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Florida: Man Dies after Drawbridge Opens beneath Him

Counsel Financial

An 80-year-old man fell 30 feet to the pavement below when a low-lying drawbridge that he was walking across opened underneath him. The man was injured from the fall and died of his injuries at the hospital. The man was hanging from the grid steel on the bridge when he was seen by the captain of a passing boat, who then radioed the bridge operator before the fall. The bridge operator attempted to close the bridge, but the man could no longer hang on. The Plaintiff--estate brought suit against the Florida Department of Transportation and alleged that the Defendant?bridge operators were negligent in failing to ensure the bridge was clear of all traffic before it was opened. Defendants were expected to argue comparative negligence, and that the decedent failed to notice the warning bell and gates lowering, which would signal that the bridge was opening, before the decedent walked onto the bridge.

SETTLEMENT: $1,500,000

Nolan v. Florida Department of Transportation, et al.