Judge DeFuria instructed the jury in Alterman v. Zep before closing arguments, so they would know what to look for, and told them he would instruct them again afterwards. Judge DeFuria told the jury that if they found by clear and convincing evidence that punitive damages were warranted, then the parties would provide additional evidence regarding the amount.
CVN is webcasting the trial live.
Plaintiff attorney Mitchel Chusid began his closing argument by leaving the podium and pointing at the two defendants Zep Construction and Traffic Control Products. He reminded the jury that they had all said during voir dire that they would be willing to award "a boatload of money" if the defendant's behavior was proved sufficiently egregious.
"The evidence is overwhelming in this case that what the two defendants did on that highway in October 2007 was despicable, and should never happen again." Chusid argued that they established a rolling roadblock on the downside of a hill with inadequate signage, and that only rolling barricades were permitted, not rolling roadblocks.
"I don't care who told who to move the signs," said Chusid. "These two defendants had control over that highway...All they had to do was provide two variable message boards...Nothing. Zero. Not one warning sign was sent out." All the defendants had to do, said Chusid, was to provide adequate signage, and then Tyler Brashear "wouldn't be here today, he would be playing basketball with his dad, and doing things that fathers do with their sons."