The family of a biker in Los Angeles decided to file a lawsuit against the city after their loved one was killed in a deadly accident. The family claims that the city's failure to repair faulty sidewalks and infrastructure led to the death of the 56-year-old resident.
According to recent articles, Edgardo Gabat had just recently joined a Southern California biking club who called themselves “Adobo Belo” and was meeting them for the first time during a group ride on that fateful evening in Eagle Rock. It was just after sunset when the group rode past a street, known as Figueroa Boulevard, that contained a 2-inch ridge in the concrete. When Gabat's bike struck that ridge, it sent him forcefully flying forward. He flipped three times over his handlebars, eventually landing on his neck on the concrete said the family's attorney, Arash Homampour. Gabat had been wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
Reports released by California authorities state that Gabat was responsive when members from the biking club had come to his aid prior to calling 911. But by the time he was rushed and admitted into a local hospital, his condition had worsened. Hospital staff first announced that the man was brain dead and in critical condition before the family was informed that their loved one had passed away.
Gabat's wife and daughter spoke out against the accident and sued the city shortly after. The lawsuit detailed that city officials had neglected the defective pavement and should have posted signs warning bikers about the irregular conditions. Figueroa Boulevard was part of a bicycle route that was commonly traveled by local cyclists. And although the street does not contain designated bike lanes, it is classified in city documents as a “bicycle-friendly street.” The lawsuit mentioned that other bicyclists have been injured as a result of biking in that same area.
“If you're in a car and you encounter a 2-inch irregularity, it's of no consequence,” Homampour said. “When bicyclists are using a street, a 2-inch separation can be catastrophic.”
Local advocacy groups that push for safer transportation measures have been urging the city for months to take care of its decaying streets. They claim that their efforts have been blatantly ignored since the city's 2008 recession. City spokesperson, Mike Feuer declined to comment on these claims.
The Los Angeles City Council recently agreed to settle the Gata family's lawsuit for $4.5 million. An amount that will be distributed to family members over the course of two years. Attorney Homampour says the settlement is a step in the right direction.
“By bringing these types of claims, we want to bring to light the areas where the city isn't paying attention and where they need to improve,” Homampour said. “No one wants to have their husband go on a bike ride and then learn that he's died.”
If you have been injured due to the actions of another person, organization or entity, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Caulder & Valentine today to receive the compensation you rightfully deserve.