Relatives of Late Gardena Motor Cop Tentatively Settle With City, State

Court Settlement

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LONG BEACH (CNS) - Relatives of a Gardena motorcycle officer who was fatally injured in a crash in Harbor City in 2018 have tentatively resolved the final parts of their lawsuit by settling their claims against the city of Los Angeles and the state of California.

Officer Toshio Hirai, 34, was en route to work at about 7:50 a.m. on Nov. 14, 2018, when he collided with a car at Western Avenue and 238th Street. He died the next day, leaving behind a wife and 2-year-old son. Hirai's widow, Kristen Hirai, and child are plaintiffs in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit along with the late officer's parents, Isao and Brigitta Hirai.

The plaintiffs' attorneys filed a notice of the tentative settlement on Tuesday with Long Beach Superior Court Judge Mark Kim. The terms, which were not revealed in court papers, are subject to approval by the Los Angeles City Council and by the appropriate state authorities. The family members previously reached settlements with other defendants in the case, including an agreement by Shark Helmets North America LLC to pay $375,000. The plaintiffs alleged that the Shark helmet Hirai wore that day and its component parts were defective in design, manufacture and assembly.

The suit alleges the intersection was defectively designed and that there was inadequate room for cars to safely enter and leave the parking lot for the Skating Edge Ice Arena. The driver of the car struck by Hirai's motorcycle was attempting to enter the arena property when she allegedly made a sudden stop during her turn, leaving Hirai unable to avoid colliding with her vehicle.

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