The legal firm of Barr & Mudford has filed suit against Shasta County on behalf of the mother of two girls who were badly injured when the car they were riding in crashed into a bridge in March 2012. The suit claims that the bridge, built in the 1960s, should have been updated to meet the safety standards currently in place.
The car was driven by the girls’ father who received a four-year probation sentence in connection with the accident. The younger daughter, who is now 4, was paralyzed from the waist down and her older sister, now 5, suffered a skull fracture and bleeding in the brain.
The suit, filed by Redding attorney Dugan Barr, states that according to a 1980 California Department of Transportation traffic manual when a bridge is less than 60 feet wide, there should be a guardrail on the ends of both sides of the bridge. The bridge in question is approximately 40 feet from one end of the road to the other. It also states that there was an unsafe speed limit posted as well as inadequate shoulder space. According to Barr, if guardrails had been in place on the Gas Point Road bridge at the time of the accident, the injuries to the girls would have been much less severe.
The suit seeks an unspecified amount because much will depend on the kind of treatment the girls will require as they get older and the full extent of their injuries becomes known. Because the children are too young to be agents for themselves, the suit was filed on their behalf by their mother. Aging infrastructure and lagging bridge maintenance have become pressing issues around the country.