After a 26-year-old woman fell 10 feet from the steps at the rotunda of the Palace of Fine Arts in 2013, the city of San Francisco will have to cough up $2.25 million in restitution.
As a result of the tumble, the injured party, Lisa Owen, now suffers from loss of sensation and movement in her body. The incident happened at 2:30 am while she was hanging out with her friends in the popular public area. But the steps she was climbing weren't steps at all. They are planters that look a lot like steps. Which is why they city now has to pay.
The Chronicle has more:
[...]Owen's case wasn’t the first lawsuit against the city involving the planters.
In 2009, a man sued the city when he fell from planters. And while the man dropped the case, the city was effectively put on notice that they were dangerous, said Quinton Cutlip, Owen’s attorney.
Cutlip said after the 2009 lawsuit, the city put up signs around the steps urging caution, but "let them disappear."
Even Parks and Rec workers, according to SFist, noted that "the area eas very high risk," saying that the planters/steps "were uneven and poorly maintained, and lacked adequate lighting, hand railings and barriers discouraging people from climbing to the raised platform."
A costly yet much-needed reminder for cities to maintain their public properties.