Too Many Pedestrian Deaths: Help Change Sole Proximate Cause Law in State of CT!

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Under the state and municipal highway defect statutes, a person injured by a defective road or sidewalk in the State of Connecticut must prove that the defect was the “sole proximate cause” of the injury in order to receive any recovery against the state or municipality. The issue here is, with the sole proximate cause standard, its impossibly confusing for juries to apply and makes little sense from a jurisprudential perspective.

In order to achieve the policy goal, we want to eliminate the state or municipality not being held accountable for any defective roads- its time to replace sole proximate cause in the State of Connecticut.   

On March 27, 2017, Richard Apolinar Batista, a 52 year old father of three and husband, was killed walking his dog on Cooke Street and Kaytonne Avenue in Waterbury, Connecticut. The driver was going way over the posted speed limit of 25mph. On that street alone, between 2016 and 2017, there has been more than 10 fatalities, not including other accidents/pedestrian knock downs. In addition, two more pedestrians were killed a few weeks after my father. We lost our Dad, our best friend who was full of life and still had so much to finish. The Mayor promised that a study would be conducted to monitor if more traffic lights, speed-bumps and cross-walks should be implemented.  To date this has yet to be done. How many more innocent people have to be killed for someone to do something? Another family man? A child? An elderly person? A pet? The same picture you see on the profile was taken at Fulton Park, across the street from where my father was killed. The same street he walked Kingston and both were struck and injured. Kingston ran home to alert our family. Unfortunately, the magnitude of my father's injuries were so severe that he wasn't so lucky.     

Although my family has brought an action against the City of Waterbury, it is very unlikely we will prevail. As the Sole proximate cause states; if another party or defendant is found at least 1 percent at fault- that calls for grounds of them being released of any lawsuit. They too should be held accountable for failing to make that street safe for pedestrians to walk in! Its not a guarantee that my father would have survived if there were speed-bumps on Cooke Street, however, it certainly would have made the driver reduce his speed and maybe had alarmed my father. This will continue to occur if the City does not change something. People will continue to drive recklessly and innocent lives will be taken.  

Road fatalities on this street are high and a leading cause of death for ages between 15-29 across the globe. How do policymakers plan to prevent death and make roadways more secure when laws like this exist!? Someone gets killed and if liability is not 100 percent against the City- the family cannot recover anything. If the City of Waterbury wanted to decrease the deaths by automobiles they would prioritize to remedy this.     

MY family and I have monitored this street in the morning, afternoon and late nights, and drivers are going way over the speed limit.

How is this just? So many families have to endure the pain of losing a loved one and the City just turns their heads. Why are they let free of something they should be held responsible for? Why have a speed sign when people do not abide by it?  The City of Waterbury has been made aware on different occasions that something is terribly wrong with this street, yet they sit back and wait for someone else to get injured.  

I want families like mine who have suffered to know something was done for change and that in the future if someone is killed due to a municipality negligence, justice will be served. This could happen to any one of our family members or friends. It happened to mine.  I would appreciate it from the bottom of my heart if you sign and share this petition.

Thank you and God Bless!

Swannie Batista & Family