Biker awarded $8.6-mn damages for pig crash

April 1st, 2009 - 7:17 am ICT by IANS  

San Francisco, April 1 (DPA) A California jury has awarded $8.6 million to a motorbike rider who was severely injured when he crashed into a wild pig that was crossing a highway.

According to the Monterey County Herald, the jury agreed with lawyers for Adam Rogers, who argued that the state of California was responsible for the crash because it took no steps to mitigate the problem even though it knew that wild boars were crossing the road to eat newly planted vegetation on its verges.

“When we began, people said the state can’t be held responsible for a wild animal and, as a general rule, that’s true,” attorney Larry Biegel said. “But the jury found that this was a situation the state created itself and then didn’t do anything about.”

Since the accident, the state has used hunters to control the pigs and posted warning signs on the affected stretch of highway.

Beigel said that $5 million would be used to pay for medical treatment for Rogers, a former karate expert who is now unable to walk. The rest is for general damages and lost earnings.

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