Dangerous Roadway- Pedestrian v. Auto: $515,000.00
Plaintiff, a 16 year old female student was walking to her grandmother’s home after school, when she was struck by a station wagon driven by an unlicensed driver. Plaintiff suffered a tibia & fibula fracture, orbit fracture, pelvis fracture, and closed head injury that caused depression and diminished cognitive ability. Plaintiff sued Defendant City for a dangerous condition of public property pursuant to Government Code Sec 835 and the Driver for negligence. Plaintiff contended that the City created a dangerous condition on the road by fencing off a pre-existing dirt path previously used by pedestrians to gain protected access to a bridge. Plaintiff contended that the fencing forced pedestrians to walk on the roadway surface in order to gain access to the bridge. Plaintiff also contended that Defendant City failed to warn pedestrians that they would be forced to walk close to the roadway edge. Defendant City denied any dangerous condition existed, pointing to the lack of other accidents on the road. Defendant City contended that proximate cause of Plaintiff’s injuries was the defendant driver, who was engaged in an argument with the occupants of the vehicle next to him when his vehicle struck plaintiff. Defendant City also contended that plaintiff should have walked on the other side of the street where there was a pedestrian sidewalk. Defendant City further contended that at the area of impact the roadway was the width of a standard roadway and sidewalk combined. Defendant City provided expert testimony that if a sidewalk had been in place the Defendant Driver’s vehicle would still have jumped the sidewalk and plaintiff would still have been struck. Plaintiff recovered $500,000.00 from City of Long Beach; $15,000.00 (Policy Limits) from Defendant Driver.