Dawn McGauley and her attorney, Domina Law Group’s David Domina,
are asking the Nebraska Court of Appeals to reverse a Washington County
District Court ruling that dismissed her wrongful death lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed over the death of McGauley’s husband, James
McGauley. On June 9, 2011, he drove a dump truck along County Road P30
(CR P30) outside the Martin Marietta Materials-operated Fort Calhoun Quarry,
when his right front and back tires sunk into the shoulder of the road.
This caused his truck to overturn into a ditch filled with water, pinning
McGauley inside the cab. He was unable to escape, and drowned.
At the time, Martin Marietta Materials employees, including McGauley, were
transporting rock from the quarry in order to raise CR P30 and prevent
it from becoming submerged during the 2011 flood. The company had received
oral permission from Washington County three days before McGauley’s
accident to perform the construction on the road.
In her original lawsuit, McGauley alleged that Washington County and Martin
Marietta Materials failed to maintain the road during the flood, which
led to the death of her husband. In May, “[t]he court decided the
lawsuit on a preliminary issue and did not reach the merits,” Domina
told the Washington County Pilot-Tribune & Enterprise.
He intends to ask the Court of Appeals to review legal and factual rulings
of the original case, noting that some legal rulings were made, and others
were raised, that he will ask the appellate courts to settle.
According to testimony from Cheryl Parsons, a retired Washington County
highway superintendent, County roads department personnel were busy building
barricades for roads in order to deal with the flooding, as well as building
a new road to the Rolling Acres subdivision in order to prevent over 200
residents from being evacuated. These projects made those County workers
unavailable to assist with the construction on CR P30.
Domina does not expect a ruling by the Court of Appeals for a year or so.
Loss of Consortium in Wrongful Death Cases
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