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City Council Meeting

07-27-09

Council Agenda Report


To: Prepared by: Approved by: Date prepared: Subject: Mayor Stern and the Honorable Members of the City Council Lisa Pope, City Clerk

Item 3.B.4.

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Jim Thorsen, City Manag June 29, 2009

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Meeting date: July 13,2009

Denial of Claim for Damages filed by Frank Chaparro

RECOMMENDED ACTION: FISCAL IMPACT: the claim.

Deny claim filed by Frank Chaparro.

There is no immediate fiscal impact associated with the City denying

DISCUSSION: On September 18, 2008, the Law Offices of Steve Pell, on behalf of Frank Chaparro, served the City with a claim alleging that due to the City's lack of signage near Escondido Falls, claimant fell from the trail and sustained major bodily injuries. Staff submitted said claims to Carl Warren & Co., the City's Claims Management Adjusters. Pursuant to the provisions of the Government Code all claims must be responded to within 45 days of receipt. Failure to take any action will extend the statute of limitations to two years. ATTACHMENTS: Claims for damages received September 18, 2008

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Agenda Item # 3.8 4.

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CLAIM FOR DAMAGE OR INJU rvul I
TO: City of Malibu NAME OF CLAIMANT(S): Chaparro.

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SEP I 8 2008

CITY CLERKS OFFICE CITY OF MALIBU

Frank Chaparro, 3121 Isle Way, Oxnard, California,

by Judy

ADDRESS: c/o Law Offices of Steve Pell, 2633 Lorna Vista Road, Ventura, California 930031548 NAME AND ADDRESS OF PERSON TO RECEIVE NOTICE: Law Offices of Steve Pell, 2633 Lorna Vista Road, Ventura, California 93003-1548, (805) 653-6615, Attorneys for Claimant. PLACE OF ACCIDENT: EdwardAlbert Escondido Falls and Trail, Santa Monica Mountains, Malibu, Los Angeles County, California. DATE OF ACCIDENT: PROPERTY March 17,2008

DAMAGE: Presently undetermined.

NATURE AND EXTENT OF INJURIES AND DAMAGES: At said time and place claimant was and on the premises of Edward Albert Escondido Falls and Trail for lawful purpose. Claimant slipped and fell from the trail suffering extreme personal injuries, including severe trauma to his head along with medical specials to date of approximately $2.5 million. Claimant was at St. John's for three months where he was in the sub acute unit with a tracheotomy and tube learning to walk and talk. Claimant was at UCLA for two months. Claimant was airlifted from the scene and in a coma for three weeks. Then claimant was placed on a ventilator and then weaned off and transferred to St. John's Pleasant Valley. Claimant underwent surgery to remove part of his skull. Claimant suffered a fractured neck and several other fractures. Claimant underwent plastic surgery to his face. Claimant suffered a dislocated left hand which was not treated for two 1/2 months. Claimant has suffered severe mental injuries. His short term memory is severely impaired. His thinking is way off. He requires 24 hour care. The amount of the same is unascertained; however, he needs in home support services and had been approved for SSI as he is unable to work.

When he was working Claimant was working part time making about $15,000 a year by estimate and looking forward to working for the Sheriff's Department and had a degree in Biology. Loss of Wages and future wages: unascertained Pain and Suffering: unascertained to date see above. for his hand.

Claimant is starting rehabilitation

Claimant has future surgeries, his skull is in the freezer at UCLA and his skull will be put back and his hand if not healed will have another bone graft and the hand and he will have no use of the same. He has really bad sleep apnea and stops breathing at night. Claimant will need all rehabilitation. LIABILITY(How injury occurred forming basis for claim) Due to the failure to have warnings that attempts to climb could result in serious injury, as written by volunteers on website notes, and of which there was notice of the dangerous condition and notice of people posting the nature of the dangerous condition on various websites and in various books. The entity should have had warnings posted. Should have had rails and steps, or closed the area. There should have been some kind of gate or fence like they have in Yosemite where the falls are tricky and slippery. There was a trail up, but two trails coming down, also a failure to warn of which trail to take in that there were two return trails and the no signs. One needed to know that there were two trails returning and that one was very steep and dangerous and there was an easier one. The steep and dangerous one was not posted or warned and there was a failure to warm, and the dangerous one going down should have had signs and/or been closed off. Claimant attempted to go down. There were two paths going down. Claimant hit the steep slope where there was loose dirt. Claimant slid away. He went over the edge and fell to the bottom of the waterfall. The trails were poorly maintained. The entity was on notice of this fact per the comments by people posted on various websites and books which say the area is very steep. The signs that were there simply stated: "Welcome to the Santa Monica Mountains." saying the area or trails or falls were dangerous. Nothing

There were no warnings. The entity was on notice of the dangerous condition by the fact that the Fire personnel stated Claimant was the third person who had to be airlifted out of the area due to having fallen. AMOUNT OF CLAIM FOR PERSONAL INJURY: unlimited jurisdiction of the Superior Court. Presently undetermined, but within the

DECLARATION: I declare under penalty of perjury that the damages and injuries caused by the accident above describe DATE OF CLAIM: September SIGNA TTjRE OF ATTORNEY 15,2008 FOR CLAIMANT:
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[PROOF OF SERVICE BY MAIL c.c.P.

10l3a, 2015.5]

STATE OF CALIFORNIA COUNTY OF VENTURA

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I am a citizen of the United States and a resident of Ventura County; I am over the age of eighteen years and not a party to the within entitled action; my business address is: 2633 Lorna Vista Road, Ventura, California, 93003-1548. On September 15, 2008, I served the within CLAIM FOR DAMAGE OR INJURY on the interested parties in said action, by placing [X] the original [] a true copy thereof enclosed in a sealed envelope, addressed as follows: CITY OF MALIBU CITY CLERKS OFFICE 23815 STUART ROAD MALIBU CA 90265-4861 Via Certified Mail #7007256000241320595 I am "readily familiar" with the firm's practice of collection and processing correspondence for mailing. Under that practice it would be deposited with U.S. postal service on that same day with postage thereon fully prepaid in the City of Ventura, State of California, in the ordinary course of business. I am aware that on motion of the party served, service is presumed invalid if postal cancellation date or postage meter date is more than one day after date of deposit for mailing in affidavit. I certify (or declare) under penalty of perjury, that the foregoing is true and correct and that this declaration was executed at Ventura, California. DATED: September 15,2008

Dionna S. Pell, CP, CAS