City slapped with another lawsuit over broken sidewalks

Woman injured after running into an uneven and cracked sidewalk in Linda Vista

Why should the City of San Diego pay for some expensive sidewalk study when it can just rely on the increasing number of lawsuits filed by pedestrians injured on San Diego's fractured and faulting sidewalks.

On June 5, Lily Mata filed suit against the City and San Diego Unified School District after getting tripped up on a uneven sidewalk in front of Kit Carson Elementary in Linda Vista in March of this year.

In her lawsuit, Mata claims that she encountered a sidewalk littered with debris, a "non-trivial ledge, height differential separating parts of the curbing."

"Plaintiff was injured in her health, strength, and activities, and sustained serious personal injury, and as a legal result of those injuries, incurred in the past and will incur in the future the expense of medical, nursing, physical therapy, dental, convalescent, hospice, and other treatment and care for those injuries; has suffered the temporary or permanent, partial or full, past and future loss of wages, earnings and earning ability..."

San Diego's sidewalks have been a divisive topic as of late. The issue has gained media attention in the form of a photo blog from Voice of San Diego. We covered the issue of dangerous sidewalk conditions in San Ysidro back in 2011.

In that article, 64-year old amputee Juan Mariscal lamented the difficulty he had using a wheelchair to get from place to place in his community.

“I couldn’t go anywhere,” he says in a thick Mexican accent. “I couldn’t roll the chair on the sidewalks. Too many bumps and cracks. Many places there are no sidewalks and you have to use the street.” Mariscal worries that doctors might have to amputate his other leg. If they do, he will be back in a wheelchair.

“It’s disappointing,” he says. “[The City] puts money where the rich live, but they forget about the poor communities like San Ysidro. Not all of us can afford electric wheelchairs. And that’s what you need to get around here because of the sidewalks. I can’t stay at home and do nothing. I’m not ashamed of being in the chair. I’m ashamed that my wife has to push me. It makes me look weak.”

As of late, councilmember Mark Kersey has lobbied the Mayor to appropriate $1 million for a citywide sidewalk study.

In the meantime, more lawsuits are likely to come. Click on the link below to read the latest:

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Nobody knows the amount the City of San Diego spends on planning, traffic studies, engineering studies, consultants which do not lead to any action, much less construction. Maybe they could do a study to see how much they spend on studies. Then, they could set aside a percentage of that to repair the sidewalks, and the problem would soon be solved.

$1 million for a study? Why do we always have to study something that is so obvious? Just get out there and fix them with that million dollars.

However, if you want a study, I'll do the study. I'll document everything with pictures, too. I believe it will take me six months at 12 hours a day, so I'll need $96,000 up front to do the whole City of San Diego. Once I'm finished and everyone sees the quality of my work, I'll be able to hire myself out to other cities in San Diego County! Maybe by the time I die I'll get to one million dollars for all these sidewalk studies!

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