This is an appeal of the judgment of the trial court which was in favor of plaintiff in her wrongful death action.
Plaintiff, Linda Vincent Wilkinson, individually and as natural tutrix on behalf of the minor, William Hayden Wilkinson, filed suit for the wrongful death of Harry Wayne Wilkinson against the State of Louisiana through the Department of Transportation
Defendant alleges that the trial court erred in finding that the defendant was at fault and that the fault was a cause in fact of the accident. We disagree. It was established at trial that the bridge was in a curve to the left for north bound vehicles. The bridge abutment was near the curve and was extremely difficult to see due to weathering. There was no delineator near the abutment and there was no guardrail to deflect vehicles from the abutment. Apparently, there had been a delineator which was down at the time of the accident. The necessity for some sort of warning was greater because of the location of the bridge in the curve since a failure to negotiate the curve would carry the north bound driver directly into the bridge abutment. That is exactly what occurred here. The deceased struck the abutment squarely causing his instant death.
Where there are unreasonably dangerous conditions on the road or shoulder, the state is charged with the responsibility of correcting them or posting adequate warning of their presence. Bialy v. State, 414 So.2d 1273 (La.App. 3rd Cir.1982), writ denied, 417 So.2d 367 (La.1982). The above facts, together with the expert testimony, support the trial judge's findings as to the dangerous nature of the bridge, the negligence of the state in not installing and maintaining adequate warnings, and the fault of the state being a cause in fact of the accident. We find no manifest error in the trial judge's ruling.
CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE OR VICTIM FAULT
The answer filed by defendants pled contributory negligence, but alleged no specific acts of negligence on the part of the deceased. At trial, plaintiff objected to questions asked by defendant's counsel relating to the issue of contributory negligence, specifically intoxication. The objections were sustained. Defendant then offered to amend the answer to specify that the allegation of contributory negligence was based on the intoxication of the deceased. The amendment was denied by the trial court. La.C.C.P. Art. 1151 states, in pertinent part:
Under the circumstances of this case, the denial of a defendant's request to amend his answer to assert an affirmative defense after the commencement of the trial is not an abuse of discretion. Joseph A. Oster & Associates, Inc. v. Car Wash Center and Owl, Inc., 330 So.2d 688 (La.App. 4th Cir.1976). We have previously ruled in Phoenix of Hartford Insurance Co., et al. v. Llort, 219 So.2d 789 (La.App. 1st Cir.1968), that facts to support an affirmative defense of contributory negligence must be alleged, and a defendant may not introduce evidence to support the plea where he has only pleaded the conclusion of contributory negligence and not the factual particulars thereof. We therefore find no abuse of
As to the quantum ordered by the trial court, we find that the figures awarded are well within the range of the trial judge's discretion. An abuse of trial court discretion must be clearly demonstrated by the record before an appellate court will tamper with an award of general damages. Anderson v. Welding Testing Laboratory, Inc., 304 So.2d 351 (La.1974). Here, our judgment is that there was no abuse of discretion.
For the reasons assigned, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed. Costs are to be paid by appellant.