City streets not safe to drive 100-120 mph on

by Walter Olson on June 18, 2008

Amanda Laabs was a passenger in a Porsche Carrera that was being driven at somewhere between 100 and 120 mph in Victorville, Calif., suggesting that the occupants were in quite a hurry to get to their destination, an In-N-Out Burger. Her driver did manage to slow down to an impact speed of 72 mph at the intersection at which he collided with the Mitsubishi of innocent driver Dorothy Specter. Have you spotted the allegedly responsible party yet? Yes, the city of Victorville, for designing the road with “inadequate sight distance and lack of warning signs, devices and signals”, so that Specter couldn’t see the Porsche coming, all that aside from the light pole that was too easy to run into. After pages of tortuous analysis, made more tortuous by the division of authority over the road between the city of Victorville and the County of San Bernardino, an appeals court upheld a trial court’s disposal of the case on summary judgment, but also declined the city’s request for fees, saying the city had not shown that an attorney would have assessed the claim as objectively unreasonable. (Laabs v. City of Victorville, courtesy Law.com; Civil Justice Association of California press release).

Update: The following was received April 14, 2010 from a commenter identifying herself as Amanda Laabs: “…You commented and had to make your business. If you had read it correctly we were not on our way to In-n- Out, we were turned around going the opposite direction for your information. I lost both of my legs in that accident and a good friend who was sitting behind me. This is a horrible site that allows people to be rude and insensitive to the people and family who were really hurt.”

{ 6 comments }

1 ByronD 06.19.08 at 1:40 am

Clearly the responsible part is In-N-Out Burger, for making burgers that are so irresistibly good that they enticed poor Amanda’s driver to speed to get them. Of course, whoever negligently built the building that blocked their view of the side street didn’t help.

2 Bob Neal 06.19.08 at 7:57 am

ByronD, those arguments certainly worked for the Great White fire plaintiffs. Proximate cause is dead – it’s now, any cause you can dream up.

3 Deoxy 06.19.08 at 11:19 am

saying the city had not shown that an attorney would have assessed the claim as objectively unreasonable

Then said attorney should be a ward of the state for being mentally incompetent. Either that, or the appeals court is completely full of sh stupidity.

I am being completely serious, by the way.

4 Bill Poser 06.21.08 at 4:10 am

One also wonders why cars are sold for use on public roads that can go so far above the speed limit. Is there any reason for cars to be able to go more than 80 mph?

5 Pleasedon'tsueme 06.21.08 at 4:37 am

@Bill Poser
So people can get to the In-N-Outburger faster

6 gitarcarver 06.21.08 at 10:52 am

Is there any reason for cars to be able to go more than 80 mph?

The Autobahn, the Nurburgring….

(typed with tongue firmly in cheek.)

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