LOS ANGELES, CA – Last month, Los Angeles County agreed to pay out $650,000 to an elderly woman who was injured in a county-managed picnic area at Castaic Lake.
“The picnic area was on a raised platform that was clearly designed to accommodate elderly and disabled guests,” said attorney P. Christopher Ardalan, who represented the victim, Emma Hakobyan. “The problem is that they did a half-hearted job.”
According to Ardalan, Hakobyan was celebrating her husband’s eightieth birthday in July 2012. While seated near the rear of the picnic area, she rolled her foot off the edge of the concrete pad and fell because there was limited space around the back of the picnic table.
“The front of the picnic area had a ramp and plenty of space. But the rear, where Ms. Hakobyan was sitting, did not,” said Ardalan. “Because of the design, it was difficult to navigate, especially for an elderly person with limited mobility. They were gambling with people’s safety by leaving so little room to walk.”
Ms. Hakobyan sustained a fractured hip as a result of the fall, said Ardalan. The county fought for five years to avoid paying for her injury, but ultimately agreed to the six-figure settlement.
“When your job is to protect the public, it starts with taking care of your responsibilities. And it’s not enough to make something that’s okay for a young, healthy person – these areas need to be safe for the most vulnerable people in our community,” said Ardalan. “This result sends a strong message to local governments that they need to prioritize safety, or they will be held accountable.”
About Ardalan & Associates
Founded by attorney P. Christopher Ardalan, Ardalan & Associates, PLC is a Woodland Hills law firm that exclusively handles personal injury claims, including slip-and-fall accidents, motor vehicle accidents and wrongful death cases. The firm is based in Woodland Hills and handles cases throughout Southern California.