977 F.2d 591 (9th Cir. 1992), 90-15625, Rogers By and Through Rogers v. U.S. Dept. of Transp.
|Citation:||977 F.2d 591|
|Party Name:||Thomas Allen ROGERS, By and Through his Guardian Ad Litem, Minnie ROGERS, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America, Department of Transportation, Defendant-Appellee.|
|Case Date:||September 17, 1992|
|Court:||United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit|
This opinion appears in the Federal reporter in a table titled "Table of Decisions Without Reported Opinions". (See FI CTA9 Rule 36-3 regarding use of unpublished opinions)
Decided Oct. 5, 1992.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California; No. CV-87-0592-RAR, Raul A. Ramirez, District Judge, Presiding.
Before ALARCON, BOOCHEVER and CYNTHIA HOLCOMB HALL, Circuit Judges.
Thomas Allen Rogers ("Rogers"), by and through his guardian ad litem Minnie Rogers, appeals from the judgment in favor of the United States on Rogers' action under the Federal Tort Claims Act ("FTCA"), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346(b), 2671-2680, alleging negligent operation of a truck belonging to the United States Department of the Interior ("Interior Department"). Rogers suffered injuries when the truck, driven by Interior Department employee Pamela Sue Weakley ("Weakley"), collided with his bicycle on a road in Trinity National Forest. Rogers contends that the judgment in favor of the United States should be reversed because the district court erred in concluding that Weakley was not negligent. He makes the following arguments in support of this contention:
One. Weakley violated the 15 mile per hour prima facie speed limit allegedly applicable to the accident site under California Vehicle Code § 22352(a)(2). In conjunction with this assertion, Rogers appears to argue that Weakley's violation of the prima facie speed limit established negligence as a matter of law.
Two. Weakley violated the basic speed limit set forth in California Vehicle Code § 22350, because she knew that the visibility of the accident site was limited.
We affirm because, under California law, a violation of a prima facie speed limit does not establish negligence as a matter of law, and because the district court did not commit clear error in finding that Weakley was not negligent.
On July 11, 1984, at approximately 11:30 a.m., Rogers was riding his bicycle north on Trinity Dam Boulevard, a two-lane road that runs north and south in Trinity County, California. From Trinity Dam Boulevard, Rogers turned left onto a short, horseshoe-shaped road that provides access to Tunnel Rock Campground, a camping and picnic area. The Tunnel Rock Campground access road is approximately 300 feet in length. The southern end of the access road begins with an upward grade, levels off and then ends in a downward grade that returns at the northern end to its junction with Trinity Dam Boulevard. Rogers entered the access road with the intent of gaining speed and thus facilitating his trip north on Trinity Dam Boulevard, which requires a slight uphill climb.
After picking up speed on the access road's downhill grade, Rogers reentered Trinity Dam Boulevard without stopping. The access road has a solid line at its junction with Trinity Dam Boulevard. At the same time that Rogers crossed the southbound lane of Trinity Dam Boulevard to continue his trip in the northbound lane...
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