Regardless of how difficult court victories might be for those suing the city for dangerous sidewalk conditions, as long as conditions on city streets and sidewalks remain subpar, the lawsuits will continue.
In the latest lawsuit, cyclist Craig Robinson is seeking damages after he was seriously hurt in October of last year while riding his bike on a sidewalk along Carmel Valley Road.
According to the suit filed on January 23, Robinson was unable to maneuver around a section of uneven sidewalk. He was thrown from his bike and landed nearly 20 feet away. The impact resulted in five cracked ribs, a punctured right lung, fractured orbital, and brought on a serious bout of amnesia. Robinson spent the following ten days in the hospital.
"Plaintiff's accident and subsequent injuries were the direct and proximate result of city's negligence and their failure to ensure that public sidewalks are free of hazardous conditions like the one described above and safe to members of the public, including plaintiff for all reasonably foreseeable uses, and that the sidewalk and related structures were properly designed, built, constructed, and installed so as to be susceptible to becoming dangerous to the public."
The lawsuit comes less than two weeks after interim mayor Todd Gloria and councilmember Mark Kersey launched a $1 million project to assess the city's estimated 5000 miles of sidewalks. The program consists of arming engineering students from UC San Diego and San Diego State University with survey equipment and sending them off to find missing and deteriorated sidewalks. But as is often typical with expensive studies, the program got off on the wrong foot. As was reported by online news organization Voice of San Diego, complications in the hiring process resulted in six-month delays before it began.
Robinson is asking that the city pay his nearly $115,000 in hospital bills, $11,000 in physical therapy visits, as well as loss of earning and other damages.