Driver, Caltrans responsible for accident and brain damage

Posted on Jul 19, 2010

A pedestrian who was hit by a car that left her in a coma has been awarded $12.2 million in damages by a California jury.

Emily Liou was 17-years-old at the time of the accident. She is now permanently brain damaged after her involvement in a collision in a crosswalk in March 2006 in Redwood City, California.

The driver of the car, Gada Hassan, and the California Department of Transportation were both named in the lawsuit. The attorney representing Liou claimed that the crosswalk she used was unsafe because it sits on a small rise where drivers cannot see pedestrians. There are also no stop lights or stop signs near the intersection to slow down drivers. Three people have been struck and killed on the same crosswalk since 1991.

Hassan said she did not see Liou until just before the collision occurred. The impact happened at a slow speed of 25 mph, but Liou's injury most likely occurred when she hit her head after being struck to the ground by the vehicle.

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