(CN) – Movers who spilled 12,000 pounds of glass on the highway won their bid for a retrial after an Oregon jury found them 22 percent liable for a fatal rear-end crash.
While workers were cleaning up Combined Transport’s glass spill, Judy Marie Clemmer’s car plowed into Mark Alan Lasley’s vehicle at 65 mph, killing him.
Lasley’s son sued Combined and Clemmer for wrongful death. The jury ruled for Lasley, assigning 78 percent of the blame to Clemmer and the rest to Combined.
The Oregon Court of Appeals disagreed with Combined’s assertion that the accident was not foreseeable.
“The evidence showed that 12,000 pounds of glass fell on the highway,” Chief Judge David Brewer wrote. “A jury reasonably could find that a traffic jam would result from a spill of such magnitude on a major interstate highway … it follows that a reasonable juror could find that decedent’s injuries and death were foreseeable in these circumstance.”
However, the appeals court also ruled that the trial court improperly excluded evidence of Clemmer’s DUI convictions stemming from this accident and from a previous incident.
“The exclusion of that evidence was prejudicial,” Brewer ruled, remanding the case for a new trial.