The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to pay $765,000 to settle a lawsuit filed against the city by a Glassell Park family involved in a traffic accident caused by a tree that obscured a stop sign.
Most of the money--$495,000--will be paid to Ingrid Orellana, 21, who is partially paralyzed as a result of the accident. Richard D. Mickelson, the attorney for the family, will receive $255,000, with the remaining $15,000 going to Orellana's mother, brother and two sisters, all of whom were injured in the accident.
Leonor Orellana, the mother, was driving the four children to school on May 13, 1982, when her AMC Matador was struck by a Chevrolet pickup truck about 1 1/2 blocks from their home. The family was heading east on Estara Avenue. The pickup truck, traveling south on Andrita Street, failed to yield at the southbound stop sign on Andrita.
According to a report prepared by the city attorney's office, Tillie Lopez, driver of the pickup truck, did not see the stop sign because it was blocked from her view by a crepe myrtle tree planted in the city-owned parkway by Anna Kennedy, owner of the property adjacent to the parkway. A police report stated that the tree totally concealed the stop sign 90 feet from the intersection and substantially obscured it from 48 to 90 feet away.