Could cities be liable for road where it occurred? – About Your Online Magazine


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The Los Angeles County sheriff said the department should not pursue any charges against Tiger Woods.

USA TODAY

LOS ANGELES – The two cities responsible for the road on which Tiger Woods crashed his car and suffered serious leg injuries on Tuesday could be responsible for the accident, according to a California lawyer who said he was involved in similar cases.

Neil Shouse, a former Los Angeles district attorney, cited the 13 accidents that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said occurred on a stretch of windy and sloping road in Rancho Palos Verdes and Rolling Hills Estates, where Woods fell.

“These would be data that would alert cities that it is a dangerous stretch of road, ” Shouse, who now runs his own law firm, told USA TODAY Sports. “And your failure to take reasonable measures to alleviate that danger, whether to redesign the road or add a traffic light, reduce the speed limit, add speed reducers, take various measures to reduce the risk, your failure to do so can subject them to responsibility. ”

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City officials at Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes declined to comment when contacted by USA TODAY Sports and asked about the accident history on that stretch of Hawthorne Boulevard. Cities share the jurisdiction of the road, according to Los Angeles County.

The road has a speed limit of 45 miles per hour, but a sheriff’s deputy said he has timed cars going at 80 mph.

The Los Angeles County sheriff said there was no evidence that Woods was injured during the accident and called it “purely an accident”.

Shouse said he was involved in at least 10 lawsuits against public entities for dangerous roads or dangerous road conditions and won about half of the cases.

“It can be difficult to sue the sovereign and sometimes fight the city,” he said. “But if you do it successfully, it can be a big case for the customer.”

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Woods, 45, underwent surgery Tuesday after he maintained open fractures that affect the upper and lower parts of his right tibia and fibula, the two main leg bones during the accident. ONE rod was inserted into his tibia to stabilize the bones, according to Anish Mahajan, the medical director and interim CEO of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where Woods was treated.

Michael Jenkins, a city attorney and adjunct professor of law at the University of Southern California, said the main factors include determining whether there was “real or constructive knowledge” of the dangerous condition and whether the condition is objectively dangerous.

“These are investigations that depend a lot on the facts,” said Jenkins. “Ultimately, the question is whether there is a dangerous condition of public property.”

In saying that he was not commenting on Woods’ situation, Jenkins addressed “the idea of ​​law”.

“The question of whether we are always blaming others for the problems we find ourselves in and when we take responsibility,” he said. “It’s always someone else’s fault. It seems to be a modern phenomenon.”

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Paula Fonseca