Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy

City reaches $125K settlement with man who fell on sidewalk

Glendale will pay $125,000 as part of a settlement agreement with a man who fell over a raised sidewalk and permanently injured his left eye.

The city has settled slip-and-fall cases before, but they rarely reach into six-figures.

The injured man, Michael Donovan, claimed that as he carried a large container filled with leftovers from a dinner party at a friend’s house to his car on June 21, 2009, he tripped and fell over a sidewalk that had been cracked and raised by a magnolia tree, according to court documents.

The fall left him unconscious. When he woke up in a hospital room, he had bruises and cuts on his face and arms and a ruptured eye globe. Donovan had emergency surgery on his left eye and spent six days in the hospital, according to the claim.


“As a result of the injury sustained to my left eye, I will suffer from a significant reduction [in vision] in my left eye,” Donovan said in court documents.

Donovan sued the city and his friend, Mary McVay, who hosted the dinner party at her house on the 1000 block of Matilja Road. Donovan and McVay were members of a local gourmet club and he had dined at her house before, according to court records.

Donovan claimed that the city did not properly maintain the sidewalk and McVay failed to trim a tree growing in the sidewalk parkway that blocked lighting from a street light. McVay contended in court records that maintaining the tree, sidewalk and lighting in the area were the city’s responsibility.

The lawsuit against McVay was dismissed, said Christian Setian, Donovan’s attorney.


In the city settlement, which will be finalized next week, Glendale does not admit fault, said City Atty. Mike Garcia.

McVay’s attorney could not be reached for comment.