CENTRAL TEXAS — The Texas Department of Transportation is paying a family $5 million after a jury found TxDOT guilty of negligence following a deadly crash, court documents obtained by KVUE show.
Alfonso Lopez and his father, Jose Lopez, died in 2016 after their car rolled over on U.S. 290 between Manor and Elgin. The Wenholz Law Firm and the Luke Dow Law Firm represented the family.
A jury found that TxDOT authorities knew the area was dangerous and found the agency didn't take action to prevent crashes, according to the court documents. About one year before the crash killed the two men, Manor police reportedly told TxDOT about the dangerous wet weather crash history along U.S. 290 in that area.
Just two weeks after the crash, TxDOT fixed that part of U.S. 290.
“The family is grateful to the jury for its service and in holding TXDOT accountable for the lack
of maintenance and repairs on an extremely dangerous segment of 290. This case hopefully will
prompt TXDOT to take corrective measures sooner and not place budgetary concerns above the
safety of the traveling public," said lead counsel Dave Wenholz in a written statement.
TxDOT released the following statement to KVUE regarding the lawsuit:
"TxDOT does not comment on pending litigation."
In a similar case from 2016 that ended in May of this year, a jury found TxDOT was not negligent after a woman died in a car wreck on the same stretch of U.S. 290 East in Manor in October of 2015. According to court documents, the plaintiff, Evangelous Voutsinas made similar claims against TxDOT after his wife, Carol was struck head-on by a tow truck that hydroplaned and slid across the median in to Voutsina’s lane. However Voutsinas was not awarded any damages in the case.