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Los Angeles Pays $12,250,000 Settlement for Man Killed in Deadly Crosswalk

Since 2012, community members in Venice Beach, California, pleaded with the city of Los Angeles to reform a deadly crosswalk responsible for dozens of pedestrian accidents. Councilmembers were well-aware of the dangerous conditions and even allocated funds to improve the intersection. However, the street remained untouched. After five years of bureaucratic languish, a vacation-goer named Damon Shear was fatally struck by a motorist who failed to notice the community’s makeshift stop signs cluttering the sidewalks. Court Purdy and Bill Paoli of Paoli & Purdy, PC, a formidable duo with a successful track record litigating against large cities, used an animation to outline the city’s negligence, the crosswalk’s infamous history, and forced the city to act.

Two months after the accident, Damon’s family contacted Court Purdy and Bill Paoli after hearing of their success in holding the city of Los Angeles accountable for another dangerous public roadway fatality. First, they uncovered traffic engineer investigations stating the crosswalk was so unsafe that the surveyors did not feel comfortable crossing the street. Additionally, one year before Damon was struck, the city planned to put LED beacons within the crosswalk but never followed through. Instead, the city completed the same request to another intersection in front of a Snapchat office only a mile away.

With a mountain of engineer reports, emails, and testimonies to prove their case, Court and Bill needed to illustrate their arguments effectively. The two worked with DK Global to combine their findings into a presentation that would compel city officials to recognize their negligence, compensate the Shear family, and ensure this tragedy never happened again.

The presentation began with a satellite map view of Venice Beach, California. News footage covering the community’s frustration was played, showing a cluster of homemade hazard signs warning motorists to slow down. Next, formal petitions from the community, engineering reports, and the plan to input LED beacons in the crosswalk were displayed and highlighted. Then, the presentation showed how council members ignored the community’s requests and instead put rectangular rapid-flashing beacons on the crosswalk in front of the Snapchat office. Consequently, Damon was killed a year later. Finally, the presentation concluded with a slideshow memorial dedicated to Damon and his family.

Bill and Court shared the presentation with the city’s council members. After reviewing the video, the city offered to settle the matter for $12,250,000 and finally make the crosswalk safer.

For over 20 years, Court Purdy and Bill Paoli of Paoli & Purdy, PC have specialized in representing their clients in civil litigation, personal injury, product liability, and environmental law. As members of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Bill and Court have attained millions of dollars in compensation against large governmental entities throughout California. Recently, Bill and Court were awarded the 2020 Orange County Trial Lawyer Association’s “Top Gun Trial Lawyers of the Year.”

Court Purdy has earned a Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review “Distinguished” award for his legal expertise.

Bill Paoli has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” for 16 years. His successful track record in all his professional endeavors has earned him a 10.0 "Superb" peer review rating through Avvo, among other honors.


"We use DK Global a lot and they've been essential in our success in getting these wrongful death, dangerous condition cases either ready for trial or ready for settlement."
Court Purdy – Paoli & Purdy, PC
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