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Estate of Killed Road Worker Receives $16.9 Million Verdict

In a victory for the family of a road worker killed during road construction, a Cuyahoga Common Pleas Court jury ruled on Monday, October 3rd, 2022, that the Cleveland-based construction company Perk Co. is liable for $16.9 million in damages. The $16.9 million will be awarded to the estate of David Sollars.[1]

Details of the Accident

Road worker David Sollars was fatally struck on a University Heights construction site in 2019 at about 3:00 a.m. on Cedar Road, near South Green Road. Sollars, who is 54, leaves behind a wife and three children.

In December 2019, Sollars’s widow, Shelley Sollars, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Perk Co.

The motorist who struck Sollars, Wiley Bridgeman, was sober and was driving within five miles over the speed limit upon impact. Bridgeman was indicted for aggravated vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular assault, and failing to stop after an accident. However, Bridgeman himself died before the wrongful death case came to a close.

Relevant Details that Won the Case for the Sollars Family

The key detail that caused the jury to rule in favor of the Sollars family was that the lane in which David Sollars was struck should have been blocked by an electronic arrow board, traffic control devices, and orange barrels.

The trial spanned over two weeks, and the jury heard relevant testimony from several witnesses. Those who gave testimony included Shelley Sollars, Perk Co. representatives, the hospice physician who treated Sollars, accident reconstructionists, friends, and family members. As a result of the testimony, the jury awarded $16.9 million to the Sollars estate and determined that Perk Co. was 70 percent at fault and Bridgeman (now deceased) was 30 percent at fault.

Jeremy Tor, the attorney representing Shelley Sollars, was available for comment:

  • “The jury reached a reasonable and responsible decision after hearing evidence from both sides. When companies take over public roads in our community, they must do so in a safe and reasonable manner for the protection of the driver and road workers.”

The Importance of Standing Up Against Injustice

What happened to David Sollars is a clear example of injustice. He’d almost certainly be alive today had Perk Co. taken appropriate safety precautions to protect their workers, and both the Sollars and Bridgeman families wouldn't have gone through needless suffering. If there is a silver lining to the tragedy, it's that Shelley Sollars can now use her settlement to support her children and recover the lost income from David’s death.

If you lost someone close to you and felt it was a wrongful death, please don’t hesitate to reach out to NRS Injury Law. Our attorneys will relentlessly pursue corporations and institutions liable for wrongful deaths and other injustices. Call our office today at 855.468.4878 or fill out our convenient online contact form.

Sources:

[1] Cleveland. “Estate of road worker killed at University Heights construction zone receives nearly $17 million verdict, lawyer says.” Cleveland, 2022. cleveland.com

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