Destiny Thimon, then 14 years old, was crossing Cherry Street in Newark, California one morning when she was hit by a car driven by Bihn Soudachanh, who did not see her because the sun was in his eyes. Thimon was seriously injured as a result.
Through her guardian ad litem, Thimon sued the City of Newark (Newark), asserting that a variety of alleged defects in the intersection and its surrounds rendered it a dangerous condition that partially caused the accident. Newark filed a motion for summary judgment contending, among other things, that the intersection did not constitute a dangerous condition and that Thimon could not show it was a dangerous condition. The trial court granted summary judgment on these grounds and entered judgment in favor of Newark. Thimon timely appealed.
The governing law in this dispute is the Government Claims Act (Gov. Code, § 810 et seq. (the Act)). “Section 835 . . . of the Act . . . prescribes the conditions under which a public entity may be held liable for injuries caused by a dangerous condition of public property. [Citation.] Section 835 provides that a public entity may be held liable for such injuries ‘if the plaintiff establishes  that the property was in a dangerous condition at the time of the injury,  that the injury was proximately caused by the dangerous condition, [and]  that the dangerous condition created a reasonably foreseeable risk of the kind of injury which was incurred.’ In addition, the plaintiff must establish  that either: (a) ‘[a] negligent or wrongful act or omission of an employee of the public entity within the scope of his employment created the dangerous condition,’ or (b) ‘[t]he public entity had . . . notice of the dangerous condition . . . a sufficient time prior to the injury to have taken measures to protect against the dangerous condition.’ ” (Cordova v. City of Los Angeles (2015) 61 Cal.4th 1099, 1105.)
“A condition is not dangerous ‘if the trial or appellate court, viewing the evidence most favorably to the plaintiff, determines as a matter of law that the risk created by the condition was of such a minor, trivial, or insignificant nature in view of the surrounding circumstances that no reasonable person would conclude that the condition created a substantial risk of injury when such property or adjacent property was used with due care in a manner in which it was reasonably foreseeable that it would be used.’ ([Gov. Code,] § 830.2.)” (Cordova, at pp. 1104-1105.)
“As one court has observed, any property can be dangerous if used in a sufficiently improper manner. For this reason, a public entity is only required to provide roads that are safe for reasonably foreseeable careful use. [Citation.] ‘If [ ] it can be shown that the property is safe when used with due care and that a risk of harm is created only when foreseeable users fail to exercise due care, then such property is not “dangerous” within the meaning of section 830, subdivision (a).’ ” (Chowdhury v. City of Los Angeles (1995) 38 Cal.App.4th 1187, 1196.)
The California Court of Appeal affirmed.
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