Florida Appeals Court Holds Contractor and Engineering Firm Entitled to Summary Judgment on Personal Injury Claim Where Owner Accepted Project with Open and Obvious Defect

Transportation Eng’g, Inc. v. Cruz, 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 18273 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 5th Dist. Nov. 7, 2014)

The Florida Department of Transportation (“DOT”) hired Transportation Engineering, Inc. (“TEI”) to design, and D.A.B. Constructors, Inc. (“DAB”) to install, median guardrails along the Florida Turnpike.  After the installation project, a woman was killed when a vehicle in which she was a passenger struck an uncushioned guardrail end in a “clear zone,” an area next to a road where drivers can attempt to regain control of errant vehicles.  The woman’s estate filed suit against DOT, TEI, and DAB, alleging, in relevant part, that TEI and DAB negligently designed and constructed the guardrail ends without “crash cushions.”

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