Philosophy Teacher's Family Files Wrongful Death Suit
The family of a Fullerton High School, California teacher killed in a trafic accident claim that the accident was caused by a negligently constructed or maintained traffic intersection and its control signals. Jeff Rupp, 58, was a government and philosophy instructor, and his school's 2007 teacher of the year. He was riding on his 2003 Harley Davidson motorcycle on January 19, 2011 when he was struck by another driver.
The accident caused Rupp severe head injuries and multiple broken bones. He died of complications from his injuries on February 11th. According to police, Rupp was riding his motorcycle northbound on Euclid street in Orange County when a 2004 Hyundai sedan in the southbound lane made a left turn in front of Rupp on Malvern Avenue. The turn led to the vehicles colliding, sending Rupp crashing off his bike and receiving his fatal injuries.
The lawsuit alleges that the city had been notified of the unsafe conditions of the intersection and its equipment well before the accident, and had received more than sufficient notice to have corrected the danger before the accident took place – the complaints about the intersection were filed as early as September of the previous year.
The case has not been assigned a trial date. City Attorney Dick Jones estimated that at least six months would pass before a judge could hear the case. Jones stated that thus far, the case is merely an allegation, and the two parties involved have not had a chance to meet over the matter.
The documents filed for the suit do not specify what conditions made the intersection unsafe, and the Rupp family's attorney did not return calls when contacted by reporters.
Jones went on to say that no obvious issue could be seen at the intersection, and called the matter a broad allegation lacking substance.
Rupp's widow and two children filed a $2.9 million claim against the city in June, which was denied. The lawsuit has been filed in response to the city's denial of the claim.