Teenager hit by car when she suddenly crosses busy street with a friend. $3.5M. San Mateo County.


13-year-old girls dart out into traffic from center median when a truck stops for them on busy street near shopping mall. One girl is hit by a car.

The Case

  • Case Name: Giselle Diaz Murillo v Steven Campos Perez
  • Court and Case Number: San Mateo County Superior Court / 19CIV03505
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, June 22, 2023
  • Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, October 02, 2019
  • Type of Case: Vehicles - Intersection, Vehicles - vs. Pedestrian
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Robert D. Foiles
  • Plaintiffs:
    Giselle Diaz Murillo, minor
  • Defendants:
    Steven Campos Perez
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $3,500,000 with 40% of fault against plaintiff.
  • Net Verdict or Award: $2,100,000
  • Contributory/Comparative Negligence: 60% against defendant, 40% plaintiff
  • Economic Damages:

    Future medical expenses: $2,000,000

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Past: $220,000

    Future: $1,280,000

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 5 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 3 1/2 hours
  • Jury Polls: 12-0

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    The Law Office of Arash Khorsandi/Arashlaw by Greg Mohrman and James Caress, Los Angeles.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Carbone Smith & Koyama by William Coke, San Jose.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Stephan Grifka, M.D., otolaryngology/VNG.

    Fernando Miranda, M.D., neurology.

    Huma Haider, M.D., life care planning.

    Edgar Angelone, Ph.D., neuropsychology.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Jonathan Posin, M.D., radiology.

    Peter C. Cassini, M.D., neurology.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    Jeffrey Bonsall, accident reconstruction.

    John Brault, biomechanics.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):


Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On June 20, 2017, plaintiff, who was 13 years old at the time, went to an outdoor shopping mall with a classmate she had just met from summer school. While waiting at a busy intersection, they walked to the center median because the two lanes closest to them were empty. While waiting at the center median, a work truck stopped in the lane closest to them and waved them along. Plaintiff and her friend raced to the far curb. The friend made it. The plaintiff, who was a step behind, did not. She was hit by the defendant in the roadway and outside of a crosswalk. The responding police put the plaintiff exclusively at fault, and no statement was taken at the scene about a work truck stopping to let the girls pass.

    A few months after the incident, at the behest of her mother, the plaintiff filed a false police supplemental report wherein she claimed the walking light was illuminated. This was not true (and was openly admitted as such at trial).

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That defendant should have either stopped his vehicle or dramatically slowed down either in response to a truck stopping or when he saw kids passing the roadway. That defendant struck plaintiff in the outside (number 2 lane) going ~28 mph and threw her 44-49 feet.

    Further, that plaintiff hit her head on the roadway and suffered 368 G's of force.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    That plaintiff and her friend were at the center median, and lunged out in front of him as he traversed the intersection in the inside (or number 1 lane). Defendant contended that he slammed on his brakes but could not avoid plaintiff in time.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Plaintiff contended she suffered a traumatic brain injury and that she is suffering from permanent post-concussion syndrome. Plaintiff further contended that she suffered an injury to her central vestibular system, which is why she has persistent (though episodic) balance issues, dizziness, headaches, and photosensitivity.

    Plaintiff was referred to Lucille Packard Children's Hospital (at Stanford Hospital) by her primary pediatrician wherein she was diagnosed by a Stanford neurologist and Stanford's Concussion Clinic with post-concussive syndrome. Stanford did an MRI of plaintiff's brain and found a 5mm x 5mm white matter intensity, that was later determined to likely be gliosis. However, the Stanford neurologist told plaintiff's mother that the gliosis was not believed to have been caused by the motor vehicle accident. Plaintiff underwent vestibular therapy that alleviated her symptoms, but those symptoms returned when the therapy ended.

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $999,999.99 December 2022, and then another 998 for $499,999.99 10 days before trial.
  • Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $399,999.99
  • Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $300,000.00

Additional Notes

Plaintiff asked for a 70/30 split on liability in closing arguments, and the jury determined the split to be 60/40.

Through the life of the case and at the MSC, the defendant offered $18,500 (also sent as a 998 in fall 2022). Ten days before trial, defendant offer increased to $100,000, and then the day before testimony started the defense offer increased to $300,000. Plaintiff countered their $300,000 offer with $399,999.99, but it was rejected by defendant.

Insurer: AAA