Have you seen those square pads of yellow domes on sidewalks right before crosswalks? Those textured surfaces are supposed to send a warning to the visually impaired that they’re about to enter a roadway. These devices can be a lifesaver for the blind, but some are saying this pedestrian safety device is actually hurting people.
Is a Pedestrian Safety Device More Trouble than Helpful?
A Palo Alto man was out walking when he slipped on a patch of these yellow truncated domes. As he fell, he shifted his weight to prevent the fall, but his foot caught the concrete. His foot stayed planted while his body continued to fall. This caused his left tibia to break and fractured his fibula.
After doctors put a titanium rod in his leg to stabilize his leg, it has taken weeks for the man to recover. Most of that time was spent on bed rest, and now he is getting around on crutches. Injured by what he sees as a defective safety device, this man has now taken Palo Alto to court for the damages and pain he has suffered.
This lawsuit puts Palo Alto in a very difficult position. The yellow domes at the center of this case are required by the Americans with Disabilities Act as of 2010. Even more troubling are the reports of other fall injuries caused by these devices.
Right now, officials are trying to find a solution to the problems being caused by these safety devices. Until that happens, more victims may be filing lawsuits to ensure the problem isn’t forgotten. When it comes to safety issues on public property, lawsuits are often the only way to get cities and governments to do something about it. To learn more about these problems and possible solutions, keep checking the Moss & Hovden Personal Injury Law Blog.