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Los Angeles Agrees to Pay $9.5 Million to Settle Lawsuit Regarding ‘Hazardously Designed’ Intersection

L.A. to pay $9.5 million to settle lawsuit over traffic collision (Credits: Los Angeles Times)

The city of Los Angeles has agreed to pay up to $9.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by a woman who claimed that a poorly designed intersection contributed to a traffic collision that left her injured.

On Tuesday, the City Council unanimously approved the settlement amount for plaintiff Jean Yuna Horihata. The incident occurred in February 2021 at the Oakshire Drive and Cahuenga Boulevard intersection in the Hollywood Hills.

‘Hazardously Designed’ Intersection (Credits: Los Angeles Times)

According to David Rudorfer, an attorney at Panish, Shea, and Ravipudi who represented Horihata, a traffic light pole had been damaged in another crash at the same intersection just days before the collision. As a result, the city installed a temporary traffic light on a pole beside the road.

Horihata was driving a 2004 Toyota Highlander on Oakshire Drive shortly before 8 a.m. when she attempted to turn left onto the northbound side of Cahuenga Boulevard after the light turned green.

David Rudorfer (Credits: Panish | Shea)

A driver in a 2004 Chevy truck traveling south on Cahuenga Boulevard failed to stop at the red light and collided with Horihata’s car. Rudorfer stated that the driver didn’t notice the temporary traffic light “until the last second,” and the placement of the temporary light made it difficult to see.

As a result of the collision, Horihata underwent neck surgery. In her lawsuit, she alleged that the intersection was “improperly and dangerously designed” by the city. Ivor Pine, a spokesperson for City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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