A woman whose car plunged into a sinkhole in Studio City, California, in February 2017, will receive up to $4 million as part of a settlement reached Wednesday, her attorney said.
The Los Angeles City Council agreed Wednesday to the award to Stephanie Scott, who sued the city for negligence in a September 2017 lawsuit, lawyer Brian Panish told NBC News on Thursday.
Scott “suffered significant injuries, damages and losses” as a result of the incident, according to her lawsuit.
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Panish said that Scott suffered a traumatic brain injury, post-concussive syndrome and sight problems, following the Feb. 27, 2017 incident.
Scott's sport utility vehicle fell 20 feet and landed on its roof in a flowing river of raw sewage, her attorneys said in a statement Thursday. The roof was crushed and Scott was knocked unconscious, according to her attorneys. When she regained consciousness, she made her way to the top of the SUV.
Firefighters said Scott was standing on top of the SUV, about 10 feet below the ground, screaming for help that evening. Her rescue was caught on camera.
"We hope that this settlement can improve the quality of her life and that the city will take a good, hard look at their policies and procedures regarding maintenance of its aging sewer system to ensure no other Angeleno suffers through such a horrific experience again," attorney Kevin Boyle said Thursday.
The lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court in Los Angeles County named the county and city of Los Angeles as well as the city's departments of water and power, public works and county sanitation districts as defendants.
Shortly after the 2017 incident, the city's public works department said in a statement to reporters that the sinkhole “was probably caused by a combination of excessive rain and a possible sewer failure,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the settlement Thursday.