Burr Helps Create New Law for Road Builders by Appeal Win

Firm News

The ruling on June 28 creates new protections for road builders against motorists who file lawsuits years after a road is completed and accepted by the State. In this case, three persons were killed in a head-on collision on U.S. Highway 84 eight years after Weaver had finished a repaving project for the state. The plaintiffs claimed that the accident was caused by the road's construction.

"This decision is important because of the 'accepted work doctrine' rule," said Latta, who argued and briefed the case on appeal. "Under this new law, contractors cannot be sued for injuries that occur to a third party years after the work has been completed, and has been accepted by the owner."

The "accepted work doctrine" specifically cuts off liability for road builders in cases where the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) has accepted road work that it has subcontracted to a road builder. The basis of the ruling is the State's inherent ownership and maintenance of its public roads, compared to the lack of control of a sub-contractor once the work is finished.

"This ruling brings Alabama in line with other states," added Latta. "While road contractors strive for the highest quality standards, their work always is subject to inspection and approval by the State in accordance with contract standards the State provides. The effect of this case raises the bar for public agencies and contractors to work together to ensure the traveling public's safety."


Related Professionals

Jump to Page
Arrow icon Top

Contact Us

We use cookies to improve your website experience, provide additional security, and remember you when you return to the website. This website does not respond to "Do Not Track" signals. By clicking "Accept," you agree to our use of cookies. To learn more about how we use cookies, please see our Privacy Policy.

Necessary Cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. These cookies may only be disabled by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytical Cookies

Analytical cookies help us improve our website by collecting and reporting information on its usage. We access and process information from these cookies at an aggregate level.