Almanac

News - June 16, 2010

Contractor settles wrongful death lawsuit

A contractor working for the city of Menlo Park has settled a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from a 2007 accident in which a bicyclist died for $2.4 million.

Deborah Johnson, a 51-year-old Palo Alto woman, fell and hit her head on July 22, 2007, while riding on Sand Hill Road with friends, west of Branner Drive. Ms. Johnson died two days later, after being hospitalized.

In the suit, John Gerrity, Ms. Johnson's husband, alleged that Ms. Johnson fell when her bike hit the base of a detached cylindrical traffic marker in the bike lane.

The settlement was finalized in November 2009. The city was not a party to it, according to City Attorney Bill McClure.

An insurance company representing O.C. Jones & Sons, the company that installed the traffic markers, paid the full amount of the settlement, according to John McGirr, the city's revenue and claims manager.

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