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Sunbather run over by Newport Beach lifeguard seeks $850,000

A sunbather has filed a claim against Newport Beach, saying a lifeguard ran over her last month with his truck.

City officials don't dispute her account.

"It happened," said City Atty. David Hunt. "The city really regrets that it happened, as do the lifeguards. The lifeguard was distracted, and it did occur.... The city recognizes that this shouldn't have happened and we'll make it right as best we can."

She is seeking $850,000.

About 12:50 p.m. Aug. 4, Janice Cola, 55, of Orange was relaxing in her beach chair reading a book on the sand at 54th Street and Seaside Drive, not far from a lifeguard truck, her attorney Jay Weitzler said.

As she read, a lifeguard truck nearby slowly turned right in the sand toward her and drove its front-right tire over her thighs, breaking her pelvis.

According to both sides, the lifeguard was distracted by surfers in the water. There was a blackball that day, meaning board surfers were prohibited in the water because of conditions.

The lifeguard drove to the area, stopping not far from Cola, and made a public announcement for the surfers to exit the water, according to the police report.

Read the full Daily Pilot story here.

-- Joseph Serna, Times Community News

Comments () | Archives (31)

Really? That much? Medical bills was probably no more than a few thousand. And the lady is either retired or a stay at home mom. Ridiculous.

I guess you have never had your pelvis broken Miguel. You are nearly incapacitated for 9 weeks to recover from it, more if you are elderly. $850,000 seems like a very fair price when you consider the pain and loss of freedom from the injury.

You're right miguel. After you waded across the Rio Grand and tromped through the desert to get here, getting run over by a truck is child's play.

An ambulance ride and ER visit with x-rays can cost a few thousand dollars, Miguel. Never mind the actual treatment and follow-up/rehab. As Paul pointed out, it's not just about the out-of-pocket dollars this woman incurs, either. She may well have a long, long time until she's fully recovered. And that's an injury whether she works, or is retired, or is a stay at home mom (which is an undervalued form of work.) I wish her a smooth and speedy healing.

got a problem with Moms that choose to stay home and care for their children?? you have some issues Miguel.

The money will be tainted and she will be miserble her entire life. It happens to all of them...

my brother passed a gallstone, didnt even stay overnight and cost 15K and thats at an OK general public hospital...do the math...not to mention that she's out of work, losing income, losing free time (which is actually money, too).....its low by my guess

Sailbyme, was it really necessary to try to all 'racial' on Miguel? you cant judge people by their names,. He was just expressing an opinion, and you took it to the gutter instead of discussing the issue at hand.

The problem with the internet is that cowards can post anonymous stuff and don't have to talk face to face. I call you a coward and a racist...discuss the issue at hand or go to some white power blog and look for your friends in the woods

Fire the lifguard and pay the piper, next time hire smarter people end of story.

Get out the checkbook...

Jonesy, how's it racial? Mexican and Whites are Caucasian, look it up. Now, xenophobic, yes. But get your own name-calling right.

I agree with Paul. It's good to see a reasonable claim for a change, as the norm in today's twisted world would be more like a request for 10 million.

Miguel's statement is ignorant and really not worth a retort.

SAILBYME!!! That was awesome! Shes being generous. She should hit em for 2.5mil. hope she wins

Jonesy u just did the same thing. so whats your point

Horrible thing to happen to anyone. Truly, Miguel, you and many others out there need to educate yourselves on the cost of health care. You cannot,
in tyour wildest dreams, guess the price of medical care these days.

@ Jonesy

Seems you too are being presumptuous with the "white power" comment. SBM could be of Asian descent for all we know.

What makes you think Miguel needs YOUR protection? I don't see you bothered by his asinine comment that the lady is a house mom, or retired!

Miguel's insinuations have racial undertones too - which I thought were rude.
Guess you didn't notice THAT though, huh?

Save your biased rhetoric.

Can I get a comment approved please???

I assume the lifeguard is still on the job, getting paid and marching toward his retirement benefits? Never any accountability for public employees, they are special.

Jonesy wrote

"He was just expressing an opinion, and you took it to the gutter instead of discussing the issue at hand."

Actually Jonesy, it was Miguel who took it to the gutter with his remarks that were ignorant, sexist, and ageist.

So if you want to dish the race card, choose your battles with greater care: Miguel had it coming to him - and that's not racist, that's a fact.

@al Who are all of them? That's like saying "you all" when only one person is concerned. If she's miserable for the rest of her life it will be from the broken pelvis, not from getting "deserved money" for injuries incurred while relaxing, reading a book and enjoying yourself. Would you feel the same if it were someone in your family facing this?

Sailbyme I'd wished you would sink in shark infested water.

850,000 sounds about right, but she would probably get 150,000.

Poor lady is lucky only her pelvis was broken and she was not killed.
The City clearly is negligent and should pay a nice damages clime.

A couple of comments......

Paul - you sound like this woman's lawyer.
Sailbyme - you sound like a racist.
Dawn - you're too quick to judge that someone doesnt like mothers.

I wonder if you all would have generated the same comments if the person who was run over was not white. Hmmmmm????

Miguel, Are you legal or illegal?

Since L A and The L A Times are sanctuary proponents, I will continue to ask this question until you change your stance. After that time, I will just assume that every hispanic in the County is either a citizen or a LEGAL IMMIGRANT.

When you figure her attorney will probably get a third of it, it's really not that much. It was an unfortunate accident and you can bet the city weighed the cost of the settlement vs. what she'd probably win in a jury trial. I bet even after the money is nicely deposited in her account, both sides still wish it never happened. The only one who will be happy is her attorney.

If we had a decent social safety net (free health care, physical therapy, decent disability, etc) there would be no reason to pay anything because the victim would be well taken care of. There wouldn't be a lawyer taking fees out of her benefits, the court wouldn't be clogged up with paperwork, and everyone could just get on with the business of living.

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