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The City of LA To Pay Out $4.5 Million To Family of Cyclist Killed in Fatal Crash

Posted by Josh Valentine | Jun 14, 2017 | 0 Comments

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.

About the Author

Josh Valentine

All through my life, I have personally witnessed family members and very close friends endure divorce, child custody battles, bankruptcy, civil lawsuits and even fraudulent criminal accusations. I both saw and experienced the stress such events can place on an individual, and I realized that everyone, at some point in their life, needs hope, comfort, and encouragement. In each one of those situations, the person that was best situated to provide that vital support was their lawyer.  So that's why I became an attorney.  I understand what you are going through—and I'm here to help you.  Our office is focused on meeting your needs and guiding you through what may be the most difficult time of your life. Before attending law school, I worked for a law firm focused on record clearing services, including expungements, pardons, and motions for appropriate relief.  The vast experience and understanding of North Carolina's expungement laws that I have acquired has given me an advantage in defending criminal charges, because not only do I fight for the best possible outcome in your case, but I am also continually conscious of the long term effects that a criminal charge or conviction can have on a person's life.  As such, I will do whatever I can to insure that my clients will not end up with a criminal record.  I was born in New London, Connecticut, but spent the first few years of my life in Dallas, Texas, before moving to Rutherfordton, North Carolina in 2001.  Upon graduating from high school, I attended Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, where I majored in Accounting.  Eager to finish school, I began law school at Charlotte School of Law the day of my graduation from GWU, and completed my law degree in two years (instead of the typical three). During law school, I studied hard and strived to acquire the most experience possible so that I would be practice ready upon graduation.  The opportunities I gained included prosecuting criminal defendants through an externship with the Burke County District Attorney's Office, defending criminal defendants through Charlotte School of Law's Criminal Justice Clinic, and interning with Farmer & Morris, PLLC. I am blessed with a beautiful wife, Gabrielle Valentine, who is an attorney at Farmer & Morris, PLLC, in Rutherfordton, North Carolina.  In my free time, I enjoy helping with the youth group in my church, playing basketball and softball in our local church leagues, serving in the prison ministry, and spending time with my family.  Education: Charlotte School of Law J.D., Magna Cum Laude Class Rank – 21 of 328 Associate Editor of Charlotte School of Law Law Review Certification and Concentration in Employment Law Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society Order of the Crown Pro Bono Honors CALI Awards (Highest Grade)—Lawyering Process I and Contracts I Full Scholarship Gardner-Webb University B.S. in Accounting, Summa Cum Laude Distinguished Senior Student Award – Highest GPA Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honorary Society Bar Admissions: North Carolina State Bar


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