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Richard Bernstein is no stranger to tough situations. As someone who is visually impaired, he’s had to face numerous challenges in life–challenges that might make...
Call For Abolishment of Dangerous State Of Michigan Program
Attorney Richard Bernstein Wants M-DOT to Get Teens Off Freeway Shoulders
The family of Elisa Skinner-Bell, a 16 year-old honor student from Farmington Central High School, has filed a lawsuit on August 12, 2008, following her tragic death on June 27, 2008, while she was part of a group of teens working for the Michigan Department of Transportation (M-DOT) on the side of I-696 near Lahser Road.
Elisa was killed while part of an M-DOT eight-week summer program for students 16-18 years-old, with excellent academic and attendance records, called “Youth Corps,” which requires the students to pick up trash along the shoulders of the State’s busiest high-speed freeways. The suit details the lack of training, supervision, warnings to motorists and safety precautions in place for these students, which led to the death of Elisa Skinner-Bell.
According to the complaint, M-DOT failed to provide any barriers between its employees and oncoming traffic or other safety precautions similar to that offered to other individuals hired and contracted by M-DOT for construction and road maintenance.
The lawsuit asks the court to issue an injunction to abolish the dangerous “Youth Corps” program. It also seeks damages for the family from the driver of the vehicle that caused the crash that killed Elisa, as well as from M-DOT.
“We are filing this lawsuit because it’s clearly the only way to get the State of Michigan to take our best and brightest students out of harm’s way rather than on the side of a freeway,” said Attorney Richard Bernstein of the Sam Bernstein Law Firm in Farmington Hills. “One family has already suffered because of this program, and that’s one too many.”
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