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Graham v. Commissioner of Transportation

The plaintiff in this case sought damages from the Commissioner of Transportation for personal injuries the plaintiff sustained in a motor vehicle accident. The plaintiff alleged that the accident occurred as a result of untreated black ice on an interstate bridge. The plaintiff contends that in the morning on the date the accident occurred, employees of the commissioner’s department became aware of dangerous conditions caused by black ice on the surface of the Interstate 95 bridge. Later that morning, the dangerous conditions of the bridge caused the plaintiff to get into a car accident and cause his subsequent injuries. The plaintiff based his claims on statute §13a-144 which stipulates that “[a]ny person injured . . . through the neglect or default of the state or any of its employees by means of any defective highway, bridge or sidewalk which it is the duty of the Commissioner of Transportation to keep in repair . . . may bring a civil action to recover damages sustained thereby against the commissioner in the Superior Court.’’ The plaintiff claimed the defendant had failed to treat the ice, warn motorists, or close the bridge and therefore had acted negligently pursuant to §13a-144.