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State pays $2.75 million to settle negligence suit

On Behalf of | Oct 11, 2022 | Personal Injury, Traumatic Brain Injuries |

For years, a stretch of Washington State Highway 522 between Paradise Lake Road and the Snohomish River Bridge has been referred to as the “highway of death” due to the unusual number of accidents that have occurred on that stretch of road. As if to underscore that nickname, the Washington State Department of Transportation has agreed to pay $2.75 million to a woman who suffered serious injuries in a collision with a Department vehicle.

The accident

On March 5, 2018, the woman was driving a Jeep Cherokee east on Highway 522 while following a pickup truck being driven by an employee of the state Department of Transportation. The driver of the pickup attempted to make an illegal U-turn that required him to cross two double yellow lines and rumble strips.

The woman had no time to slow down or stop. Her truck went airborne, flipped twice and landed on its wheels. The woman’s first concern was for her two-year-old son in the rear seat. Fortunately, the boy escaped serious injury.

The woman was not so lucky. She sustained serious injuries, including a traumatic brain injury. After completion of discovery and on the eve of trial, the state conceded that it was liable for the accident and made a settlement offer. The case was finally settled when the injured woman accepted the state’s offer of $2.75 million.


This case demonstrates that the state can be held liable for the negligence of its employees, in contrast to the belief of many residents of Washington that the state is immune from suit.

Solid legal support may help

Anyone who has suffered a serious injury or lost a loved one in a similar accident may wish to consult an experienced personal injury attorney for an evaluation of the evidence and an opinion on the likelihood of recovering damages for medical expenses, lost past and future income and pain and suffering.