Los Angeles Attorneys of Lederer & Nojima Applaud City Council's Focus on Repairing LA's Sidewalks but Argue that more needs to be done

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Over the last several decades, Lederer & Nojima, LLP has been fighting for justice and compensation on behalf of injury victims. Many of their clients have been injured on municipal property such as sidewalks.

the city really needs to spend much more to fix and maintain the sidewalks. Until the issue is addressed adequately, Lederer & Nojima will continue standing with victims of LA's dangerous sidewalks

In her February 6, 2014 Northridge-Chatsworth Patch newspaper article, Penny Arevalo quotes Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino as he reflects on LA's sidewalks: "I am thrilled that we are finally making some progress on addressing the downright embarrassing condition of our sidewalks'' ( Sidewalks Next on City's To-Do List"). He shared his thoughts after the Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee approved $10 million to fix the city's sidewalks, according to the Arevalo article. Now the plan must be approved by the City Council before any of the money can be spent, but, Attorney John Nojima, of Los Angeles personal injury law firm Lederer & Nojima, says, "it is very difficult to believe the money won't be approved especially in light of the recent Los Angeles Times article about LA's sidewalks."

Nojima refers to the Steve Lopez article "In L.A., anything but a crack response to tree-buckled sidewalks" that was published in the Los Angeles Times on February 1, 2014. Lopez begins by describing the list of complaints the city is facing regarding sidewalk conditions. The list of complaints is 98 pages long.

Attorney David Lederer says "our attorneys, investigators, expert witnesses and other resources can all be used in the fight for justice on behalf of injured victims. But the city could avoid many of these complaints and better safeguard the public if they simply repaired damaged sidewalks. Our experience, and the Lopez article, both indicate that city sidewalk safety is a serious problem that often gets overlooked. We are glad that this is changing and the media is starting to report on it."

Lederer and Nojima both acknowledge that there are other problems the city faces but, Nojima says, "broken arms and legs, head injuries, dislocated knees, broken hips, deep lacerations and other serious injuries can result when people fall on cracked, uneven and dilapidated sidewalks. And when a path is extremely treacherous, a pedestrian may step into the street to avoid the trouble. This puts them at tremendous risk of being struck by a car. Pedestrian safety is a fundamental responsibility for the city. An investment in this safety will pay huge public dividends."

In his article, Lopez acknowledges that anyone can be injured on these sidewalks that are often raised and cracked as a result of tree roots pushing to the surface. While no one is immune to a trip-and-fall on such a surface, the elderly and disabled are particularly vulnerable. Lopez lists several such victims who have suffered severe injuries.

"There are going to be more injuries on our sidewalks in the near future," Nojima argues. "By the time the city approves the funds, then decides where to use them, and then organizes the work, the process could take months or even years. And though $10 million may sound like a lot of money, the city really needs to spend much more to fix and maintain the sidewalks. Until the issue is addressed adequately, Lederer & Nojima will continue standing with people who have been injured on city sidewalks."

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John Nojima
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