The Hedgecocks sue city over Pacific Beach sidewalk slip

Charge: silicone breast implants ruptured

Roger Hedgecock "has suffered the loss of support, service, love, companionship, society, affection, relations and solace from his wife."
  • Roger Hedgecock "has suffered the loss of support, service, love, companionship, society, affection, relations and solace from his wife."

Cynthia Hedgecock and her husband, Roger Hedgecock, former mayor and retired radio talk show host, have sued the city in Superior Court over an accident. The city was served with the suit in November and a spokesman for the city attorney's office said the suit will probably go to trial in the second half of this year.

According to the suit, Mrs. Hedgecock tripped and "came crashing to the ground" on "a poorly maintained sidewalk" on July 31 of 2015. The sidewalk was on Morrell Street approaching Grand Avenue.

"Mrs. Hedgecock suffered serious personal injuries," according to the suit. "Mrs. Hedgecock's breasts were irreparably damaged." She learned in early September of 2015 that "both of her silicone breast implants had ruptured and that silicone had been leaking into her bloodstream since the fall on the public sidewalk." In November she "endured the medically necessary bilateral implant removal…in a grueling procedure." She required weeks to recover.

"In addition to the injuries suffered by Mrs. Hedgecock, plaintiff Roger Hedgecock has suffered the loss of support, service, love, companionship, society, affection, relations and solace from his wife" as a result of the injuries, according to the suit. Thus, both Cynthia and Roger seek compensation that will be determined at trial, according to the suit.

Read The Unbearable Rightness of Being Roger Hedgecock by rock critic Richard Meltzer.

Questions and Answers, transcripts from 1984 grand jury investigation into Hedgecock campaign finances.

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I gotta find me a bad sidewalk somewhere. Like the jerk who was riding his bike so fast he was launched 28 feet and then skidded for another 10... what was it, about $5 million or so? he should have received a huge freaking ticket, not a check!

I does sound to me like the cyclist in that incident should have been assigned the lion's share of responsibility for what happened.

ImJustABill: I don't know about the lion's share, but certainly a good share. Such incidents, however, put the spotlight on San Diego's serious weakness: neglect of the infrastructure. Best, Don Bauder

jnojr: I wouldn't go looking for a dangerous sidewalk to fake an injury. I would join the chorus saying that raising hotel taxes is OK for fixing the infrastructure, but not for an addition to the convention center. Then these sidewalks might get fixed. Maybe Roger Hedgecock can join the campaign. Best, Don Bauder

Well, since it is April 10, not April 1, we can assume it isn't April Fools. I have often said that the real news in the Reader is sometimes stranger than the spoofs we used to see from Mencken.

Not to be unkind to the lady, but this is testimony of reasons for not getting implants.

Visduh: Yes, this is not an April Fool's joke, as I explained in detail to Flapper. It is my understanding that there are other reasons for not getting implants.

Incidentally, a couple of decades ago I was on a panel in San Diego. The speaker in front of me kept referring to the great tech center of SILICONE Valley. When I got up to speak, I said that SILICON Valley is that tech area around San Jose. SILICONE Valley is Hollywood. Best, Don Bauder

Flapper: There is a copy of the suit above. Its existence was tipped to me, and I asked Dorian Hargrove of our staff to retrieve it from Superior Court. He did and sent it to me. I tried with no success to reach Hedgecock's attorney, who was in the office but didn't call me back. However, in the meantime I got to the city attorney's office which said it will probably go to trial in the second half of this year. Nothing fake about it. Best, Don Bauder

No fair hedging about Roger's -a-doodle-doo.

Flapper: "Hedging?" Not so. Best, Don Bauder

bcoldpro: There is nothing in the suit about a Roger implant. Best, Don Bauder

About 1971, I had a meeting with Roger, a real roger-boy, whose doodle-doo blew wherever the political winds were headed to . . .

Flapper: Please. No more doodle-do. Best, Don Bauder

Heathen! No appreachun fer fine pounetry.

Flapper: "Fine" punditry? You deserve a fine for that one. Best, Don Bauder

An amazing Reader scoop. And an excuse for another of those predictably amusing Bauder threads, including the funny anecdote about Silicone Valley. Thanks also for the suggestion to use the proposed hotel tax hike to fix our streets and sidewalks rather than add to an already-expanded convention center.

monaghan: It's not just that the convention center has been expanded before. The point, as I am sure you understand, is that convention centers in the U.S. are grossly overbuilt -- so overbuilt that prices to convention planners are being sliced 50 percent. (Comic-Con's payout was about cut in half.) Why build into a vast glut? It's just corporate welfare for the hoteliers.

But raising the hotel tax to fix the infrastructure is logical. Best, Don Bauder

Don, do you think citizen/voters know that convention centers are black holes, being over-built everywhere, driving down prices? I didn't know that Comic-Con is now paying cut-rates to the City of San Diego compared to days past because of this race-to-the-bottom competition.

The Mayor's special election to raise hotel taxes for tourists ought to call for citywide infrastructure repair, which would do more for tourism here than any crazy convention center expansion. Can the transient occupancy tax legally be used for infrastructure repair only if the ballot language specifically calls for it? Could the Mayor be pressured to run a second measure on the same ballot for the higher hotel tourist tax to benefit local streets and sidewalks? And how big a vote is required to pass the higher hotel tax on tourists for either purpose? Do you think voters will be blind enough to pass this measure as it stands? As you say, this is Mayor-enabled corporate welfare.

monaghan: I have been writing about the vast glut of convention space for years. Yet cities keep expanding centers. It is literally crazy, when there are so many legitimate government functions, such as infrastructure, that are critical -- not just welfare for hoteliers.

You should read Heywood Sanders's book, "Convention Center Follies." It just goes into one city after another. The scam: the hoteliers, a powerful political bloc, want more revenue. Politicians lick the hoteliers' shoes. The city hires a consulting firm to determine whether an expanded center is needed, and how much revenue will rise once it is expanded. But the consultants are paid whores; they report what the people paying the bill (city leaders) want to hear. And that's to build or expand a center.

The consultants predict just how much additional revenue will come in. As the book relates in detail, the predictions are far, far above actual performance. The center and the city go into a black hole. Almost no U.S. center is in the black. Taxpayers, who get skinned for the expansion, are deeply in the red.

This is going on almost everywhere in the U.S. Prices are slashed 50 percent because of the glut. But the building continues. Read that book. You will scratch your head and wonder how hoteliers can be so greedy and how city leaders can be so stupid. Best, Don Bauder

Bet those were already old implants in need of a surgery. And he's suffering??

shirleyberan: According to the suit, Roger has suffered grievously for time spent without a healthy wife, and should be paid by the city -- not just his wife. Best, Don Bauder

If it's the sidewalk on the east side of Morrell where the silk oak (?) is growing on private property, the owner should have been named too. The tree has been brutally cut back and consists of two weak side-branches; it also is leaning toward the street. The silk-oak is known for its brittleness. Want to take any bets on whether it will fall over first or a branch kills somebody? The City also did its usual lackadaisical "diligence" where the sidewalk is raised by ramping the discontinuity with a patch of asphalt. So the City is at phalt, along with the property owner, and should stop hedging about sillicone and pay up.

Roger's record as mayor also should be researched and he should be held accountable for mismanagement of the city sidewalks during his reign. Did he squeeze the Street Division budget like the present/recent ones have so that fat replacement contracts could be handed out when the public squawking got bad enough that they could get a bond issue passed because of premature street/sidewalk disintegration due to insufficient funds for pothole-prevention?

Flapper: The city is not just lackadaisical in sidewalk maintenance. It is almost criminal in its neglect of the infrastructure -- streets and sidewalks, sewers, storm drains, water facilities and the like. The mayor wants an increase in the hotel tax, but overwhelmingly, the proceeds will go to expansion of the convention center, not paying attention to the rundown and dangerous infrastructure.

Actually, Faulconer ran on a campaign based on infrastructure. He has abandoned it in favor of currying favor with downtown oligarchs. Best, Don Bauder

I believe it was part of a plan (you might call it the Trump Method, which I hear you can get through Trump Yo U if you are a veteran). And the lion shall lie up and down to the lamb . . . goes the old spiritual.

Flapper: Among many, many outrageous claims, Trump in his campaign said he would eliminate crime. Not reduce it, eliminate it. Yes, he said that. I heard it. As long as humans are on earth, no one is going to eliminate crime. Indeed, claims of crime reduction are often a statistical chimera.

Crime is a uniquely human phenomenon. Animals can't commit crime, in my judgment. We once had a female cat, our first, who was impregnated by a large male cat. We were left with six kittens. I tried several times to serve that tom cat with a paternity suit, but he would always get away Best, Don Bauder

I think cats have to have hats to qualify for suits--or even neckties. Tom had probably been to Trump YoU. If he eats lamb pizza with a fourk, that's confirmation. If he chases pussies, well, you know . . . If he grabs them, that's it.

Flapper: I didn't have time to ask the tom cat if he had attended Trump U. As I said, he got away -- several times, actually. Best, Don Bauder

This lawsuit is about Cynthia Hedgecock. If she experienced what is claimed in the suit, she deserves to collect for pain and suffering. I hope the story spreads because it illustrates how widespread the infrastructure negligence has become in the City. The streets and sidewalks are a public safety issue that Faulconer and the Council are ignoring at their peril. If Faulconer even tries to run for a higher office, the streets and the homeless neglect stories in San Diego are going to be his only legacy. How can he point to any accomplishments? Nobody in the rest of California is going to care if the SDSU Surf Major expanded the convention center or has a soccer field. People are suffering serious injuries because the City can't or refuses to do basic infrastructure upkeep.

I think KF would actually have an excellent chance at winning a state election. The state legislature and governor have made it clear that their only priorities are advocating for far-left wing policy positions. For example, CA is a blue state but not everyone in CA is far left wing enough to favor putting more money into a high-speed rail project which is clearly not cost-effective rather than taking care of basic transportation needs. I think a moderate Republican like KF would have an excellent chance of getting elected.

ImJustABill: It would be sad if a charming, ineffectual corporate welfarist were elected governor of California. Best, Don Bauder

"a charming, ineffectual corporate welfarist" - great line. Maybe that could be the heading on his wikipedia page.

ImJustABill: But I don't write for Wikipedia. How about the headstone on his grave? Best, Don Bauder

Well hopefully he has a way to go before that. He still has time to change his fate.

ImJustABill: The mayor continues to back deals in which a private sector firm gets a massive subsidy from local government. And he continues to give infrastructure a pittance. Best, Don Bauder

Ponzi: If the suit accurately relates Cynthia Hedgecock's injury, she definitely deserves to get a payment. The court case will determine whether the charges in the suit are accurate. However, I can't go along with Roger getting a payment for loss of love and companionship while Cynthia was recovering. I don't know how old Roger is, but he may be only five or ten years younger than I am, and may be almost as old. I am almost 81. All of us who reach this age have to make do when a spouse is incapacitated. Best, Don Bauder

Don, I agree with you. Roger has not been suffered enough damages to warrant much of a claim. Cynthia, regardless of what people feel about breast implants (sometimes they are for reconstructive surgery) does have an action. Not sure why Roger muddies the waters with his claim or how it will play out if it ever reaches trial. I feel for anyone who has injured themselves because of the city's failure to maintain safe streets and sidewalks. Unacceptable.

Ponzi: In lawsuits, lawyers tend to ask for the moon and are satisfied when they get a lot less. Best, Don Bauder

He's just a kid--70. He was barely out of law school when I met with him; he had a Giant Suckin' Sound even then.

Yes, the infrastructure always has been "neglected." That's how you put the squeeze on taxpayers for a bond issue--and the money goes 'round and 'round, whoa, a whoa, whoa, and it comes out here, in your offshore account, dut, dut, dut de doo . . .

The CA state legislators just pulled that squeeze in epic fashion - with SB1 raising CA car and gas taxes by about 50B over the next 10 years to (supposedly) pay for transportation infrastructure needs which have been neglected over the years.

Personally, I'll believe the money will actually go into transportation infrastructure when I see it.

ImJustABill: California's new taxes are regressive -- that is, they are particularly hard on the poor and those in the middle class. Best, Don Bauder

Yes. For example, someone with a family income of 80K who commutes from the "Inland Empire" into LA or OC will be hit hard.

ImJustABill: Those from Riverside-San Bernardino who commute to LA, OC and SD may make less than $80K. Best, Don Bauder

Flapper: I read this morning that some council members want more of the bond proceeds to go to the homeless situation. That is another problem deserving attention. But the convention center expansion is not, NOT. Best, Don Bauder

Sucker . . . I hope I'm wrong, but if it gleams like a shiny object, and vibrates like a shiny object . . .

Flapper: I don't think you are wrong. Best, Don Bauder

It would appear that here implants cushioned her fall thus saving her from facial injuries. Air bags for an old bag.

AlexClarke: I have no idea whether the implants cushioned her fall, thus sparing her face lacerations. We must take her fall and subsequent hospitalization and pain very seriously. It is one more indication of what happens when a city neglects infrastructure to spend taxpayer money on corporate welfare. Unless the charges in the suit cannot be proven, she deserves a payment from the city. However, he doesn't, in my opinion. Generally speaking, I don't like those payments for psychological upset, etc. Best, Don Bauder

But, according to Mayor Faulconer we need to expand the convention center.

AlexClarke: The downtown plutocrats, at whose feet the mayor bows, want a convention center expansion. They hope the hoteliers will win as the number of conventions grows. But I say that this probably wouldn't happen in light of the huge overbuilding of convention centers in the U.S.

There is another point I haven't touched on here: how many citizen-taxpayers in San Diego ever use the convention center? Best, Don Bauder

Slickly slimy to lump lowdown superfluous downtown dreaming with homelessness and needed repairs or street lights everywhere around.

shirleyberan: Well said. I hope you will stand up and fight San Diego leaders who want to spend taxpayer money on corporate welfare (sports stadiums, convention center expansions, etc.) and neglect a true function of municipal government: the infrastructure. Best, Don Bauder

Mike Murphy: I strongly doubt the Hedgecocks filed the suit to get media attention. In fact, I think they hoped not to get media attention. Best, Don Bauder

Alpine Mike: Cynthia Hedgecock's injury was a serious one. If the suit's charges can be proved, she deserves a payment. But as I have said previously, a payment to Roger for his suffering while his wife was out of commission is NOT deserved. Best, Don Bauder

"It is one more indication of what happens when a city neglects infrastructure to spend taxpayer money on corporate welfare. Unless the charges in the suit cannot be proven, she deserves a payment from the city." --Don Bauder

I ain't no lawyer, but I think ineffectual repairs are worse than none at all in court. That is, the City recognized the problem, and an ineffectual "fix" can be seen as making it worse. Either way, THE TAXPAYERS are the only ones to suffer other than the injured party--for which no amount of "compensation" makes them whole.

Flapper: I have talked about the mayor being ineffectual, not the sidewalk repairs. Those may have never been made at all. Best, Don Bauder

I remember when Pete Wilson "balanced" the budget. He was praised at the time but he did it by deferring infrastructure maintenance. It costs three times as much to repair as to maintain.

AlexClarke: Balancing the budget through prestidigitation is wrong, but all too common. Best, Don Bauder

". . . a true function of municipal government: the infrastructure." --Don Bauder.

Public health and safety.

The trouble is, public employees and politicians are shielded from lawsuits for all sorts of "misdeeds."

Flapper: Shielded even from taking money under the table? No. A few of them get caught. Best, Don Bauder

Ok. Consider this.

One street superintendent is on top of street maintenance. Every year, his crews are busy filling cracks--a very cheap pothole prevention measure. His budget is cut and he finds it impossible to keep up. He is canned and replaced with a more "cooperative" superintendent. Soon the cracks are not filled. Water gets in, degrading the base. The pavement fails, potholes form, and there is even less resources to "fill" potholes--a futile and more expensive way to "fix" streets. Soon, the road surface disintegrates. A bond issue is floated. Money flows into the pockets of the "low" bidders. Change orders make them rich. They make campaign contributions. Department heads upon early retirement get corner offices and great sexretaries plus benefits and retirement from the contractors. The become lobbyists who lay out the choices for their successors, but the latter nearly always already are aboard with the system--self-perpetuating.

Different versions of this are de riguer in all departments.

Examine the records. Or find some young interns to do it.

Flapper: You have explained the scam very well. San Diego is run by the construction industry, which buys off politicians. After they retire with an overly fat pension, land use bureaucrats become well-paid lobbyists for the construction industry. Best, Don Bauder

Nihilists lack love and overcompensate by procuring other things instead.

shirleyberan: True, but who on this blog is a nihilist? Best, Don Bauder

Scott Mark: The word "sqoze" throze me for a loop. Best, Don Bauder

Greg Howard: The word "geg" mystifies me. Best, Don Bauder

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