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$7.5M award upheld for Spokane-area crash that paralyzed woman


SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – Appellate judges in Washington state have upheld a $7.5 million jury award for a woman paralyzed in a motorcycle crash several years ago.

Madelynn Tapken was on a motorcycle with Conrad Malinak in 2011 when they crashed at a fork in the road south of Spokane. Spokane County employees testified at a trial that there were no warning signs about the maximum safe speed for the curve. The lawsuit alleged a bush blocked Malinak’s view of the sharpness of the curve.

A jury awarded $12.5 million to Tapken but found Spokane County was only 60% at fault for the condition of the road. The county appealed her $7.5 million award.

The Spokesman-Review reported Sunday three appeals judges affirmed the jury’s verdict.

County Risk Manager Steve Bartels wasn’t available Friday to say whether the county will appeal.

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