Families to appeal after most of lawsuit dismissed

An attorney representing the family of a teenager who was killed in a 2016 car crash says the family plans to appeal a ruling that dismissed most of the lawsuit related to the fatal accident.
Kindra Dodson said a paperwork glitch prompted District Judge Paul Hesse to dismiss lawsuits that had been filed against the Board of the Canadian County Commissioners, the city of Oklahoma City and Alberto Longorio, who was the other driver involved.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation remains as a defendant.
Dodson said the family of Matthew Silva plans to ask Hesse to reconsider his dismissals. She is working on a motion for reconsideration, Dodson said.
The lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice, which means the case can be refiled.
“We mailed our responses to the court clerk, but, for some reason, they didn’t appear in the file until the day after our court appearance,” Dodson said. “There was some error in the court clerk’s office.”
Dodson said she had drafted responses to the defendants’ motions in plenty of time, but they never made it into the file.
“He dismissed the cases because there was no answer on file,” Dodson said. “We will keep working to get the other defendants back in.”
The dismissals, she said, were a shock.
“It was a shock, but it is not a defeat,” she said.
The lawsuit was filed in 2018 on behalf of the families of Matthew Silva and Nickolas Bussett. Silva was killed, and Bussett was seriously injured in August 2016 when the car Silva was driving was struck by Longoria’s fully loaded gravel truck at the intersection of State Highway 4 and Britton Road.
Hesse dismissed the commissioners and Longoria during a hearing late last month.
The city of Okla-homa City and the Department of Trans-portation were both dismissed earlier.
However, Dodson refiled the case against ODOT, and that case is still pending.
At the time of the accident, there were flashing lights at the intersection. The north-south intersection lights were flashing yellow, while the east-west lights were blinking red.
The lights have since been removed and replaced with a stop sign on Britton Road, as well as signs warning drivers that the north-south traffic does not stop.
Silva’s family filed a lawsuit in February 2018, seeking more than $75,000.

WHAT HAPPENED
The accident occurred in the early hours of Aug. 26, 2016, as Silva and Bussett, both seniors at Yukon High School, were heading to band practice.
The families are seeking to recoup the costs related to medical expenses.
Longoria was sued as the other driver. However, the Silvas and Bussetts also sued the three government agencies saying they knew about the dangers of the intersection but did nothing to remedy the problem.
The issue, the lawsuit claimed, was high grass in the area. The lawsuit claims the three agencies were responsible for maintaining the area so there were ample sight lines of oncoming traffic.

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