A Twiggs County jury awarded more than $9.7 million to the family of a man killed on a rain-slicked Middle Georgia highway, finding the state Department of Transportation liable for $7.3 million of the judgment and holding the defendant driver responsible for $2.4 million.

The key issue facing GDOT, according to plaintiffs’ lawyer W. Carl Reynolds of Macon’s Reynolds Horne & Survant, was evidence that the stretch of I-16 where the wreck occurred was not sufficiently sloped to keep water from pooling on it and creating a safety hazard. “The whole thrust of our case [against GDOT] was failure to maintain,” said Reynolds, who tried the case with firm partner Bradley Survant. GDOT was defended by Assistant Attorney General Robert Bunner. Neither the state Law Department nor Macon solo John Carey, who represented defendant driver Eric Miller, responded immediately to requests for comment.

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