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Carlsbad accident victim receives $3 million dollar settlement

A significant portion of taxpayer money is designated for maintaining and improving our nation's infrastructure. In San Diego, like the rest of the nation, citizens trust the government with a chunk of their hard-earned money to ensure that our roads, highways, and interstates are both well-maintained and safe.

One California motorcyclist recently filed a lawsuit against the city government of Carlsbad, California, for violating this responsibility. The plaintiff was the victim of a serious 2008 motorcycle accident along Carlsbad's La Costa Avenue, and subsequently filed a suit against the city alleging that it had long known and chosen to ignore how dangerous this road could be. In response to the man's case, the Carlsbad City Council approved a settlement agreement totaling almost $3 million dollars

The motorcyclist was riding along a residential stretch of La Costa Avenue when he was struck by the driver of a Lincoln Navigator attempting to turn onto the avenue from her driveway. The victim was seriously injured and was left with permanent brain injuries. The Carlsbad City Attorney told reporters that the extent of the man's injuries greatly influenced the size of the settlement.

The city's attorney originally attempted to undercut the victim's case by arguing that the accident record for the contested section of La Costa Avenue was relatively clean. However, city records show that the area's residents have contacted the city numerous times over the course of several years asking officials to rework the roadway. Many complaints specifically stated the residents' fear of striking another motorist while entering or exiting their driveways.

The city pacified these complaints with small efforts such as temporary speed-check signs, but failed to address the dangers inherent in the road's design. Due to this failure, the life of one California motorist will never be the same. Who can tell how many other people might have been injured on this dangerous avenue if the plaintiff's suit had not forced the city to acknowledge the problem.

Source: North County Times "Carlsbad: City agrees to $2.9 million settlement for La Costa accident." Barbara Henry, 25 February 2011

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