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Entertainer Impaled by Gate Operated by Indian Wells, Widow Sues City

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From The Desert Sun:

A trial date for a case involving the death of a local entertainer is expected to be set by the end of the year, officials said.

Victor Leon, 63, of Palm Desert died Jan. 12 after he was impaled by a gate that pierced his car as he was driving through Indian Wells.

Leon was executive producer of Musical Chairs, a local tribute concert series featuring music by great American songwriters.

The incident occurred at the corner of Miles Avenue and Highway 111, near the construction site for the Indian Wells Crossing project.

Leon’s wife, Elizabeth Leon, filed a lawsuit June 15 against the city of Indian Wells, the Coachella Valley Water District and two Illinois-based companies — Miles Lodge LLC and Jerson Investments LLC, demanding a jury trial.

A court hearing for the case was scheduled Oct. 7, but was canceled.

The next hearing date is set for Dec. 14, where it is expected that the judge will set the trial date, said Paul R. Kiesel, the Los Angeles-based attorney representing Elizabeth Leon.

“The investigation is ongoing to determine why this tragedy happened,” Kiesel said.

Miles Lodge LLC and Jerson Investments LLC are listed as owners of the property where the gate was, Kiesel said Friday.

Indian Wells and CVWD, however, had a legal easement that allowed employees to have access to and control of the area as well, he added.

According to court documents, the listed defendants “negligently designed, installed, maintained, controlled and operated the gate” that subsequently swung out into Miles Avenue, impaling Victor Leon.

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