Aram Megerian, representing Traffic Control Products, began his opening statement by asserting that "Pablo Merlos was the sole cause of this accident because he was not paying attention for at least 10.5 seconds before [the accident.]" He did virtually nothing for those 10.5 seconds. Megerian then counted to ten seconds, "One-one-thousand, Two-one-thousand..."
According to Megerian, the truck driver did not apply his brakes until the very last second. "After hitting James Brashear's car, and 10 other vehicles, the truck traveled another 200 feet." Megerian said there was "no doubt" that the truck was traveling at 70 miles per hour.
Mejerian said that the truck driver "was given more than enough warning, and he chose to ignore every one of those warnings." First, there was a "construction ahead" sign, approximately 2 miles before the construction. "He did not turn off his cruise control. He did not become more alert."
Megerian urged the jury not to allocate any damages to Traffic Control Products (TCP) because TCP was not responsible for safety at the time of the accident, and did not plan the rolling roadblock, even if one TCP employee participated in the rolling roadblock.
But in any case, Mejerian urged that Tyler Brashear would be more than adequately compensated by $700K-$750K, rather than the plaintiff's suggestion of $500K/year for 60+ years, which would be more than $30M. Houses cost $250K, said Mejerian; cars cost $20K.