Errors in roadway design and construction can result in serious injuries to motorists. Because the costs incurred by injured victims is so significant, it often becomes necessary to pursue litigation in order to be compensated for those damages.
When a road or intersection is poorly designed or constructed, victims may have limited options for compensation per the Slavin doctrine. The doctrine holds that if the road owner (i.e., city, county or state) accepts the designs or construction work of the contractor, the contractor can no longer be held liable – even if the design or construction contained clear errors. Victims still have the option of taking action against the owner/overseer of the site.
In some cases, though, when injury occurs while the work is pending or underway – i.e., before it has been “accepted” – claims may still potentially be brought successfully against the contractor as well. This is what is at issue in Villaneuva v. RS&H Inc., before the Fla. 5th DCA.