The former mayor of San Diego, Roger Hedgecock, and his wife have filed a lawsuit against the city after she fell while walking on a damaged sidewalk in 2015. After the fall, the couple realized that the “damaged sidewalk…allegedly ruptured her silicone breast implants and eventually required replacement surgery.” They are seeking an unspecified amount but have claimed that the damages they have suffered “are well in excess of $25,000.” The Hedgecock couple claims that the city of San Diego has behaved with carelessness and negligence in not recognizing the 2.5 inch concrete raise caused from a tree trunk.
The case is set to go to trial later this year – this is considered to be unusual because the city has normally settled outside of court. Two weeks after Mrs. Hedgecock fell over the sidewalk, she went to a medical clinic after experiencing “persistent chest pain and breast deformities.” She learned that both of the implants ruptured, resulting in silicone mixing into her bloodstream. The implants had to be removed in what was considered a “grueling procedure” and needed weeks to recover. Roger Hedgecock is the co-plaintiff “because he suffered ‘the loss of support, service, love, companionship, society, affection, relations and solace from his wife.’” The lawsuit claims that he had to stay home in order to help his wife recover, encouraging him to seek compensation for loss of income and consortium with his wife.
There have been several cases over the last two years involving sidewalk falls including a case ending in San Diego paying nearly $5 million “to a bicyclist launched 28 feet by a raised sidewalk.” Councilman David Alvarez hopes to change the current city-wide policy. He wishes that the city become responsible for falls “unless it is determined that the damage was caused by the adjacent property owner or a third party.”
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