The city of Los Angeles paid $7 million to settle a lawsuit brought by a volunteer for the Los Angeles Triathlon, who was left a paraplegic by an accident during the event in 2007, his attorney said Monday.
Steve Albala, who was 60 at the time of the accident, was on his motorcycle helping to officiate the bicycle portion of the triathlon. A traffic officer motioned for a vehicle to enter an intersection into the volunteer's path, causing the accident, Albala's attorney contended in the lawsuit.
Albala, who had been a motorcycle aficionado for more than 40 years and had volunteered for various events with his motorcycle club, was flung about 20 feet by the impact, said his attorney, Douglas Aberle. He suffered a vertebral fracture and was hospitalized for more than two years, having to undergo multiple surgeries, Aberle said.
Albala's wife, Sheri, said the aftermath of the accident was painful for her husband, who had always been active in the community, volunteering at the couple's Chatsworth synagogue and with an organization sending care packages to soldiers deployed in Iraq.