Over a year ago, we discussed the lawsuit brought by Maria Ana Carrola Flores, a sophomore at the University of California-San Diego, who sued after being hit by a car on the highway. However, she was taking part in a protest illegally blocking the highway at the time in protesting the election of Donald Trump. She sued the University of California Regents, the city and county of San Diego, the state of California, and the driver of the car. At the time, I expressed great doubt over the merits of this lawsuit by someone acting illegally and then blaming others for allowing her to act illegally. Now, San Diego Superior Court has issued a notice of dismissal of the frivolous action.
Flores suggested that the university was responsible because Resident Advisors had effectively organized the protest by encouraging it. It was an interesting aspect of the litigation because we have seen recently Oberlin College was held liable for its role in protests and defamatory statements against a grocery. Schools are currying favor with students by investing in protests and incorporating advocacy as part of their educational missions.
Flores’ lawyer Jerold Sullivan threw in the towel and, while calling the ruling tragic, said that the case would not be refiled. He explained that the driver did not have insurance or assets and was therefore “judgment proof.” That is why she sued the university for her own injuries. Of course, that shows a need for the money, not a claim against the university and city.