The City of Mountain View is facing multiple lawsuits alleging negligence and dangerous conditions on public property, with plaintiffs seeking compensation for personal injuries and damages that exceed $25,000, according to four different civil cases filed with Santa Clara County Superior Court.
The Mountain View City Council is set to review two of these cases during closed session at its Tuesday, Sept. 26, meeting, and reviewed a third case on Sept. 12.
Here is a rundown of the cases in litigation:
'Protruding spike' claim at Cuesta Park
In 2021, Alice Okuno alleged that she tripped over a metal spike protruding from a stairway step at 615 Cuesta Drive and received medical treatment for it, according to a lawsuit filed against the City of Mountain View.
The lawsuit contends that the city failed to address, alleviate or remove the stake or warn people about it. It alleges that the city had sufficient time to correct the dangerous situation but did not rectify it. It also alleges that the city failed to comply with ADA requirements, which directly affects Okuno as a protected class of person.
On Sept. 12, the City Council discussed the case in closed session but did not report out any action taken.
Slippery sidewalk suit
Another lawsuit claims that Ella Kobzanets, 70, a resident of San Jose, was walking past 812 West Dana Street last December when she slipped on a sloped area of the sidewalk that was wet from rain. She sustained "serious injuries" from the fall that included a displaced left hip femoral neck fracture, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit names the City of Mountain View and J.J.R. Construction as defendants, alleging that they created dangerous conditions for pedestrians, as they did not properly maintain a safe walking space on the sidewalk. A ramp had been placed four feet away from the building where Kobzanets fell, when it should have been five feet, according to the lawsuit. The ramp also was not well marked, and there were no warnings about pedestrian hazards, the lawsuit stated.
The City Council is scheduled to review the case in closed session at its next meeting on Sept. 26.
Fallen tree branch hit a car
A lawsuit filed by Mountain View resident Gulay Mehbaliyeva claims that a massive tree branch fell on top of her parked car last August while it was parked at 2110 W. Middlefield Road, causing extensive damage. Mehbaliyeva filed the case against the City of Mountain View and TayCon Properties seeking payment for car damages and related costs of not having reliable transportation, according to the lawsuit.
The city maintains that it is not responsible for the damages because the tree is not in its inventory, but rather belongs to a private property owner. Mehbaliyeva did not receive a response about her claim from TayCon Properties, which allegedly manages the property where the tree branch fell, according to the lawsuit.
City Council plans to discuss the lawsuit in closed session at its next meeting on Sept. 26.
Parking lot lighting
On Sept. 13, Nancy Hobbs filed a lawsuit, the most recent of the four, against the city while also naming Live Nation Entertainment and Shoreline Amphitheatre Partners as additional defendants.
Last year, Hobbs attended a concert at Shoreline Amphitheatre. When it ended, she walked back to the parking lot to her car, and while heading over stepped off a sidewalk to avoid a vendor blocking the way. The lawsuit states that her foot got caught in a gap between the curb and K-rail barrier, causing Hobbs to fall, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit claims that there was no light illuminating the dark sidewalk. It alleges that the defendants failed to provide adequate lighting or proper installation of the K-rail barriers around the parking lot; and that the entities also failed to provide flags, cones or other warnings about the possible walking hazards. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants had time to rectify the dangerous situation but did not, and are responsible for Hobbs’ injuries.