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Arizona court rules for state in highway accident liability

PHOENIX — The Arizona Supreme Court said state law can shield governments
from lawsuits over alleged unsafe highways but that the protection only applied
if the public is warned about dangerous hazards.

The justices ruled Friday that the state and its local governments have what is
called an “affirmative defense” against lawsuits over alleged unsafe highways
if the roadways met accepted standards when they were built.

However, the justice also ruled that the state still can be sued for a 2007 fatal
accident on Interstate 10
south of Phoenix.

The state didn’t warn motorists that
the freeway’s lack of a median barrier might create an unreasonable dangerous
hazard.

The warning requirement is part of the affirmative defense law.