Park-play injury prompts claim against city 

Santa Clarita City Hall
Santa Clarita City Hall

The family of a 9-year-old girl is filing a claim against the city of Santa Clarita seeking damages because a light pole at Valencia Meadows Park failed and struck the child, leaving her with “severe and ongoing injuries.” 

On Oct. 19, 2022, the child was playing with other children that afternoon surrounded by her parents and other families when the accident occurred, according to the claim. 

“While claimant was playing a game with the children at the premises, one of the children leaned against a light pole that was on the premises,” the claim states. “Suddenly, and without warning, the light pole gave way and fell down onto the claimant and other child.” 

A report from a city official who responded to the incident right after it happened states the following: 

“After speaking with the group, I learned that the kids were playing a game in the area of the light pole. One of the kids was feeling dizzy and leaned against the pole, and at that time, the pole fell down,” according to the report. “As it fell, two kids were in the path of the falling pole …. One of the kids (name withheld) sustained an (injury) on her ankle.”  

He said the children’s injuries were already being treated by the time he arrived, so city officials shut off power as a precaution, removed the pole and then put up a cautionary A-frame to help children avoid the area. 

The claimant was unable to walk or put any weight on her ankle, according to the report, but there were no other apparent injuries. 

“We have been in the process of inspecting the pole bases throughout the parks,” according to a city report of the incident. “After this accident, we will be looking at ways to improve the inspections to better locate potential hazards.” 

The claimants, who are represented by local law firm Owen Patterson & Owen, are seeking damages in excess of $10,000, according to the claim. 

The claim is listed on the city’s agenda as part of its closed session agenda, because the family’s March 30, 2023, claim represents “significant exposure to litigation,” under state law. A claim is required to be filed against a government agency in California before it can be sued, according to state law.  

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