AgnewBrusavich Files Lawsuit Against California and Newport Beach For Dangerous Intersection Killing Olympic Cyclist’s Wife


AgnewBrusavich, a Torrance-based personal injury law firm, filed a lawsuit on behalf of Olympic cyclist Paul Deem over the death of his wife, Debra Healy Deem, who was killed on August 27, 2013 while riding her bicycle northbound on California’s Pacific Coast Highway.  At approximately 1:30 P.M., motorist Robert James Anderson was making a right-hand turn onto Newport Coast Drive when he struck and killed Mrs. Deem. The lawsuit alleges that the State of California and the City of Newport Beach was negligent in maintaining that particular stretch of the highway and aims to make this intersection safer for bicyclists and motorists.

In the September 2014 criminal proceeding, an Orange County jury failed to convict the driver of manslaughter and negligence.

“The bicycle lane on this particular stretch of Pacific Coast Highway disappears, which forces motorists to use their judgment as to where the lanes of separation are,” said AgnewBrusavich partner, Bruce M. Brusavich. “All the other intersections on Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach have bike lane continuations through the intersection. It’s unacceptable that such a dangerous intersection still exists.”

Mr. Deem, an avid cyclist and Olympian who holds multiple records, retired from racing and opened two bicycle shops in Orange County; Cycle Werks in Costa Mesa and San Clemente. Also an advocate for the cycling community, he hopes this lawsuit will help improve the safety of this stretch of Pacific Coast Highway.