The family of Gregory Wolters has recently settled out of court for his wrongful death; falling between gaps of the Santa Margarita Parkway Bridge in Orange County. He is the second death by accidentally falling through gaps in the bridge, and the City apparently posted no warnings about the bridge gap or dangers. Legal experts are asking whether a settlement is worth the loss of life, but equally important, is the process flawed when a City refuses at the claim stage to admit they knew of previous deaths and the danger this bridge design posed?
In late 2006, Wolters was working for Econolite and was performing routine inspection on the bridge when he fell through a gap in the center of bridge. His widow then brought suits against Orange County, Rancho Santa Margarita and the California Department of Transportation.
Orange County Superior Court judge Sheila Fell last week dismissed the case after settlement. Both sides were represented by attorneys arguing who was negligent, but in the end, the lawyers resolved the matter without going to trial.
The complicated legal issues arising from a wrongful death require careful analysis because of the many parties are involved. However, it is a shame that with this as the second death, from the same bridge gap, the City of Rancho Santa Margarita did not attempt to resolve the case before suit had to be filed.
It is worth your while to consult with an Orange County personal injury attorney to evaluate a potential cause of a wrongful death. Otherwise, the family can be left without any recovery when a life was wrongfully taken.