Torts Keyed to Goldberg
Aikens v. Debow
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Richard Aikens (plaintiff) ran a motel and restaurant that was accessed by an overpass crossing Interstate 81. In September 1996, Robert Debow (defendant) was driving a flatbed truck on I-81 for his employer, Craig Paving, Inc. (defendant), when he struck the overpass with a trackhoe loaded onto the truck that was too tall to clear the bridge, and caused substantial damage. Repairing the bridge resulted in a closure of the overpass for 19 days. In May 1997, Aikens sued Debow and Craig Paving for negligence, seeking to recover $9,000 in alleged losses caused by a reduction in patrons while the overpass was closed.Defendants moved for summary judgment on the ground that Aikens’s economic losses were not recoverable as a matter of law. A West Virginia circuit court denied defendants’ motion but presented a certified question to the state’s highest court.The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals considered the issue.
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