Big Boar Settlement

April 1, 2009

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A former champion kick boxer whose life was ruined after he hit a feral pig on Pacific Coast Highway near Carmel has successfully sued the state of California and been awarded $8.6 million by a jury.

Adam Rogers was riding north about 1 am on September 23, 2003 when a wild pig dashed across the road in front of him. The crash left Rogers confined to a wheelchair and mentally impaired. Rogers and his wife sued the California Departments of Transportation, Parks and Recreation and Fish and Game for failing to force the pigs to use a path under the freeway. Rogers attorney argued that the state knew how dangerous the pigs could be to motorists.

The verdict provides $6.8 million to pay for Rogers’ future medical care and $1.8 million to compensate him for the loss of his future earnings. His wife, Kristin Finn, was awarded $500,000 for the loss of her husband’s companionship.

Unavoidable Accident

Experts testified that Rogers was traveling between 41 and 59 mph at the time of the accident. His motorcycle did not stop until it had travelled 160 feet from the collision and Rogers was thrown 75 feet.

The state said Rogers crashed because he was drunk. His blood alcohol level was tested to be .09 when he reached a hospital about an hour after the crash. The legal limit is .08. However, one of the firefighters who responded to the accident testified that he did not smell alcohol when he removed Rogers’ helmet.

Rogers’ attorney said that no matter how sober Rogers was he was still going to hit the pig. And, the pig was there in the middle of the road in the middle of the night because the state of California refused to control wild pigs. The attorney argued that the state knew pigs were crossing the highway to eat vegetation in an environmental restoration project.

Other Collisions

Two other motorists testified at the trial that they had also collided with wild pigs along the same stretch of road. A limousine driver testified that he struck a pig near the scene of Rogers’ accident in May, 2003. The pig weighed 400 pounds but moved too quickly for the limo driver to avoid it. The pig significantly damaged the 40 foot long, 12,000 pound limousine and survived the crash. Sheriff’s deputies shot the pig.

After Rogers’ accident, the state posted a pig-crossing caution sign and hired hunters to control the local pig population.

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2 Responses to “Big Boar Settlement”

  1. Notsosure Says:

    I hope I don’t sound harsh or insensitive but this one has me scratching my head. I am sorry this rider and his family suffer so much. I am not sure how I would react in his place. However, where did his liability end? He was riding while over the limit, at night and in an area known for wild game. Didn’t he have some responsibility? Does that mean, God forbid, that when I nail a deer in Spearfish Canyon or get up close and personal with a pronghorn coming into Gillette that the states are somehow liable? Am I not responsible for my own decisions and actions? Don’t forget, the lawsuit awards are paid by the state’s insurance. I know, the State has insurance but the premiums come from somewhere. Additionally, all media reports fail to mention the attorney’s windfall of %25 to 33% of the settlement.

  2. Bear Says:

    Are you kidding me? WTF! Sorry the dude met a fate we all hope never befalls us, but that’s life. I CHOOSE to ride, I UNDERSTAND and ACCEPT the inherent dangers of not being wrapped in a cage with engineered crumply zones. Every day I listen to fellow citizens complain about our government involving itself in all aspects of our lives; becoming a nanny state. Well folks this is how it happens. Force the “government” (taxpayers) to pay up for every rotten thing that happens and they’ll legislate us into riding scotters with bumpers, airbags and adorned with warning labels. They’ll make certain stretchs of our favorite roads off limits to motorcycles because the road is too curvy or rocks sometimes fall or the pavement may be slippery when damp or, yes; there may be a chance that a fury / feathery creature may cross our path. Go ahead and chuckle. Friends, sometimes life just deals you a shitty hand; that’s as plainly as I can put it. In 26 years of riding I’ve had more close calls than I really want to think about, but luckly the “powers that be” havn’t chosen to show me just how frail my human body is. If that happens though; it was MY decision to be there on two wheels with the wind in my face and neither I nor my family will ask you to pay for it. The soapbox is free for the next man in line; I’m done.

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