A truck driver who was injured when a bridge collapsed as he drove over it in a cement truck was awarded $1,112,000 in damages Wednesday by an Orange County jury.
The award means that Leon Ray Snow, 38, of Norco, who has been totally disabled since the accident, will be able to have a neck operation that may enable him to be rehabilitated, said his attorney, Ronald B. Schwartz.
The jury in the courtroom of Superior Court Judge Samuel B. Taylor Jr. ruled against the Foster Sand & Gravel Co.
Snow, who was working for a now-defunct trucking firm, was dispatched on Oct. 15, 1981, by the Foster company to deliver a load of concrete to a residential construction site in Williams Canyon, a remote area between Silverado and Modjeska canyons.
The only access to the site was across a steel and concrete bridge 20 feet long. The span collapsed, dropping five feet to a creek bed, causing Snow to strike his head inside the cab, according to testimony.
Schwartz contended that Foster failed to warn Snow of the potential danger from the bridge, and should have ordered a lighter concrete truck for the delivery.
Snow, who lived in Huntington Beach at the time of the accident, is married and has a 12-year old son. Schwartz said his client has been unable to work since the accident.
Foster's attorney, David A. Lander, called the jury award "excessive" and said an appeal would be considered.
Three other defendants, including the owner of the home site and the subcontractor for the cement work, settled Snow's claims before trial for about $300,000, according to lawyers in the case.