The Denver Post reports:
An Illinois woman who lost her arm when a car she was riding in collided with a dead cow on a Colorado road has sued the ranchers who owned the cow and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) for failing to maintain fences along state highways.
Tamara Bryant is seeking more than $75,000 in compensatory and punitive damages against ranchers John and Earl Reams and CDOT, according to the lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Denver.
Bryant was a passenger in an automobile that crashed into a cow carcass last December on Colorado 145 in Montrose County. The cow had been killed in a prior car collision shortly before Bryant's car hit the carcass.
The Reamses, who owned the cow, had sublet the grazing permit from rancher Trace Campbell who owned the BLM lease. The lawsuit states that the practice of subletting is illegal and it was illegal for Reames to have cattle on the land without a licencse or lease. Both the Reamses and Trace Campbell are named in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also states that CDOT did not maintain fences along the state highway sufficiently to prevent cattle from wandering onto the road, and the fence deteriorated and cattle had caused multiple accidents on the road.
Colorado, like many other western states, is a “fence out” state. However, Colorado statues do state ” it is illegal for cattle to run at large on lanes, roads, highways, etc” and “it is the duty of the division of highways to maintain right-of-way fences along and adjacent to all federal aid highways constructed by the division, where such highways are maintained by the division.”
Source: Denver Post
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