A San Diego Superior Court jury has returned an $8.4 million verdict in favor of a 66 year-old man who tripped and fell at the State of California’s veterans home located at 700 E. Naples Court in Chula Vista. On April 4, 2019, the man visited the home with a therapy dog to provide care to residents housed there. After completing that work, the man and his dog walked outside and headed toward a field on the property for the dog to relieve itself. On the way, the man tripped over an unusual second curb built on top of an existing curb.
The man tripped, struck his knee, and suffered fractures to his knee and toe. He later developed chronic regional pain syndrome from those injuries, a permanent and painful condition. The evidence at trial established that the State built the second curb in violation of approved plans and without any permit, inspection, or approvals. The second curb has existed at the property for more than ten years and remains in that dangerous condition today.
The jury determined that the curb was a “dangerous condition of public property” and that the curb was the cause of the man’s injuries. Lead trial attorney John Gomez of Gomez Trial Attorneys states, “This unauthorized curb is a potential death trap for not only visitors like my client but for the elderly veterans that live as this home. The State of California must do better for those we owe the most to.”
The jury’s verdict included compensation for future medical expenses and for both past and future pain and suffering and relating harms.
The second curb is pictured below: