L.A. to pay $21 million to man injured by falling street lamp part

A view of City Hall and its reflection, from the United States Courthouse.
A view of City Hall. The City Council unanimously approved a settlement of up to $21 million for Ismael Soto Luna after part of a street lamp fell on his head.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

A man injured by a falling street lamp part will receive a settlement of up to $21 million from the city of Los Angeles.

In November 2020, Ismael Soto Luna was at Roscoe Boulevard and Noble Avenue in Van Nuys when a 2-pound metal cap from a street lamp struck his head, knocking him to the ground, according to a lawsuit he filed against the city.

The impact fractured his skull, and three months later he was diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury, the lawsuit said. His condition progressively worsened, and in 2023 he was diagnosed with dementia, according to the lawsuit.


City regulations require a street lamp cap “to be secured in place such that the regular forces of nature would not cause it to become loose and fall,” the lawsuit said.

Ivor Pine, a spokesperson for the city attorney’s office, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

The City Council approved the settlement Friday.

The council also approved other settlements, for a total of more than $40 million.

Claimants included a man who alleged that an LAPD officer in a department vehicle hit him while he was crossing the street in downtown L.A. will receive $15.25 million.

In another case, a lawsuit in which a man allegedly suffered severe injuries after the wheel of his scooter got stuck in uneven ground at a crosswalk in Westwood will be settled for $1.9 million.