A recent update to the city’s budget allows Los Angeles to dedicate $15 million to pay out settlements involving bicycle accidents that result from unsafe roads. Earlier this month, about $6.5 million of the budget was awarded to Peter Godefroy and his wife Patty. In 2015, Peter was riding his bicycle on Valley Vista Boulevard in the neighborhood of Sherman Oaks in Los Angeles when he hit what he described as a “concealed trap” in the road. The pothole sent Peter flying from his bicycle, resulting in several broken bones and a traumatic brain injury. Some of his injuries are permanent.
Due to Peter’s severe injuries, he and his wife filed a lawsuit for negligence against the State of California, the County of Los Angeles, and the City of Los Angeles. While it is not documented how fast Peter was actually riding his bicycle where he was unable to notice the pothole, he crashed with enough accelerated impact to cause life-long damage to his body. The City of Los Angeles has taken full responsibility for this accident, and ensures that the goal is to compensate those who suffer accidents from riding on unmaintained roadways.
This past spring, the city approved to settle a lawsuit filed by the family of a deceased bicyclist, Edgardo Gabat, who died in late summer 2014 after hitting uneven pavement and being thrown from his bicycle. Although Edgardo was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, a slight rise in the concrete caused him to flip over the bicycle three times. He landed on his neck. Edgardo’s unfortunate passing warranted $4.5 million in compensation, awarded to his family. Since the lawsuits of Edgardo Gabat and Peter Godefroy have settled, Los Angeles has announced the city’s objective and priority to provide its residents with safe lanes for transportation.