Negligence Lawsuit Proceeds Against City

Judge Thomas Anderle is allowing musician Angel Tolentino to proceed with his lawsuit against the City of Santa Barbara for injuries he sustained a year ago while riding his bicycle along the 300 block of East Gutierrez Street, well known for its jagged and uneven paving.

Tolentino and his attorney Moise Vasquez contend City Hall was negligent in not addressing the tree roots that caused the street pavement to buckle. City attorneys argued that the case should be thrown out because the city cannot be held liable for general negligence, but rather only instances in which that negligence is spelled out specifically in state law.

Anderle rejected that line of reasoning, and allowed Tolentino — who reportedly injured one of his hands in the accident — to proceed. Settlement hearings are scheduled for next week.

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