Mike Wilbur

LA COUNTY TO SETTLE FIREFIGHTER CRASH LAWSUIT FOR $585K

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is expected to approve a lawsuit settlement of over $580,000 after a firefighter-involved crash in Canyon Country.

In September 2015, a firefighter was responding to an emergency call with lights and sirens activated on Sierra Highway near Whispering Hills Drive, according to a report from the Office of the County Counsel.

“The (firefighter) and plaintiff were both traveling southbound on Sierra Highway,” said the report. “The plaintiff pulled over… in response to the lights and sirens.”

When the firefighter approached the intersection, they drove in the No. 1 lane, around the stopped vehicle, in order to execute a right turn onto Whispering Hills Drive, and deactivated the lights, according to the county report.

“The plaintiff did not see or hear lights and sirens, and thus continued traveling southbound,” the report said. “The (firefighter) and plaintiff’s vehicles collided with one another, causing damage to the left side of the plaintiff’s vehicle.

The plaintiff complained of neck and back pain and was transported to the hospital, according to the counsel report.

A root cause of the incident is the firefighter “failed to operate his vehicle in a safe manner” by turning at the intersection without clearing all of the lanes and deactivating the sirens.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department investigated the incident, and the firefighter received a letter of reprimand for making the unsafe turn.

The expected lawsuit settlement of $585,000 is for medical expenses, attorney’s fees and other damage caused by the crash, according to the counsel report.

The Board of Supervisors is expected to approve the settlement during the April 30 meeting.

Brian Kaz

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