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Trash truck collision will cost L.A. $10 million in settlement

Pedestrian and Cyclist Disasters
L.A. to pay $10 million to settle case stemming from trash truck accident
Northridge woman had the right of way and was in a marked crosswalk when trash truck hit her in 2012

Los Angeles officials will pay $10 million to settle a lawsuit stemming from a 2012 accident involving a city sanitation truck and a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk.

Maria Becerra, who lives in Northridge, suffered severe injuries after being hit by a trash truck while she was crossing Reseda Boulevard. As a result of those injuries, Becerra has a limited ability to walk, is unable to conceive children and probably will not be employable, according to an analysis of the case prepared by the city's lawyers.

The analysis, submitted to the City Council, said it would not be "unreasonable" to expect a $20-million verdict if the case went to trial. Police determined in the wake of the accident that the trash truck has a blind spot.

Becerra, 26, had the right of way in a marked crosswalk and was described by the city's lawyers as "shy, soft spoken and stoic."

"A jury will have great empathy for her," the analysis states.

Attorney Mike Arias, who represents Becerra, described the settlement as fair. "We're appreciative that instead of forcing her to go through years of additional litigation, that this matter was able to be resolved," he said.

The City Council approved the settlement Wednesday.

 

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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