Transcript for CAOC Albro Lundy, Road Design Case Schmidt v. Caltrans
Trial Lawyer of the Year video
CAOC | Video Transcript
NARRATOR: On first blush, Clete Schmidt's case looked bleak. The 77 year old driver had missed a stop sign and crashed his car at the end of a rural road.
ALBRO LUNDY: It looked like an accordion. It had just been crushed. It's amazing that he lived, truly amazing.
NARRATOR: Schmidt survived, but would live his life as a ventilator dependant quadriplegic. For attorney Albro Lundy, this wasn't just any case. He threw every resource into finding a cause for this tragedy.
ALBRO LUNDY: I went after the case like it was a labor of love, because it truly was. No one else would have taken this case.
GARY DORDICK: He had done a tremendous amount of work and the case seemed almost impossible to win, and I asked him 'what are you doing working this hard, spending this much money on a case that there's almost no chance in winning'. He told me that his father was Missing in Action in Vietnam and never came home, and his next door neighbor, his best friend's father, raised him like a son. He took him places and did everything a father would do. The plaintiff in this case, a quadriplegic, was that man that raised him.
NARRATOR: Through painstaking work, Lundy made an important discovery about the accident intersection.
ALBRO LUNDY: What we were able to do, through thousands of hours of time and investigation, was discover that CalTrans had allowed the road to deteriorate to the point that there was no end of the road sign, there were no botts' dots. The things that they had originally put in to warn people of an impending t-intersection, they let deteriorate and go away.
NARRATOR: Albro Lundy and Gary Dordick took the case to court, proving to a jury that the State of California was responsible for what happened to Clete Schmidt. Victory was sweet, and Albro Lundy's labor of love helped more than his friend; it made the road safer for all of us.
ALBRO LUNDY: 18 months before this accident, and this accident left Clete Schmidt a quadriplegic ventilator dependant, there were 9 accidents. Since then, at the same intersection, there have been none. Zero. And what we did after we got the verdict was we forced CalTrans to examine every single similar t-intersection and rural country roads to make sure that they made all of those safe. So what we did was made it safe for the entire State of California, but most importantly we recovered for Clete Schmidt so he can live a life of dignity for the rest of his time.