University of California-San Diego Student Blocks Highway In Anti-Trump Protests and Sues School After She Is Hit By Car

View image on TwitterMariana Flores, a sophomore at the University of California-San Diego, has a curious concept of not just tort liability but personal responsibility.  She is suing UCSD for being hit by a car on the highway.  However, she was taking part in a protest illegally blocking the highway at the time.  She is suing the University of California Regents, the city and county of San Diego, the state of California, and the driver of the car.

The protest was over the presidential victory of Donald Trump and Flores was demonstrating on I-5 (an eight lane highway) when the car hit her and crushed her pelvis, fractured her leg, and caused other injuries.  She does not blame herself or the protesters.  She blames the university for not stopping her from doing such a reckless thing.

Flores is arguing that the university was aware of the protest for hours without adequate planning.  She argues that university officials encouraged the protest and did nothing to control her and other protesters.


Flores’ complaint maintains that anyone employed by the university who encouraged or supported the protest would be sufficient to established liability.

The effort is clearly to get a jury to find not that Flores was without fault but that there was comparative fault by UCSB.  The case is an argument against a “pure” comparative negligence standard like the one used in California.  In a pure comparative negligence jurisdiction, a plaintiff may recover damages even if he or she is more at fault than the defendant. The award is reduced by whatever the percentage of fault is assigned to the plaintiff.  Other states use a partial or modified comparative fault system where you are barred if you are 50 percent or more at fault in your own accident.  In the traditional contributory negligence states Flores would have been barred for even one percent of fault (absent a finding under “last clear chance” doctrines).

It is a good thing that UCSD is not simply caving into this lawsuit with a settlement. I fail to see the basis for liability based on the facts alleged by Flores.

What do you think?

51 thoughts on “University of California-San Diego Student Blocks Highway In Anti-Trump Protests and Sues School After She Is Hit By Car

  1. In some respects this reminds of the professor at the medical school in Wisconsin who encouraged young residents to go into the streets and write fake sick notes to demonstrators who skipped work to oppose Gov. Walker. They, stupidly wrote the dishonest medical notes while being recorded for television and, naturally, ended up facing complaints before the medical board. Every one of them deserved punishment but the professor who encouraged this conduct in young doctors under his care deserved to lose his medical license and be fired. I am surprised that none of the residents thought to sue the university and the attending physician for leading them into legal peril. The universities in California have generally been encouraging or tolerating outrageous and sometimes perilous behavior to achieve political ends. I don’t mind seeing them sued when someone is injured–even if it is someone who is stupid. They should, after all, raise their admissions standards as well.

    • Nobody allowed her to do anything! People must take responsibility for there own actions. Now that she’s injured, she wants someone to pay. HORSESHIT! 🐴 I’m flabbergasted by the stupidity that goes on in the world today. SHE MADE THE CHOICE TO PLAY IN TRAFFIC

  2. As simple as I can say it: What ever happened to personal responsibility?

    Giving recognition to the different standards for comparative negligence between states, I prefer the modified form as described in the post. As such, I think the plaintiff was more than 50% at fault, and should be barred from any recovery. Especially against the institutions listed. If anyone else could even be considered partly responsible, it would be the driver of the vehicle that hit her. But since the incident occurred on a highway, she was out of place standing there. Which again, would make her the more negligent individual.

    Maybe I’m just the plaintiff bar’s worst nightmare: A person who hates cases that just clog the court system when the plaintiff is guilty.

  3. As a retired adjuster I have seen worse liability theories result in compromise settlements. This is true even in states with negligence based upon Modified Comparative Fault. The dollar expense of getting through Interrogatories (Paper Discovery) along with Discovery depositions with possibly hundreds of potential witnesses would greatly exceed the costs associated with settling the lawsuit. Sadly, these matters have little to do with achieving “Justice.” The reality is that business decisions are made in many of these matters with ironclad confidentiality and mutual release language included in the Release of All Claims Agreement. Especially if the medical lien can be negotiated to a reduced figure by an astute Plaintiff Attorney. In my experience with Civil Litigation, “Justice” is neither blind nor is it free.

  4. There is a peculiar tendency for many to believe that the right to free speech necessarily means the right to be heard, or, worse, the right to be right–both of which, directly and/or indirectly, are on display here. This is not just a liberal thing or a conservative thing, but increasingly a trend for all sides, including those not easily classifiable as either. The third aspect, the presumed right to be right, is especially dangerous since it subverts the very idea of free speech.

    I suspect nothing much will be heard of this–no judge in the world, I should think, let this go to trial. Still, the idea that anybody thinks this can be grounds for lawsuit to begin with is amazing (and I’ve seen university admins back off even in face of ridiculous claims by students before.)

  5. Flores no doubt considers herself a feminist. Let’s have less of her virtue signaling, and more of this kind of behavior.

    • The 5 is a major freeway, filled with traffic. Utter madness to block it, and a cruel thing to do to all the drivers fighting with CA traffic.

        • You are right. These protestors milling about on the freeway are a poor reflection on the university’s ability to teach critical thinking and higher reasoning.

  6. I have to keep coming back to look at this. Where did it all go wrong? Were drugs a factor? I thought living beings were hard-wired with the goal to continue, and you got, you know, a kind of “I don’t think that is a good thing to do for my longevity” kind of feeling.

    Pardon me for not asking her for perspective on anything. Ever.

    Should be a government agency to stop such an action I guess. You know, lots of administrators. Like 10-14,000 or something. Top pay, of course.

    • Social psychologists refer to infantilized adults like Flores as “moral dependents”–they cannot work things out for themselves and are always looking to authority figures to make things “right” when their feelz have been hurt. You know, like suffering “microaggressions” in the classroom and BS like that. So, of course, Flores is going to look to the court system to hold UCSD accountable because she wasn’t sufficiently “restrained” and couldn’t be expected to know any better than to follow the rest of the sheeple onto the I-5.

  7. Simple solurion.
    Just have the professor/indoctrinator that told her to block the highway for “the cause,” tell her to drop the suit and shut up for “the cause.”
    Like all kool-aid saturated millineals she will hear and obey.

  8. Ahhhh, red meat served up today. Bad suit on her part, but it’s not like she’s the only one that knows nothing of law either, check out Trump’s lawyer’s suit against Bannon. Or Manafort’s suit against the Justice Dept.

  9. “She is suing the University of California Regents, the city and county of San Diego, the state of California, and the driver of the car.“

    Abusing the legal system with empty lawsuits? How Trump of her.

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