Court Dismisses Lawsuit from Student Hit by Car While Protesting Trump

Student says university should’ve warned about dangers of protesting on freeway

Rush-hour traffic on the I-5 Freeway in San Diego, California / Getty Images
July 22, 2019

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit from a college student for injuries she sustained while protesting the election of Donald Trump on a freeway, after he declared victory in November 2016.

Protests on college campuses were a common sight after the election. At the University of California, San Diego, one such protest by hundreds of students began on campus, but ultimately moved to the nearby I-5 freeway at approximately 1:30 am. Students were presumably trying to block the freeway, a tactic which was common at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests.

As students fanned out across the lanes, they flashed the lights on their phones to signal oncoming traffic of their presence. A Caltrans (California Department of Transportation) vehicle tried to slow approaching drivers by driving in an "S" formation, but within moments, a driver went around the Caltrans vehicle and struck a student while moving at considerable speed.

The student, Maria Ana Carrola Flores, suffered a crushed pelvis and a fractured leg, among other injuries. The driver stopped and was released when it was determined he was not driving under the influence.

In 2017, Flores filed a lawsuit against the driver, the city and county of San Diego, the University of California, San Diego, and the UC Board of Regents.

Flores's attorney, Jerold Sullivan, argued that while his client accepted her responsibility for the accident, others shared blame as well. Sullivan claimed that according to Flores, campus officials had encouraged the protest, did not control it, and failed to warn students of the danger of walking onto the freeway.

According to the UC San Diego student newspaper, the Guardian, the lawsuit stated, "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."

In 2018, San Diego Superior Court Judge John S. Meyer dismissed the charges against the city and county. Sullivan then filed an amended lawsuit against the remaining defendants.

It has now been revealed that the amended lawsuit has also been tossed.

The San Diego Superior Court dismissed Flores's lawsuit without prejudice on May 26, according to documents obtained by the College Fix.

Their report includes a response to the verdict from Sullivan, who said, "The person that ran her over did not have insurance and is judgment proof with no assets. Ms. Flores is left with no recourse for catastrophic physical injuries and a lifetime of medical expenses."