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Jury Orders N.J. Dep't of Transportation to Pay $6M to Man Hurt By Dangerous Road Conditions

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The New Jersey Department of Transportation was found responsible for the permanent disabling injuries suffered by Kenneth Matlock when massive, rotten tree branches fell on his car as he traveled along New Jersey’s Route 29. A jury recently awarded him and his wife $6 million in damages as Mr. Matlock has now lost use of his dominant right arm. Mr. Matlock has also just barely begun to regain motion in his head and his left hand is in a permanent claw position.

Mr. Matlock’s attorneys presented a case against the New Jersey DOT which claimed that the Department failed to follow its own guidelines regarding dangerous roadway conditions and that during its regular inspections it should have seen the rotting limbs and taken actions to trim them back. Mr. Matlock’s expert testified that the tree limb was at a high risk of failure and that the Department should have known about the dangerous condition well before the accident happened.