Roberta Walker, a cycling advocate and the Executive Director of Cardiff 101 Main Street Association, along with her husband, John, filed a claim against the City of Encinitas for damages sustained in a bike accident. In December, she was hit by a truck at
No citations were issued and the Sheriff’s incident report is still not available, so other details are unknown. Ms. Walker reported that she was thrown a significant distance and was unconscious for a time after the crash. She was taken to a hospital in critical condition with injuries that included a brain bleed, a spinal injury and broken ribs. It has recently been reported that she is improving and our staff, along with many locals and cyclists, are hoping for her speedy recovery.
The claim states that there existed a dangerous condition of public property, including “confusing and distracting” pavement markings, confusing signage, and there was “no separate bicycle lane creating a dangerous condition on public property.”
Through this claim, Ms. Walker is seeking compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses and future loss of earning capacity. Mr. Walker is seeking damages for loss of consortium and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Although a dollar amount is not specified, the attorney added this statement to the form: “The claim is in an amount that would place it within the jurisdiction of the Superior Court and would be filed as an unlimited case.”
Both claimants are being represented by the law firm of Callahan & Blaine located in Santa Ana, California. The firm most notably obtained the highest personal injury settlement in United States history ($50 million) in a case involving pedestrians and bicycle lanes.
Roberta is a personal friend of the Mayor and council members. This relationship and some of their public comments may make potential litigation more difficult.
Soon after the accident, in an attempt to slow traffic along Highway 101 in Leucadia, the City placed speed bumps at various intersections within the Streetscape project boundary. Although slower traffic increases safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, it negatively impacts emergency response times and commute times. When considering the use of any new traffic calming design approaches, concerns about response times, safety and traffic flow should be reviewed and addressed as part of the city’s due diligence from engineers, planners, and fire representatives.
Friends and family of Roberta have set up a GoFundMe page for her here.