Los Angeles accident attorneys share shocking details regarding how the teen ended up in the sewer pipes.
It was Easter Sunday when Jesse Hernandez disappeared in Los Angeles, CA. He was at Griffith Park spending the holiday with his family one minute, and the next, he was gone. Apparently, the 13-year-old was playing in an abandoned concrete building that was decommissioned by the Los Angeles’ Bureau of Sanitation years ago and was jumping on some wooden planks. One of the planks gave out which sent Hernandez plunging 25 feet into a 4-foot-wide-pipe, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Once the family realized their child had gone missing, an overnight search began for Jesse who was stuck in a city sewer tunnel beneath Griffith Park. Crews began to use remote video cameras and other “Batman-like” tools to locate the teen in a maze of pipes below ground. According to Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Erik Scott, the search “was a race against time” as “survivability diminished in that toxic environment.”
Fire officials studied maps of the closed sewage pipe system and even sent a camera down in the pipes attached to a flotation device. Officials used all the resources they had seeing that they couldn’t send rescuers down into the hazardous environment to search for the teen themselves. But, after searching nearly 6,400 feet of pipe in a network that parallels the L.A. River and crosses under freeways, Jesse was finally found alive nearly two-thirds of a mile away from where he had disappeared. A sanitation worker had pulled off the lid of a manhole cover and Jesse was “right there.” After being pulled out of the sewer pipe, Jesse was then given a cell phone to call his parents and let them know he had survived the traumatic accident.
After notifying his parents that he was alive, Jesse underwent decontamination and was then transported to a nearby hospital for a medical examination.
The source reported that although the building Jesse was in was decommissioned back in the 1980’s, the pipe underneath it was still active and was carrying sewage. The pipe in which Jesse fell into “runs parallel to the 134 Freeway, then veers south near the 5 Freeway, eventually branching off into a series of smaller pipes on the east side of the L.A. River.” The accident prompted officials to conduct an investigation and part of that will include them looking into why this building was never torn down.
Can Jesse’s parents file a personal injury lawsuit for the physical or psychological injuries he may have sustained?
Personal injury lawsuits can be filed by a parent or guardian on behalf of a child who sustained an injury in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence. Now, while the city of Los Angeles might determine that the building should have been torn down, and perhaps this accident would not have happened, Jesse may have been considered to be trespassing and that might hinder his parents from obtaining a successful outcome should they file suit.
However, they would need to discuss this incident with a Los Angeles accident attorney first before assuming that they don’t have a viable case of their hands. Cases against the city are often much more complex than one involving another individual. There is an entirely different process a victim must follow and a limited timeframe they are given to take legal action. So, if the family wanted to pursue a lawsuit, they would want to act fast.
Anyone who has been injured in an accident they believe was caused by the city of Los Angeles could very well have a legitimate case on their hands but wouldn’t know for sure until they let an accident attorney review the details of the matter and determine this. If you or your child recently sustained an injury caused by someone or something else and would like to be connected with a local attorney in Los Angeles, contact USAttorneys.com now.