San Diego awards $85,000 to former mayor's wife in suit over sidewalk fall that ruptured breast implants

A jury awarded $85,000 to the wife of former San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgecock on Wednesday for ruptured breast implants she suffered during a 2015 sidewalk fall.

The verdict for Cynthia Hedgecock came after a three-day trial that focused on whether the fall in Pacific Beach caused one of her silicone breast implants to leak beyond a normal enclosure of scar tissue.

An attorney for Hedgecock said the city behaved with negligence and carelessness by not repairing a 2.5-inch concrete lip in a public sidewalk, caused by a tree. The Hedgecocks also argued that San Diego’s sidewalk policy is flawed because the city has no inspection system and no repair protocol.

The award by the jury includes $19,900 for medical expenses, which covers surgery to repair the implants, and $65,000 for physical pain and mental suffering.

City Atty. Mara Elliott, whose office found evidence that the implants already needed replacement, said she might appeal.

“We fought hard to protect taxpayers and make the plaintiff prove her case,” Elliott said. “We will now consider whether to appeal.”

Roger Hedgecock was mayor of San Diego from 1983 to 1985, when he was forced to resign amid scandal. He later pleaded guilty to conspiracy involving illegal funding of his mayoral campaign.

Garrick writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

david.garrick@sduniontribune.com

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