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Millions Paid by City to Settle Lawsuits by Injured Bicyclists

The city of Los Angeles is paying dearly for not repairing its dangerous roads.

Treacherous bicycle lanes, pot holes and tree roots have caused bike riders serious injuries and even death, but now the city is being held liable in a series of multi-million lawsuits.

So far this year, the city will fight at least 17 lawsuits by injured bicyclists and settlements. The combined total this year has already outpaced the $15 million paid out last year in 2016, according to city records.

Peter Godefroy was severely injured two years ago while riding his bicycle in Sherman Oaks. He struck a pothole on Valley Vista Boulevard and was ejected from the bike. He suffered from a severe traumatic brain injury and multiple fractures.

Godefroy sued the city arguing that the streets were not properly maintained. In fact, he says, the pot hole was a “concealed trap for bicyclists.” This dangerous condition caused him to suffer a permanent disability. The Los Angeles City Council voted 11 to 0 to approve his $6.5 million settlement.

A $4.5 million lawsuit was settled last spring after 56-year-old Edgardo Gabat was ejected from his bike and killed when he rode on uneven pavement in Eagle Rock.

William Yao was awarded $7.5 million by the city of Los Angeles after he was severely injured three years ago in a bicycle accident on Reseda Boulevard in Porter Ranch. Yoa struck an area in the pavement where it had been lifted four inches from a tree root. He was thrown onto the pavement. Despite wearing a helmet he is now a quadriplegic.

The city had received numerous complaints about the dangerous condition that caused Yao’s injuries, but had not fixed the problem prior to his accident. In fact, the Bureau of Street Services classified the problem a “non-emergency” after they inspected the road defect. It turns out that the bike lane was painted by L.A. Department of Transportation workers on pavement that had not been previously examined and was not compliant with government standards.

These dangerous road conditions should have been repaired, but instead they caused life-changing injuries and disability to victims riding bicycles.

“The lack of maintenance by the city of Los Angeles has left many people badly injured and caused a death in some cases,” said Attorney James Johnson. “Millions of dollars will never make up for the losses suffered by these individuals.”

Others cities grapple with the same problems. Indeed, about eight months ago, San Diego paid a severely-injured bicyclist roughly $5 million to settle a lawsuit related to a damaged sidewalk. Three more similar suits involving unrepaired roads, sidewalks or lack of bike lanes are pending in the city for bicycle accidents.


Johnson Attorneys Group

If a negligent person, driver or entity has hurt you or a loved one, it’s important that immediate steps are taken to protect your legal rights. Governments such as the city of Los Angeles are required to maintain safe roadways. If a dangerous roadway or condition has caused you injuries they could be held liable. The insurance companies and businesses they represent will do everything in their power to minimize your injuries, blame innocent people and reduce the amount of compensation owed to you. Johnson Attorneys Group has been helping clients in throughout California recover financial losses for more than a decade. Contact us for a FREE CONSULTATION at 800-235-6801.

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