San Diego County Ordered to Pay $3.2 Million to Parents of Crash Victim

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Booth & Koskoff, a law firm in Southern California, is announcing that a San Diego jury awarded $3.2 million last month to the parents of a 22-year-old Marine killed after she lost control of her car on a flooded roadway in San Diego County. The jury deliberated for two days before returning the verdict, holding the County of San Diego liable for $3,200,000 of the total $4 million verdict.

A San Diego jury awarded $3.2 million last month to the parents of a 22-year-old Marine killed after she lost control of her car on a flooded roadway in San Diego County.

According to the San Diego Superior Court documentation with case number 37-2010-00060181-CU-NP-NC the jury deliberated for two days before returning the verdict, holding the County of San Diego liable for $3,200,000 of the total $4 million verdict. This amount consisted of purely noneconomic damages for loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society and moral support.

The crash occurred on April 22, 2010 when Marine corporal Samantha Schultz, an Iraq war veteran, was on her way home. As Corporal Schultz drove through a flooded section of Camino del Rey in Bonsall (North San Diego County), her car hydroplaned, spun out of control, and struck a utility pole, causing catastrophic injures. She died the next day as a result of those injuries. Her parents filed a wrongful death suit soon after her death.

The plaintiffs argued that the road was dangerous because of the flooding, that the County had known about a recurring flooding problem on this road for over four years, that there had been prior hydroplaning crashes there and that the County failed to take any reasonable steps to solve the problem. The County argued that Corporal Schultz was driving too fast for the conditions and was inattentive.

The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Roger Booth of Booth & Koskoff in Torrance, expressed satisfaction with the verdict in a statement:

“This is a case about the responsibility of government to provide safe roads. That’s one of the basic things we expect when we pay our taxes. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen here, and a brave young woman with a bright future ahead of her unnecessarily lost her life as a result. I’m pleased that justice was done and that this family can have some closure. My hope and belief is that this verdict will make the County of San Diego more proactive about protecting the motorists who use County roads in the future.”

For more information on this wrongful death lawsuit, please visit the Booth & Koskoff website. Tried in San Diego Superior Court with case number 37-2010-00060181-CU-NP-NC.

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