea how to merge or change lanes. Rear view mirrors are just for show. The best defensive driving technique is to prepare for and expect the next car to do something totally stupid. Why did DMV quit giving the freeway part of the new drivers exam?
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Re: Coble Family Caltrans Lawsuit

Postby Parrotpaul » Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:00 am

Troglodyte wrote:The biggest known hazard on our crowded freeways are other drivers. Caltrans can't correct that. In that particular location there's signs a few miles back that indicate the 5 and 405 freeways split. Failing to position themselves, or waiting until the last minuet and trying to make a left across 4 lanes of traffic to get on the 405, causes the backup. Drivers slowing down or comming to a complete stop at the far left lane and the carpool lanes at the enrty/exit points screws things up further. Most drivers have no idea how to merge or change lanes. Rear view mirrors are just for show. The best defensive driving technique is to prepare for and expect the next car to do something totally stupid. Why did DMV quit giving the freeway part of the new drivers exam?

No doubt about that.
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Re: Coble Family Caltrans Lawsuit

Postby John Q. Public » Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:16 am

Troglodyte wrote:The biggest known hazard on our crowded freeways are other drivers. Caltrans can't correct that. In that particular location there's signs a few miles back that indicate the 5 and 405 freeways split. Failing to position themselves, or waiting until the last minuet and trying to make a left across 4 lanes of traffic to get on the 405, causes the backup. Drivers slowing down or comming to a complete stop at the far left lane and the carpool lanes at the enrty/exit points screws things up further. Most drivers have no idea how to merge or change lanes. Rear view mirrors are just for show. The best defensive driving technique is to prepare for and expect the next car to do something totally stupid. Why did DMV quit giving the freeway part of the new drivers exam?

Good points but this was on the 5 South at Oso. I've never understood why drivers aren't trained to form their line on the shoulder when an offramp is backed up. I've seen far too many nasty rearenders from cars being stopped in the right lane.
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Re: Coble Family Caltrans Lawsuit

Postby Ramon » Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:21 am

John Q. Public wrote:Good points but this was on the 5 South at Oso. I've never understood why drivers aren't trained to form their line on the shoulder when an offramp is backed up. I've seen far too many nasty rearenders from cars being stopped in the right lane.

I have friends that live off of Oso....But I know that exit is jacked...I always get off one exit before...I think the people who use that exit regardless of being directly in traffic due to the back up are either lazy or too stupid to avoid it...Not saying they deserved it...But I think they used that exit regularly...Why not avoid that dangerous situation?
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Re: Coble Family Caltrans Lawsuit

Postby not4u13 » Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:39 am

There is more than one exit along that stretch of the I-5 that is bad. El Toro being one of the worst.

When people use the shoulder of the road in a backup, they are actually violating the law and creating a different stafety problem.

I know my last post made it seem like I blamed Caltrans for that accident. I don't. The primary responsibility lies with the driver of the truck. However, there are things that each person needs to remember.

When you are approaching an offramp that is backed up onto the freeway, you need to have an escape path. You need to leave yourself room in front of you and be prepared to duck over to the shoulder of the road if neccessary to avoid a collision. You also need to watch your mirrors as vehicles behind you come to a stop. You should also begin slowing early. Hard stops don't allow vehicles behind you to properly gauge the change in speeds and begin to slow.

I think the point here is there are a number of things that could have happened differently that would have prevented this tragedy. I would think that a few signs with flashing yellow lights on the top warning approaching vehicles of slowing traffic would be one of those things. I've seen them on several California roadways. I'm not sure why they were not used on this stretch.
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Re: Coble Family Caltrans Lawsuit

Postby Calibaby » Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:50 pm

John Q. Public wrote:WOW! I agree with RSM. :shock:

Don't tell anybody. Got a reputation to uphold, ya know.
Do you agree with him enough to remove the ban on his IP address as well as the RSM789 moniker? :D

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Re: Coble Family Caltrans Lawsuit

Postby Ramon » Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:29 pm

Calibaby wrote:Do you agree with him enough to remove the ban on his IP address as well as the RSM789 moniker? :D

That would be cool...By the way...

Caltrans not at fault in Coble children's deadly crash
By ERIKA I. RITCHIE
2010-07-14 12:41:30

SANTA ANA – A jury on Wednesday determined that Caltrans was not at fault in the fiery 2007 crash that left three Ladera Ranch children dead after the minivan they were in was struck from behind by a big-rig.

On May 4, 2007, Lori Coble was stopped in the slow lane of southbound I-5 between La Paz Road and Oso Parkway when a big-rig driven by Jorge Miguel Romero slammed into the back of the minivan Coble was driving. Lori and Chris Coble's three children – Kyle, 5, Emma, 4, and Katie, 2 – were killed.

Attorney Jeoffrey Robinson, representing the Cobles, argued that faulty design by Caltrans of that stretch of freeway led to a backup on the I-5, which led to the accident. He characterized the state agency's actions as negligent.

Robinson had been seeking damages to compensate the Cobles for losses as a result of a dangerous condition on public property owned by Caltrans.

Karen Bilotti, who represents Caltrans, laid the blame on the truck driver, Romero. He was convicted of vehicular manslaughter in 2008 and sentenced to 364 days in jail and five years' probation.

Romero, Bilotti said, knew traffic was slowing, made a decision to change lanes and never hit the brakes.

Bilotti also argued that the state can't be held accountable for traffic congestion and traffic-related accidents because the state can't control those factors.

More details to come.

Contact the writer: eritchie@ocregister.com

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Re: Coble Family Caltrans Lawsuit

Postby Red » Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:41 pm

Calibaby wrote:Do you agree with him enough to remove the ban on his IP address as well as the RSM789 moniker? :D



Real Smart Man RSM RSM RSM That would be huge to have RSM back[/size[size=200]]!

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Re: Coble Family Caltrans Lawsuit

Postby not4u13 » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:00 am

Read about that today ... the jury verdict.

Can't say I am at all disappointed. The bulk of the blame does go to the truck driver. This isn't Disney's Autopia either. Drivers have choices they need to make to be and remain safe. But there is this expectation that folks have about the safety of our roadways and there needs to be something done to help change that expectation.

As we introduce more and more safety features in cars and make them more of a rolling entertainment machine, drivers are becoming less responsible for their own actions.
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountain is going home; that wildness is necessity; John Muir
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Re: Coble Family Caltrans Lawsuit

Postby GOODave » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:29 am

As regards the lawsuit, "liability" involves three aspects all of which must be met:
  1. A duty is owed;
  2. The duty is breached;
  3. The breach caused measurable damages.

Sounds like Caltrans did, in fact, have a duty to the drivers of that section of 5 to fix the known defects. Sounds like they did not follow through with their duty (a breach) and it sounds like the Cobles suffered material damages. Also sounds like the truck driver also had a duty that he breached.

We had a case out here that eventually led to the jailing of our former governor, George Ryan (no, not Blagojevich ... he hasn't moved to the jail yet ... we're thinking of building a special wing onto Joliet JUST for ex governors).

Family with 7 kids (ages from 2 up to high school) driving along the freeway when a bumper fell off a big rig and they ran over it. Mom and dad weren't in the car, HS daughter was driving. Family van ran over the bumper, it punctured the gas tank, and the van erupted in flames so fast, all 7 children were dead within minutes.

Turned out, Ryan's DMV appointments had been taking funds on the side to get some of these big-rigs (and their drivers) licensed and not only did Ryan know all about it, and did nothing to stop it ... but there were rumors he was even getting some "tips" from the office. The particular big rig was on such "licensed" vehicle that had never undergone any kind of safety inspection and the driver was an illegal alien from Guatemala (or someplace other than Mexico).

Family got over their grief and, then, found out about the licensing practices and understood all 7 of their kids would still be in their arms if it wasn't for that driver and that big rig being on the road. So they sued.

But only the individuals involved (trucking company, couldn't find the driver, I don't think, the ex governor and his henchmen at the licensing bureau). Doesn't matter how much they got, their children are still dead.

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Re: Coble Family Caltrans Lawsuit

Postby Calibaby » Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:52 pm

John Q. Public wrote:WOW! I agree with RSM. :shock:

Don't tell anybody. Got a reputation to uphold, ya know.

Calibaby wrote:[Do you agree with him enough to remove the ban on his IP address as well as the RSM789 moniker? :D
JQP, when two Monarchs support the removal of a ban of a Friar, it really is worth your consideration.

Bipartisanship between Mater Dei and Servite, what could be more sincere??

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Re: Coble Family Caltrans Lawsuit

Postby SoMelo » Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:26 am

Calibaby wrote:JQP, when two Monarchs support the removal of a ban of a Friar, it really is worth your consideration.

Bipartisanship between Mater Dei and Servite, what could be more sincere??

[font=Comic Sans MS]I disagree.. Keep him banned.
Sometimes you can forgive and forget.. Other times you just have to move on.
Let's just move on...[/font]

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Re: Coble Family Caltrans Lawsuit

Postby Calibaby » Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:55 pm

SoMelo wrote:[font=Comic Sans MS]I disagree.. Keep him banned.
Sometimes you can forgive and forget.. Other times you just have to move on.
Let's just move on...[/font]
Well that is not a very Christian attitude, much less a way to treat an alumni of your childs high school. Here we have Monarchs & Friars united and you come barging in, hair astray like Cosmo Kramer, trying to keep the black man down. I never thought of you as racist before, but now I have to face the facts that you may well be.

Why the hate, Melo? Were you intimidated by RSM789, couldn't keep up with the banter and now quake at the thought of a return? That is so........

so.......

so.......


liberal.

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Re: Coble Family Caltrans Lawsuit

Postby SoMelo » Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:58 pm

[font=Comic Sans MS]Not intimidated at all... He was such a vile person that JQP had to remove all signs of his existence.. [/font]

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Re: Coble Family Caltrans Lawsuit

Postby Calibaby » Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:11 pm

SoMelo wrote:[font=Comic Sans MS]Not intimidated at all... He was such a vile person that JQP had to remove all signs of his existence.. [/font]
Vile? Such strong accusations for such an ignorant little woman. Did you ever meet RSM789 or at least carry on a converstion lengthy enough to make such a hate-filled description? I suspect not. Heck, if that was indeed you at the Ace of Spades event a while back, you had nothing but compliments about RSM789 to the point of being moist.

By the way, JQP did not remove all signs of RSM789's existence, all of those posts are still there available for review. What prompted JQP to ban RSM789 and his IP address was that JQP felt that he (JQP) was incorrectly called a liar by RSM789. No banning due to "vileness", rather instead it was because of a personal disagreement between JQP & RSM789.

Them's the facts ma'am. Has your memory always been so poor?

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