LITCHFIELD, Conn. (AP) _ A jury has awarded $1.6 million to a Thomaston man who sued the state Department of Transportation over injuries he suffered in a 2007 accident on an icy road.

The Superior Court jury found the state agency was at fault for not making the black ice on Route 8 safe for drivers.

The plaintiff, 56-year-old Gary Merrill, said he suffered debilitating back injuries when the car carrying him and three other people overturned.

Witnesses testified during the trial that state police had reported icing more than an hour before the crash as water from melting ice froze on the road, and Merrill’s attorneys argued the state agency did not take appropriate measures.

An attorney for the DOT told jurors the response time that night was reasonable given the road conditions.

     (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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