Gonzales v. City of AtwaterAnnotate this Case
In 2010, Carrizales was making a left turn at an Atwater intersection when she struck and killed Gonzales, a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Gonzales’s family sued Carrizales and the city for wrongful death, alleging Carrizales was negligent and the city was liable under Government Code section 8351 for the dangerous condition of the intersection. A jury found Carrizales not negligent and the city solely liable and awarded plaintiffs approximately $3.2 million in damages. The trial court denied a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, in which the city argued that the design immunity defense of section 830.6 shielded it from liability. The court of appeal reversed. The design immunity defense insulates the from liability for any dangerous condition of the intersection. The city made a discretionary decision to adopt permissive phasing as part of the 2001 plan for the intersection; plaintiffs conceded the 2001 plans were reasonable when adopted.