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Mom's lawsuit over son's death headed to Georgia Supreme Court | News

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Mom's lawsuit over son's death headed to Georgia Supreme Court

Next week, the Georgia Supreme Court will hear a lawsuit by a mother who blames the state Department of Transportation for her son's death at a Macon construction site in May 2005.

According to a summary from the Supreme Court of Georgia, Larry Bowen, Jr. was working for Reeves Construction Company on a road construction and widening project at Eisenhower Parkway and Log Cabin Drive.

His tasks included monitoring traffic signals and directing equipment across the intersection. Around 11:20 p.m. on May 5, Bowen was struck by a car and knocked to the ground. He was then hit by a second car and died at the scene.

Mary Wyche, Bowen's mom, filed a lawsuit two years later against the Georgia Department of Transportation, claiming negligence in failing to provide appropriate signage and lighting at the intersection. failing to inspect safety procedures and failing to ensure a proper traffic control plan was approved and enforced. The drivers told traffic officials it was dark, and they hadn't seen signs showing construction was ongoing. 

The DOT filed a motion to dismiss, arguing it was protected from civil or criminal prosecution by sovereign immunity. That's the legal doctrine that the state can't be sued or prosecuted. The motion was denied.

The DOT then appealed to the Court of Appeals, which reversed the trial court's ruling, saying the DOT was indeed protected because the Department was responsible for traffic control and inspections.

Wyche's appeals hearing is Tuesday.The court's decision is not expected for several months.



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