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Board Of Supervisors Raise Taxi Insurance Requirements

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors agreed today to consider raising the insurance requirement for taxis in unincorporated areas from $350,000 to $1 million.

The vote came less than three weeks after a taxi crashed into a crowd of pedestrians outside a downtown San Diego nightclub, injuring several people, including an Encinitas woman who has undergone multiple surgeries to save her leg.

Last year, the Metropolitan Transit System, or MTS, raised the insurance limits for taxis in San Diego and surrounding cities to $1 million, beginning with 2011 insurance renewals.

The taxi driver accused of causing the crash, Sam Daly, was "literally days away" from having to meet these new requirements, Supervisor Ron Roberts said.

The medical bills for Dominique Gambale, the woman injured in the crash, will far exceed the insurance policy that covered Daly's cab, according to Gambale's lawyer.

Roberts, a member of the MTS board, said the crash "reinforced a basic decision we had been working on to consider lifting limits in unincorporated areas."

"I hope officials in cities not covered by these new insurance minimums will also step forward with matching proposals," he said.

The board will vote March 15 on whether to adopt the ordinance. If approved, it will take effect April 14, but will only apply to future insurance renewals, Roberts said.

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