22 Oct Does Bob Barker Have a Case for his Fall on an LA Sidewalk?
Long time host of The Price is Right, Bob Barker, fell outside his home in the Hollywood Hills due to uneven sidewalk. John Phillips and Jillian Barberie talk with personal injury attorney James Bergener on John & Jillian AM 790 KABC about Bob Barker’s right to sue the city of Los Angeles for the condition of his sidewalk.
As James notes it depends how big the defect is. If the differential between one section of sidewalk and another is too large, then the hazard is considered to be “open and obvious.” In an “open and obvious” situation it is the responsibility of individuals to avoid it. If the differential is too small then it isn’t considered a defect at all. Listen to the segment on John & Jillian for more details on Bob Barker’s rights and options to hold the city responsible.
Jillian Barberie notes that Bob Barker doesn’t seem like the type to sue. But as James points out, many clients at Bergener Mirejovsky don’t sue the city for money, they sue the city to fix a hazard and prevent others from getting hurt in the future.
Anyone who has spent time in Los Angeles knows the sidewalks are a serious problem. More than 40% of public sidewalks in LA are in disrepair. The backlog to fix those segments is more than 70 years. How did this happen?
Sidewalks used to be the responsibility of the homeowners who lived on the adjacent property. But in the 1970’s the federal government made grants available for fixing city sidewalks. Los Angeles short-sightedly took the money and shifted the burden from homeowners to the city, freshly flush with federal funding.
When the funding ran out a few years later, the homeowners didn’t want the burden shifted back to them. The city didn’t want to pay for real maintenance. So instead the sidewalks sit in disrepair as they are uprooted by ficus trees with little patches of asphalt as temporary fixes. And that’s how you get to a situation where 4,600 miles of sidewalk need to be repaired.
Listen to the John & Jillian segment
To hear The Drive Home with John Phillips and Jillian Barberie tune into AM 790 KABC weekdays from 3-6pm.