San Diego

City of San Diego Facing Another Lawsuit Over Sidewalk Injury

Van Nguyen is now asking for at least $25,000 from the city in damages

The City of San Diego is facing another lawsuit from a defendant claiming serious injury caused by a damaged sidewalk.

According to the complaint issued on May 4, Van Nguyen was seriously injured when he was thrown off his bike due to an uneven sidewalk near 4272 College Ave.

Nguyen's lawsuit against the city states: "Defendant [the city of San Diego) knew or, through the exercise of reasonable care, should have known about it. Defendant failed to repair the condition, protect against harm from the condition, or give adequate warning of the condition."

He is now asking for at least $25,000 from the city.

This comes just after the city settled a lawsuit in March which claimed Clifford Brown was seriously injured when he was riding his bike along a damaged sidewalk on College Avenue in 2014.

The City of San Diego has paid Brown $4.85 million. 

"Until we make the repairs that are necessary to the most dangerous conditions, we're going to continue to see lawsuits filed," said personal injury lawyer William Berman.

According to Berman, who represented Brown in the lawsuit against San Diego, the city knew the sidewalk was in dire need of repairs prior to Brown's accident.

Cynthia Hedgecock, wife of former San Diego mayor and conservative radio talk-show host Roger Hedgecock also sued the city after she tripped on a "poorly maintained" public sidewalk and allegedly ruptured her breast implants.

"I'm not surprised when I hear about these cases," Berman told NBC 7. "The city is going to continue to pay out money for lawsuits, when that money could be used to fix and repair the problem."

However, the city said it is addressing the issue, but it's not an easy fix.

Data sent to NBC 7 showed they have spent millions to repair sidewalks. In 2014 roughly $7.4 million dollars were budgeted and in 2015, almost $10 million, followed by $11 million in 2016.

For this year, San Diego has budgeted $13.3 million for sidewalk repairs.

But critics argue the problem is as open as some of the city's sidewalks.

"It's certainly going to take money and it certainly is going to take time to make all the corrections," said Berman. "It would be in everyone's best interest if the city were to put the money toward making structural repairs other than fighting and paying out large lawsuits."

The Office of San Diego's City Attorney declined to comment on Mr. Nguyen's complaint.

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