Student Hit by Car After Entering Freeway During Election Night Protests Sues UCSD

Exactly one year after a car struck Revelle sophomore Mariana Flores as she entered Interstate-5 during the election night protests, Flores’ attorney filed a personal injury and property damage lawsuit against UC San Diego and several other entities. According to the complaint submitted to the San Diego Superior Court last Wednesday, Flores suffered wage loss, loss of earning capacity, hospital and medical expenses, general damage, property damage, and loss of personal property as a result of the incident.

The protests during which Flores was injured began shortly after Donald Trump was announced the projected winner of the 2016 election. Students living in all six colleges gathered on Library Walk and spread throughout campus, chanting criticisms of the president-elect as they moved. The protest then spilled off-campus near the freeway, where demonstrators walked onto the interstate.

As an emergency vehicle was attempting to shut down Interstate-5 by driving in an “S” formation across the southbound lanes, the driver hit Flores, crushing her pelvis, fracturing her leg, and causing other serious injuries.

Flores’ attorney Gene Sullivan informed the UCSD Guardian that due to the nature of her injuries, Flores’ medical bills over the course of her life will be in the millions of dollars, so he and his client hope that the university will offer assistance in covering the costs.   

The lawsuit, which also names the UC Board of Regents, the City and County of San Diego, the State of California, and the driver of the vehicle as defendants, states that the protest was organized by the university and that UCSD is responsible for failing to end the demonstration.

“Plaintiff was participating in a citizen protest that had been organized by the University of California, San Diego and/or the University of California Regents,” the complaint reads. “The protest continued all over campus for hours and was never stopped, controlled, or refrained by the County of San Diego, City of San Diego, State of California, University of California Regents or the University of California, San Diego.”   

Sullivan explained that there are a number of people culpable for the accident, including Flores herself, but because the university is partially responsible, it is also partially responsible for the harms and damages. Under the doctrine of tort law known as “comparative responsibility,” the jury will determine what percentages of responsibility the university and other defendants comprise for the incident and assign damages accordingly.

Elaborating on the notion that the university “organized” the protest, Sullivan told the Guardian that the university “planned, organized” and knew the protest was happening for hours but did nothing to stop it. According to Sullivan, not doing anything and failing to act is legally the same thing as supporting the protest.

Sullivan further alleged that the protest was encouraged by people in positions of authority at the university, and that “if anyone that is in authority with the university – a [Residential Advisor] – says ‘let’s go,’ the university would be responsible.”

The complaint additionally claims that UCSD is liable for Flores’ injuries because it allowed the protesters to enter the freeway and failed to warn Flores that there was no one providing security for the demonstrators along the freeway even though campus police officers were present during the protests on campus and shut down the surrounding streets.

“It’s a long-established rule that a university or any public entity has a duty to protect their students and have them be safe,” Sullivan said.

UCSD has not yet informed Sullivan of its position on the lawsuit.

The UCSD Guardian contacted UCSD representatives for comments, but they did not respond. Anyone seeking information on the lawsuit is welcome to contact Sullivan at (310) 376-0288.

Photo by Patrick Lazo

70 thoughts on “Student Hit by Car After Entering Freeway During Election Night Protests Sues UCSD

  1. Having watched the video of this happening, I saw students who were wearing black stepping out onto a highway waving their phones a few feet above their head.
    Seconds after she was hit, they yell for everyone to get the F off of the highway.
    Its ALMOST as if they figured out that wearing black and wandering onto a highway was a bad idea?

    This is the definition of self-entitlement.
    Every teenager does something stupid. That’s what being a teenager is. But in theory, by the time you’ve reached college, you’re a little bit smarter.
    Not the case here.
    To blame the school for something you did off campus (when the college cannot stop you from doing anything off campus) is soooo wrong.

    The worst part of this?
    We all know that in the coming year, more dumb college students are going to wander onto highways and insist that its the job of traffic not to run them down. And then act surprised when traffic doesn’t notice them or stop.

    1. This was completely this woman’s choice to go out and protest. Her actions unfortunately caused her harm. She cannot blame anyone but herself for that. If she was stopped from protesting then she would probably be suing for that.
      We will live in a sue-happy society and it has to be stopped. It was her choice to walk on a freeway, and it’s too bad she got hit. She’s not a five year old. Take responsibility for your own actions.

      1. UCSD Alum here. Remember UCSD students, You are taking loans out so you can pay for her stupidity, that is what she is gunning for. She is looking for your tuition, your parents tax-dollars and the loans that you will have for years to come. All because she is protesting democracy and standing on a highway while wearing black.

  2. f you are at a major university of learning and have not learned the pros and cons of staying off the road on a major freeway maybe that university should consider other students to take that students place. I do not think freeways were built for protestors and most major roads are not built and designed for protestors. If a protestor believes that is a great place to protest maybe should consider another past time. Maybe protest underwater until your demands are met that might be a better way for them to get their point across.

  3. I only wish more protesters would end up like her. Throwing your self in front of cars on a highway at night and now the idiot wants to sponge off of innocent people for the rest of her life, typical anti Trumper.

    1. It’s sad that today’s youth feel it necessary to react as they have in the face of a national election, and end up getting themselves injured in the process.
      But, first of all, the way the voting system works is to bring a balance (according to those who created it) between heavily populated areas and those areas that are not as heavily populated, so as to bring a contrast to what people in those varying areas believe in.
      I’ve been around long enough to live through at least 10 presidents, and never in the history of this country has any number of the nation’s population Ever acted in such a matter.
      Protesting is one thing that I have no problem with, but to act I. Such a a way as to literally Knowingly Place ones self in a position or place where you know Full Well that you would not normally do so for fear of your life leaves me to feel that you get what you ask for.
      Granted, people got injured, but you were not forced to be there. No one coerced you into stepping out into an area where traffic flows at such a high rate.
      And to top it all off, it is illegal for pedestrians to be on the interstate in the first place. Local and state police know this, and it puts EVERYONE at high risk, including the drivers on the highway.
      I’m not sorry to say this, even though I may or may not agree with their grievance, but, a lawsuit against the university, or any other entity because YOU were the one to step out o to a major highway (Or any other traffic area for that matter)???
      I don’t think so. You make a decision, you pay the consequences for that decision, whether a good, or bad decision. YOU made that choice, no one else. Good luck.

  4. Darwin law wins again. She needs to lose this case in a big way if only to educate the rest of the snowflakes to the fact that attempting to block traffic as a form of protest is a really bad idea.

  5. If your agenda is to build a nanny state, then you produce fools who need to be nannied.

    Well done, UCSD.

  6. Sums up the intelligence of liberals. This case will be thrown out and I hope she will be forever banned from attending any UC, just on the basis of stupidity and mental incapacity.

  7. I hope the judge throws this case out. This girl is seriously looking to blame the university for her stupidity? Bottom line is that if she hadn’t walked down that freeway ramp she wouldn’t have been hit. Now she’s bitter because of her immature decision and wants to place blame on everyone but herself. Classic UC student liberal mentality. Doesn’t surprise me. I hope the judge laughs in her face. She deserves everything she gets.

  8. Ms. Flores, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no money, and may God have mercy on your soul. -Judge _______.

  9. She has a fractured pelvis, broken leg, and millions worth of medical bills and everyone’s sitting around shaming her????? And to say that it was entirely her fault is, well, faulty af. Situations like these off the computer or phone screen are way more complex, not to mention none of us were there to see all the little things that added up to what happened seconds before but of course we’ll only read about an article, and make snap judgments because we’re mentally lazy and only look at the information in front of us, and judge the situation from an outsider perspective. Everything around her situation is more than just her one foot forward onto the highway and getting run over. Yeah, she had a part to it. But only partially. Don’t argue. Did you forget a dumbass got elected?

    1. Why doesn’t she add Trump to the list of people she’s suing then lol.

      Most people are smart enough not to go onto the highway at night because the rest of us “mentally lazy” people have some common sense. But hey if you feel bad for her, start a Kickstarter. Just don’t touch my tuition money.

      1. I mean… she could definitely sue Trump. He sucks, why wouldn’t anyone wanna do that? And what would you do if she did? Let me guess: act petty?

        Yes there could’ve been a better way to protest. Totally. Clearly her body getting fucked up wasn’t worth the risk. You’re pointing out the obvious that none of them should’ve been on the highway, so this isn’t about common sense. But I’m not gonna waste my time criticizing this girl who already got the message.

        Plus a Kickstarter wouldn’t hurt because yes using our tuition would suck.

    2. She made the decision to walk onto the freeway at night. The driver is responsible as well, but then again, you don’t expect someone to be walking in the middle of the freeway at night.

      Trump being elected as a “counterargument” (or whatever thought process you had when you typed that) is also pathetic, and even so, it doesn’t justify the lawsuit in any degree. Just because he got elected, it doesn’t mean that I start making rash decisions that could affect my life.

      1.   I see no reason to hold the driver responsible at all.  He’s guilty only of trying to use the freeway for its intended purpose.  It’s not his fault that some idiot wandered out into the freeway, into his path; surely leaving him insufficient time to react to avoid the resulting collision.

    3. Your argument is preposterous and lacking in even a modicum of logic. Are you gaslighting us or do actually believe that some entitled half-wit dancing in the middle of highway should not have anticipated the possibility of tremendous and grievous bodily harm?!? Squirrels have more intelligence than this.

      She “played a role” in her decision to play on the freeway? How brave of you to give her any freedom to act whatsoever! I would have thought a towering intellectual giant such as yourself would jump right to blaming this 100% on Trump.

    4. Her injuries are unfortunate but she SHOULD be shamed and not rewarded for her idiocy. She could have easily caused an accident that killed many others, much less herself. The punishment for her stupidity was severe and immediate. Thank God this half-wit did not injure anyone else of get them killed because of her solipsism and fascist like protesting.

      And, yes, trying to close down a freeway because your favorite angry lesbian in the whole wide world did not get elected president is stupid, dangerous and proto-anarchist nonsense. It is too bad for her that the punishment will be so permanent but she was a full sober adult – drunk only on left-wing political righteousness. Far better for her had the intoxicant only been some liquor or that beloved SoCal blunt.

    5. She flat out broke the law sir. Maybe it is you who is what you call “The Dumb Ass”. California law does not allow a pedestrian to be on a highway or freeway unless permitted. Vehicle code 21960. She will lose this whole battle and will end up wasting her time and and wasting the time of other people that are way more valuable to society take your factless argument elsewhere

    6. Uh, no. It is ENTIRELY this stupid girl’s fault. She willingly set foot onto a highway, meant for vehicles only, and blocked traffic, at night. It doesn’t matter what happened before. Nobody forced her onto the highway. She made the decision to do that, and she got hurt in the process due to her own stupidity. Yes, it’s awful that this happened, but it’s nobody’s fault but her own. A moron getting elected president doesn’t give you an excuse to make stupid decisions and then play the victim when something bad happens. This girl needs to take responsibility for herself.

    7. It is 100% her fault for breaking the law and causing an accident. Her right to protest doesn’t mean she has the right to interfere with the rights of other people or to break the law. In her case, blocking traffic or sidewalks. She deserved what she got and she should be responsible for damages to the vehicle.

    8. No, the “dumbass” (HRC), didn’t get elected. We can all rejoice in this girl’s pain. She has no one to blame except herself and her insane liberal hate of the GREAT DONALD TRUMP. She got a taste of MAGA on the highway. There is more where that came from.

    9. The answers to your two questions are: yes, and Obama isn’t president anymore.

      Trump so far is the greatest first-year president in history. Hillary would have been the third term of Obama, the worst economic president in my lifetime.

      But hey, if you disagree, feel free to walk on I-5 at night….

    10. You must be the lawyer or the unuversity authority who her and the rest of the idiots to block the freeway.

      1. Your calling us idiots???! Clown if this stupid girl gets one cent it would be to much. I hope she feels sore for along time so she can think of her stupid actions. Wondering why your defending her, lonely or something? And Trump is doing a hell of a job. Go play in traffic

    11. Your the dumbass for even trying to defend her. So lets see, the anti trumper runs into traffic on a busy freeway at night as seen on the video and wants to be taken care of for the rest of her life???! What kind of stupid are you? Thank God Trump is running things now. Go climb back under your safe space snowflake.

    12. wow, making excuses for a college edjucated sjw snowflake who put herself in a dangerous situation voluntarily and paid a price. Now she wants to blame others for her own stupidity and make them responsible and pay for the consequences and you support her. Where did you go to college?

    13.   It was her own choice to go out on to a freeway.  She, alone, is responsible for the consequences.  In fact, she should be held responsible, financially, for any damage to the car that struck her.

        I guess the idea that one is responsible for the consequences of one’s own behavior tends to be lost on LIbErals.

    14. “And to say that it was entirely her fault is, well, faulty af. ”

      Excuse me, but who else is to blame?
      They were wearing black. They walked onto a highway.
      If you watch the video, ten seconds after she was hit, the other people are yelling “get the f*** off of the highway!” (Meaning, they figured out that it was a bad idea about 20 seconds too late.)

      You know the people who climb on top of tall buildings and videotape themselves hanging off of ledges? I don’t feel bad for them either.

  10. Are you kidding me? What a retard. Grasping for money cause they were butthurt after the election and weren’t grown up enough to deal with it in a legal manner. They literally broke the law by going onto the freeway. This is a ludicrous case and I hope it gets thrown out of court and the plaintiff laughed at.

    1. This is what higher education has become. A bunch of snowflakes taking out huge loans to study humanities to work at Kohls, if they are lucky. Losers living in a loser state.

      1. WJ: you are clearly insensitive. These snowflakes are “owed” high paying jobs because of their SJW credentials and virtue signaling….

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