Court Dismisses Election Night Lawsuit from Student Against UCSD

The San Diego Superior Court issued a notice of dismissal in the lawsuit of Roger Revelle College junior Maria Flores against UC San Diego, the City of San Diego, and several other entities on April 11. Flores filed a personal injury and property damage lawsuit in 2017 after she was hit by a car during an on-campus protest that spilled onto the interstate.

According to the notice, the case will officially be dismissed without prejudice on May 25 unless one of the following two actions occur: The plaintiff files a judgment or dismissal, or requests a continuance. In the latter, Flores would appear ex parte, a legal proceeding in which only one party is involved, and explain to the judge why the case should not be dismissed.

Flores was participating in a 2016 election night protest on campus that spread onto Interstate 5, according to the original lawsuit filed on Nov. 2017. An emergency vehicle that was driving in an ‘S’ formation hit Flores, leaving her with a crushed pelvis, fractured leg, and other severe injuries. Her attorney, Jerold Sullivan, argued that UCSD was liable for Flores’ injuries because it “organized” the protest and did nothing to stop it, allowing protesters to enter the freeway.

“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 original 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.”   

This motion also comes roughly eight months after Judge John S. Meyer ruled against Flores and in favor of the City of San Diego on Aug. 10, citing that her attorney’s argument was irrelevant and invalid. In his ruling, Meyer also held that the City had no obligation to pay for any of the damages.

In response, Sullivan filed an amended complaint against the Department of Transportation, arguing that the Department should be held responsible because the emergency vehicle attempted to shut down the protest in an “inadequate and negligent” manner.

Neither Sullivan nor Flores could be reached for comment. It is unknown whether or not they will take any action to reverse the dismissal.

Photo courtesy of UC San Diego Libraries.

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