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

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 _______.

  4. 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.

    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.

  5. 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.

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