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Orange County Digest

Local News in Brief : Countywide : Caltrans Ordered to Pay Victim $1.5 Million

January 24, 1989

An Orange County jury has ordered the state to pay $1.5 million to a former mayor of Fullerton who was injured in a 1983 car accident on a freeway in Anaheim Hills when another car blew a tire, crossed the median and struck his car.

The judge in the case, however, has not yet entered a judgment because he is considering whether to deduct $300,000 in uninsured motorist's benefits paid out to Everette C. Farnsworth from the jury award, said Larry Danielson, assistant chief counsel to the California Transportation Department.

"There is no obligation to pay anything until the judgment becomes final," Danielson said.

Farnsworth declined comment Monday on the case.

The jury issued its ruling in Superior Court in Santa Ana on Friday. Danielson said he expects the judgment to be entered within the next 10 days.

Caltrans is also considering an appeal of the verdict or asking for a new trial because the agency disagrees with the plaintiff's contention that the accident site was dangerous and that a barrier should have been erected there, said Anthony J. Ruffolo, deputy chief counsel for Caltrans.

While undergoing brain surgery, Farnsworth, 68, suffered a stroke that left him blind and partially paralyzed on the left side. The accident occurred on the Riverside Freeway about a mile east of the Imperial Highway exit.

Farnsworth served on Fullerton's City Council from 1958 to 1966 and as mayor from 1964 to 1966.

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