$6.6 Million Settlement with Residential Construction Contractors on Behalf of a Young Child Hit By Car
Parents of injured child hopeful that the lawsuit will result in tougher laws against construction contractors who maintain dangerous work sites which jeopardize public safety.
July 19, 2012 – SAN JOSE, CA – The San Jose, California personal injury law firm of Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard is announcing a $6.6 million settlement with general construction contractor Kip’s Kustom Homes of Los Gatos, CA, subcontractor Oliveira Plastering and Lathing of Gilroy, CA, and a homeowner in a case (Santa Clara County, CA Superior Court, Case #111CV209712) involving a 12-year-old bicycle rider left with major head injuries after being struck head on by a vehicle.
According to the lawsuit, the child was riding his bicycle on the sidewalk on his way to the Willow Glen library when he came upon a residential construction site on Hicks Avenue. According to the complaint, the sidewalk was blocked by a swing gate attached to a construction fence surrounding the perimeter of the house. Accordingly, the child was forced off the sidewalk and into the street where he was stuck head on by a car traveling in the opposite direction.
“In many wealthier communities in the Silicon Valley, including those in Palo Alto and Willow Glen, construction companies engaged in the remodeling of homes routinely block sidewalks and create safety hazards for innocent residents, and particularly children” claims Robert Allard, attorney for the family of the injured child. “Let this serve as a wakeup call for construction crews who come into residential neighborhoods and don’t think about the safety of a community first. Heed this warning: Do not block sidewalks for your convenience,” said Allard.
Allard indicated that the family intends to work with local and state legislators to strengthen laws in order to protect public safety from contractors who illegally block public right of ways for their own convenience. Studies show that pedestrian injury is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 5 – 14, and that motor vehicle crashes account for approximately 80 percent of all childhood pedestrian deaths. “The family feels strongly that the safety of pedestrians should not be further jeopardized by careless and sloppy contractors,” stated Allard.
States Allard, “In our experience, this sort of thing happens all the time as contractors have no fear of ever getting cited or fined for blocking public right of ways. Drive by any residential work site and the chances are that you will see the same thing. We need laws with more teeth combined with police officers who will enforce them in order to eradicate this dangerous activity from our society.”
The young child remains hospitalized since the July 2011 accident and requires around the clock medical care and assistance. “Now that the first phase of this litigation is over, we intend to continue to hold others responsible for this accident, principally fence supplier United Sites Services which selected this swing gate despite the knowledge that it is, in its own words, ‘often’ misused by contractors resulting in sidewalk blockage. The selection of a rolling gate, which this company per its website had available for a slightly higher fee, would have left no room for error,” stated Allard.