The accident happened January 15th 2013 on Hwy. 3132. Stuti hit an icy patch and lost control of her vehicle. She was left with serious brain injuries.
The suit says DOTD failed to maintain the roadway, so it wouldn’t ice during times of near and below freezing temperature. Or if icing couldn’t be prevented, failure to properly salt and sand the overpasses and bridges to allow for safe use of the roadway; failure to close 3132 between Bert Kouns and Ellerbe Road due to icy and hazardous conditions. If the roadway could not be made safe for use by salting and sanding; failure to warn City of Shreveport & Caddo Parish School Board officials and the motoring public that the Bert Kouns overpass and the bridge immediately to the west were subject to icing.
The family is also seeking damages from the City of Shreveport because it’s a public entity and was contractual maintenance provider to State of Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development regarding maintenance, including applying salt and sand to bridges and overpasses.
The lawsuit claims the Caddo Parish School Board is negligent in failing to close or delay school opening. Court documents say weather conditions were too dangerous for driving, especially when it was known that student-drivers between the ages of 16 & 18 would lack experience regarding winter driving conditions. It goes on to say all other public schools, colleges, universities, governmental offices including Caddo Parish Courts, in the immediate surrounding area were closed for the day for safety reasons. It says the district is also at fault for failure to consider information from City of Shreveport, Caddo Parish & State DOTD & Louisiana State police regarding roadway conditions when making their determination about keeping schools open.
City officials along with the state can't comment, because of the pending litigation. The Caddo Parish School Board's attorney, Reggie Abrams says the school system isn't liable because the decision to keep school open falls under a discretionary act and the case will be dismissed.
We did reach out to the family's attorney, he told NBC 6 News he didn't want to comment until the matter is resolved.
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