Case details

Defense argued condition on road was open and obvious





Result type

Not present

arm, fracture, wrist
On June 30, 2011, plaintiff Ricardo Flores, 50, an international business development manager, was riding his bicycle in a marked bike lane on Cathedral Oaks Road in Goleta. Flores was riding in an area where the State of California Department of Transportation was in the process of realigning a portion of the road. As a result, Flores’ front tire struck a two-inch high step, causing him to fall off his bike and break his left wrist. Flores sued the entities that worked on the road, Caltrans, Shasta Constructors Inc., R Burke Corp. and the city of Goleta. Flores alleged that the defendants created a dangerous condition in their repair of the roadway, as well as in their failure to warn of the road’s condition. The city was ultimately dismissed on the first day of trial. Thus, the matter continued against all the other defendants. Flores’ counsel contended that Caltrans and its contractors created the step differential in violations of Caltrans’ design standards, and opened the road for use without signs or cones to warn of the dangerous condition. Counsel also noted that a similar bicycle accident occurred at the same location and that the bicyclist testified that there were no warning signs or cones in the area. Counsel further noted that the other bicyclist also testified that he could not tell there was step in the bicycle lane until after he was thrown over his bike. Caltrans claimed that it had put up signs warning of the construction area and that the condition was open and obvious., Flores sustained a fracture to his left, non-dominant radius and ulna. He was subsequently taken to a hospital and ultimately underwent an open reduction and internal fixation surgery on July 7, 2011. Flores claimed that he still suffers occasional pain and some limitation of motion in his left wrist. Thus, he sought recovery of $24,229.66 in past medical expenses, and an unspecified amount of damages for his pain and suffering.
Superior Court of Santa Barbara County, Santa Barbara, CA

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