Case details

City claimed no control over location of bicycle accident





Result type

Not present

anterior cruciate ligament, dislocation, knee, lateral meniscus, medial meniscus, tear
On Oct. 10, 2010, at approximately 3 p.m., plaintiff Steven Silva, a 47-year-old unemployed man, was crossing a bridge in Pico Rivera, riding his bicycle on a sidewalk along Whittier Boulevard on his way to the San Gabriel River bike trail. As he approached a driveway for access back onto the street, Silva was thrown from his bike, allegedly causing multiple to his left knee. He claimed a cement hole in the down slope of the driveway apron caused the accident. Silva sued the city of Pico Rivera. He alleged the city failed to properly repair and/or maintain the driveway apron, creating a dangerous condition of public property pursuant to Government Code § 835. Silva claimed that although he was riding on the sidewalk in violation of the city ordinance, it was only because a disabled truck was parked on the shoulder. He alleged that he intended to re-enter the street via the driveway apron, but encountered a cement hole and was thrown from his bicycle. Silva claimed the defect was on the down slope of the driveway apron and measured 3-inches deep and in excess of 12-inches long, causing the accident when he struck it. The city claimed that it did not own or control the driveway leading to a county-owned bike trial. Defense counsel disputed the veracity of Silva’s description of the accident, contending that the plaintiff’s description was not physically possible. Counsel argued that Silva made up the disabled truck to excuse his being on the sidewalk, and that the defect was not sufficient enough to stop his tire and cause him to be catapulted from the bicycle. Thus, defense counsel argued that Silva was comparatively negligent for violating a city ordinance that prohibited bicycle riding on the sidewalk., A family member took Silva to a hospital on the date of the accident. Silva claimed he completely dislocated his left knee, severing his anterior cruciate ligament, and tearing both his lateral and medial meniscus. He underwent an ACL repair in March 2011 and followed up with an orthopedic surgeon, who diagnosed instability and recommended reconstructive surgery. Silva also received two to three months of physical therapy. On Oct. 20, 2012, Silva underwent a second arthroscopy. Silva claimed he still experiences pain and discomfort in his knee, as well suffers a reduced range of motion that limits him physically. His orthopedic surgeon opined that Silva still needs a total knee replacement and additional physical therapy. Thus, Silva sought recovery of damages that included $60,000 for his past medical costs, $74,500 for his future medical costs, and $1.1 million for his past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel disputed the nature and extent of Silva’s and damages.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Norwalk, CA

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