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Family files claims for $40M in death of baby

Mother, baby and two cousins were hit by a car while crossing intersection in September.

February 16, 2011|By Mona Shadia, mona.shadia@latimes.com

Four claims totaling $40 million were filed against the city of Huntington Beach by the family of a 3-month-old baby who was killed after a car struck her at an intersection.

Ruby Gould was with her mother, Renee, and two cousins, Daisy and Jacob Chuntz, crossing the intersection at Springdale Street and Croupier Drive on the morning of Sept. 7 when one car hit another and caused it to crash into the family.

Ruby could not survive the severe head injury she sustained, according to the claim. Her mother's back was broken and her shoulder was dislocated. She was transported to UCI Medical Center.

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Daisy Chuntz suffered a broken femur, the claim said. Jacob Chuntz was not injured, but continues to suffer from emotional distress, according to the claim. Renee Gould, Daisy and Jacob Chuntz each filed a $10-million claim for their injuries and emotional distress.

Ruby's father, Rob Gould, is blaming the city for the wrongful death of Ruby. His claim is also for $10 million. The four claims were filed Feb. 11.

The city failed to provide the proper signage at the intersection that could have prevented the accident, the claim said.

"The crosswalk was negligently, and dangerously designed, constructed and maintained constituting a concealed trap for motorists and pedestrians," the claim said. "Thus, by failing to maintain the public crosswalk in a reasonably safe condition, despite having effective control over the crosswalk, the city of Huntington Beach, its employees, and others failed to warn pedestrians of the dangerous risk of the crosswalk."

The intersection had no operational traffic control signals, stop signs, yield signs or warning signs, according to the claim.

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