A woman has filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles, both the county and the city, as well as the state of California, contending those governments are liable for injuries she sustained last year after she was struck by a car. With a homeless encampment occupying the sidewalk, she opted to walk on the street.
ABC 7 reports that Debra Todd’s negligence suit was brought forth on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court. It is seeking unspecified damages.
Todd says through her suit that on Oct. 4 she was going through a “sprawling homeless encampment” under the Hollywood (101) Freeway when she had to walk onto the street because there was no room to pass on the sidewalk. She was hit by a vehicle traveling south by a driver who was unaware of the encampment or its size. It also says both Todd and the driver’s view were obstructed by the encampment.
Todd, who is 64 years old, says she was at the overpass to give out sandwiches, water, and potato chips to the people at the homeless community, according to the Los Angeles Times. She says the accident caused injuries to her head, arm, hip, back, and leg. Her lawyer Alan Turlington said she suffered a mild traumatic brain injury which could be permanent and make future medical treatment necessary. Turlington said his client expects her earning capacity to be diminished as a result. Todd claims the defendants knew the encampment created a dangerous situation but failed to warn the public.
A homeless man was also hit by the driver in the same incident, though he declined medical treatment.
The legal filing comes days after L.A.’s Mayor Eric Garcetti signed a law that will allow the City Council to get rid of encampments that are deemed a safety threat or are within 500 feet of a freeway overpass.
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