Brandi Lynn Sutton, a 24-year-old woman, who suffered serious injuries in a Newport Beach car accident, has filed a claim against the city for a dangerous roadway condition. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, Sutton was in a crosswalk at the intersection of West Balboa Boulevard and 26th Street when she was hit by a taxi. Sutton says that the crosswalk was poorly lit, causing the accident. She broke both bones in her lower leg and suffered a concussion, knee, back and elbow injuries.
Dangerous Condition on the Roadway
Her claim states that there were several factors there that caused the dangerous condition of public property, including faded crosswalk paint and a street light that wasn’t working properly. Police reports, however, have a witness saying that Sutton was not in the crosswalk at the time of the injury pedestrian accident. The same witness also says that the street light on the northwest corner of the intersection was not working at the time of the collision and afterward, it only “came on intermittently.” City officials have rejected the claim, which is usually a precursor to a lawsuit.
Under the provisions of California’s Government Code section 835, a public entity is liable for the damages of a person injured because of a condition of public property when the injured person proves that:
- There was a dangerous condition on the public property at the time of injury
- The injury was proximately caused by the dangerous condition
- The dangerous condition created a reasonably foreseeable risk of injury of the kind that occurred
- The public entity had actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition a sufficient time before the injury to have taken measures to protect against the dangerous condition.
Government Code section 835.4 also states that a public entity may absolve itself from liability for creating or failing to correct a dangerous condition by showing that it would have been unreasonable because it is costly or impractical to remedy the situation.
If the situation involved a crosswalk and a street light, in my opinion, that would not have been costly or impractical for the city of Newport Beach to fix. I would encourage the city to spend the insignificant dollars it would cost to make those repairs instead of facing this type of liability where millions of dollars are involved. More importantly, fixing these problems could prevent serious personal injuries to pedestrians at this location in the future.
The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.