SUIT FILED IN DEATH AT QUARTZ HILL CRASH VICTIM'S SPOUSE SAYS INTERSECTION WAS DANGEROUS.Byline: Karen Maeshiro Staff Writer
QUARTZ HILL - A lawsuit has been filed by the husband of a home-building firm employee who was killed when her sport utility vehicle rolled past a stop sign on 45th Street West and was hit broadside by a dump truck traveling on Avenue N.
The lawsuit claims that the busy intersection where 26-year-old April Duarte was killed lacked adequate traffic controls and that her view was obstructed ob·struct
tr.v. ob·struct·ed, ob·struct·ing, ob·structs
1. To block or fill (a passage) with obstacles or an obstacle. See Synonyms at block.
2. by an advertising sign erected by her employer, Forecast Homes, on one corner of the intersection.
``It's a terribly unfortunate situation,'' said Phil Montoya, attorney for Duarte's husband. ``She left behind a husband and other family members.''
The Nov. 17 crash prompted Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. County officials to speed up installation of a traffic signal at the intersection. The signal was installed in the spring, a year ahead of schedule.
Duarte was leaving Forecast's housing tract when her SUV was struck. Friends and family members called city and county officials to have something done about the intersection.
Duarte had worked for Forecast Homes for about six months and was in charge of land-planning and acquisition. Previously she had worked at the California State University, Bakersfield As of fall 2002, some 7,700 undergraduate and graduate students attended CSUB, at either the main campus in Bakersfield or the satellite campus, Antelope Valley Center in Lancaster, California of Los Angeles County. , campus in Lancaster.
Defendants in the lawsuit include county government, Palmdale city government, Forecast Homes and Forecast's parent company, K. Hovnanian Enterprises Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc. NYSE: HOV incorporated in 1967, designs, constructs, markets and sells single-family detached houses, attached townhouses and condominiums, mid-rise and high-rise condominiums, urban infill and retirement housing in the United States. , and the truck driver and the company he worked for.
Claims for damages were previously filed with Palmdale and Lancaster city governments and with county government and were rejected, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the lawsuit.
``She was a valuable Forecast employee. Obviously, Forecast regrets the tragic accident, but because of pending litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.
When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation. , other than that, we can't make any comment,'' said Richard Bishop, an attorney who represents Hovnanian Forecast Homes.
Palmdale officials declined to comment. County representatives did not return calls for comment.
The lawsuit claims government agencies negligently neg·li·gent
1. Characterized by or inclined to neglect, especially habitually.
2. Characterized by careless ease or informality; casual.
3. Law Guilty of negligence. allowed a ``known dangerous condition of public property'' at the intersection where there had been previous mishaps.
This was a ``dangerous, defective defective adj. not being capable of fulfilling its function, ranging from a deed of land to a piece of equipment. (See: defect, defective title) and unsafe roadway,'' according to the lawsuit, accusing the governmental defendants of failing to provide a ``roadway of proper configuration, proper sign posting and warnings'' and failing to warn and protect motorists.
The lawsuit blames Hovnanian and Forecast Homes for ``the placement, design, and/or construction of an advertising sign that was a cause of this accident.''
The advertising sign ``obstructed the view of April Renee Duarte and was a cause of the accident,'' the lawsuit claims.
Karen Maeshiro, (661) 267-5744
Scene of fatal accident