Filing a case against a city or a county can take quite a long time, and there are numerous exceptions in law about filing lawsuits against local governments. But it’s not impossible, as one family found out.
My News LA reported on a family that won a round in court earlier this week. A judge ruled that their case can move forward. The case is against Los Angeles County regarding a motorcycle death near the Lincoln Dam.
A chain was stretched across a paved pathway near the dam. In 2018, a rider hit the chain late in the evening as he was heading toward the parking lot. He fell off the cycle and hit his chest on the pavement.
The chain was up because the gate that normally closed the path was broken, but the city did not put up any lights or reflectors to warn about the chain. The lawsuit claims that Los Angeles County is liable in the rider’s death.
The county tried to argue that the rider was on a trail, not a roadway, which would make them immune from liability. However, the judge disagreed and said that the lawsuit “clearly alleges now that the accident occurred on a roadway for motorized vehicles.”
The rider was not wearing a helmet when he crashed, but the cause of death was blunt torso trauma. This is sure to come up in future arguments about liability.