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Woman Files Claim Against Redondo Beach After Accident

December 04, 1986

REDONDO BEACH — A Redondo Beach woman, who was critically injured when a dual set of wheels fell off a moving garbage truck, rolled onto the sidewalk and knocked her down, has filed a $1-million claim against the city.

Since the Oct. 20 accident, Lucy H. Hensman, 56, has remained hospitalized with a broken pelvis, a fractured neck and ankle, a torn bladder, a ruptured diaphragm, internal bleeding and injuries and a concussion, according to her attorney, Mark E. Edwards.

Hensman was walking with a friend on a Catalina Avenue sidewalk, just north of Gertruda Avenue, when the wheel assembly struck her from behind.

No one else was injured, Edwards said, but the wheels also hit a car and a wall.

Patrick Long, attorney for Browning-Ferris Industries, which operated the truck, said the company has not completed its investigation, but California Highway Patrol reports indicate that the wheel studs may have been the wrong size.

Hensman's claim alleges that the city contracted with Browning-Ferris and failed to supervise the maintenance of the trucks.

According to Long and City Atty. Gordon Phillips, Browning-Ferris was not under contract with the city. Edwards acknowledged that he may have acted on wrong information but said Hensman will sue whoever is responsible for the accident.

Under state law, a claim for damages must be filed with a city before a lawsuit can be filed in court.

"I've been handling personal injury cases for 12 years," Edwards said. "I've never seen anything so bizarre."

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