September 2012

Just Because It Could Be Safer Doesn’t Mean It’s Dangerous

California cities are often faced with claims arising from automobile, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents.  Many times, these claims focus on supposed faults in lighting, signals, signs, crosswalks or road grades.  The recent California Court of Appeal decision of Mixon v. Pacific Gas & Electric Company rejected exactly these sorts of claims.  The court explained that simply because, in hindsight, a roadway or intersection could possibly be made even safer does not mean that it constitutes a dangerous condition.  The opinion provides useful guidance to cities and reaffirms that minor risks of injury or conditions of the roadway that do not actually contribute to an accident are not dangerous conditions of public property.