In an unpublished opinion, the California Court of Appeal recently held that the County of Los Angeles was immune from liability following a motorcycle collision in Big Tujunga Canyon Road in Angeles National Forest. After suffering serious injuries, the injured plaintiff brought claims of a dangerous condition of public property as well as intentional infliction of emotional distress. The County invoked both design and sign immunity, arguing that they could not be found legally responsible in the lawsuit. On appeal, the court reviewed the evidence in support of these immunities and affirmed the holding in favor of the County after reviewing.
The facts of this lawsuit demonstrated that Karim Kamal had been riding his motorcycle eastbound on Big Tujunga Canyon Road, in Angeles National Forest, and was struck by Samuel Morales, on his own motorcycle, as Mr. Morales crossed the dividing line and entered Mr. Kamal’s traffic lane in an effort to pass another vehicle. The collision resulted in permanent, serious injuries to Mr. Kamal, and the cause of the collision was deemed to be Mr. Morales’ speed, in violation of the Vehicle Code.
Mr. Kamal filed a complaint against Mr. Morales, the County of Los Angeles, and the State of California for a dangerous condition of public property, negligence in maintaining a roadway without signs, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The County moved for summary judgment based on both design and sign immunity and the fact that Big Tujunga Canyon Road did not constitute a dangerous condition of public property under Government Code Section 835. Mr. Kamal opposed the motion, and it was ultimately granted in favor of the County.