Out-of-court settlement reached in injury lawsuit


By City News Service

A $1.25 million out-of-court settlement was reached in a lawsuit involving a 67-year-old woman with Lou Gehrig’s disease who was seriously injured in a fall at the Crosby Estates Sports Center in Rancho Santa Fe, it was announced Aug. 8.

Marilyn Cooper, who has had the degenerative disease of the nerve cells that control muscular movement for 36 years, was injured as she drove her motorized wheelchair toward a family reunion celebration, said her attorney Robert J. Francavilla.

Attorneys for the defendants, Troon Golf LLC and Crosby National Golf Club LLC, could not be reached for comment on the settlement.

Francavilla said his client, who lives in Northridge, broke a hip and sustained other injuries when she toppled down a two-step stairway that blended into the background and created an illusion of a flat surface.

The attorney said the change in elevation in the stairway lacked signage, visual cues and hand rails, and Cooper could not see the steps.

Francavilla charged that the defendants chose aesthetics over safety and violated the California Building Code and the American Disabilities Act.

The defendants maintained that a dirt path provided adequate handicapped access, according to Francavilla.