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Family Files Suit Against Monterey County for Hazardous Roadway


The family of Anthony Nicholas Narigi is suing Monterey County for alleged design flaws on South Boundary Road. Narigi, a 21-year-old Salinas man, was killed in a rollover accident on July 22, 2007 outside Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The suit also alleges that the 2002 GMC Yukon Denali in which Narigi was a passenger, had design flaws and that it was modified before it was purchased. Our source for this blog is a news report in the Salinas Herald.

Narigi was killed in the 7/22/07 rollover crash when he and his 18-year-old brother Dominick John Paul Narigi were driving from the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix races at Laguna Seca. The younger brother suffered serious injuries in the accident. Although California Highway Patrol officials initially said alcohol played a role, prosecutors later said there was no evidence to show that Dominick Narigi was drinking or intoxicated. The lawsuit alleges Dominick suffered permanent physical and emotional injuries as a result of road design and vehicle suspension defects.

The road where Narigi was driving was a recently paved roadway with inadequate signs, according to court documents. The lawsuit also states that the SUV’s lifted suspension was held in place by leather straps, which broke and threw the vehicle on its side. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and the Monterey County Board of Supervisors denied a claim for $6 million from Dominick Narigi and his parents, Roxane and John Narigi.

Monterey County has been named as the main defendant in this suit, which alleges that the fatal rollover accident occurred because of defective roadway design. Under the provisions of California’s Government Code Section 835, a public entity or government agency is liable for personal injury or death because of a condition of public property when the affected party proves that:

1. There was a dangerous condition on the public property at the time of the injury or death.
2. The injury was proximately caused by the dangerous condition 3. The dangerous condition created a reasonably foreseeable risk of injury of the kind that occurred and
Government Code Section 835.4 also states that a public entity may absolve itself from liability for creating or failing to remedy a dangerous roadway condition by showing that it would have been too expensive, impractical or unreasonable for the agency to have done anything else but what it did or did not do. In addition, Governmental Code Section 830.4 states that a dangerous condition cannot be the absence of traffic control or warning signs alone.

It will be interesting to see how the law is interpreted in this particular case. I wish the victims and their families the very best in getting the justice and compensation they seek for their tremendous loss and injuries.

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