Widow Files Claim Against City of San Diego for Husband's Death - Adamson Ahdoot LLP

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Widow Files Claim Against City of San Diego for Husband’s Death

November 10, 2022 Dev Jain

Woman alleges dangerous condition of unlit crosswalk caused her husband’s accident

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Last Valentine’s Day, a tragedy took place in a fatal accident that ended Howard Wilson’s life. The incident happened after Shirley Wilson’s husband went to the La Jolla Rehabilitation and Nursing Center to visit his wife. On his way out, a car struck and killed him in a dangerous crosswalk. Mrs. Wilson has now filed a claim against the city of San Diego alleging liability for her husband’s death.

Apparently, the city of San Diego was previously notified of the crosswalk’s bad condition. The city received warnings from patients and staff at the La Jolla Nursing and Rehabilitation Center about a poorly lit and dangerous crosswalk.

The alerts also came from the La Jolla Transportation Blvd. board. In 2020, the city was warned that not installing a more suitable lighted crosswalk may “expose the city to liability in the event of a future pedestrian accident.”

Wilson still hasn’t recovered from the hard blow. “He came to see me. We had a good visit together. He brought me a stuffed monkey and some candy. I was going home the next day. I haven’t been right since,” Howard’s widow said.

On June 30, Wilson decided to take legal action. The woman filed a claim against the city of San Diego, stating that the city failed to handle the treacherous crosswalk. Wilson also pointed out that her husband of 16 years was not the only one who died, but also her only caretaker who helped with her physical and mental impairments.

The woman declared she was “very mad” when she learned that the city was aware of the dangers of the crossing. “They knew what they did was wrong,” she claimed.

The La Jolla Traffic and Transportation Board urged city officials to take action in 2020

The city, in an action to manage street safety, put in a pedestrian-triggered crosswalk in 2018. But the crosswalk, as stated by Wilson’s legal claim to the city of San Diego, was “insufficiently” lit and wasn’t able to notify drivers of individuals traversing the street.

All of these concerns were addressed during a June 17, 2020, conference. Members of the La Jolla Traffic and Transportation Board warned the city about the risk of the 2550 Torrey Pines Road crossing. City officials insisted that action was necessary.

“The City has received a significant amount of complaints,” reads an excerpt from the committee’s meeting. “There is a high demand for parking on both sides of the road. This requires pedestrians to cross the street throughout the day. The nearest signalized crossings are several hundred feet away in both directions. We have received a significant number of complaints/concerns from citizens over the past year. All complaints are regarding the safety of crossing the street in this vicinity,” the statement says.

Wanting to improve protection, the representatives advised establishing a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon that places lights above the road that flash and direct drivers to stop at the crosswalk.

A widow filed a claim against the city of San Diego for the death of her husband.

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