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$12.2M verdict for Millbrae crash
July 15, 2010, 03:50 AM Daily Journal Staff Report

A San Mateo County jury awarded $12.2 million in damages on behalf of a 17-year-old San Mateo girl left in a vegetative state after a driver hit her in a crosswalk on El Camino Real in 2006.

After a four-week trial, the jury found the driver 30 percent responsible but gave 50 percent of the fault to Caltrans which controls the roads. The remaining 20 percent fault was apportioned to the victim, Emily Liou.

On the evening of March 28, 2006, Liou was walking home from karaoke when a woman driving a slow-moving Toyota sedan knocked her to the ground, according to her lawyer, Douglas S. Saeltzer who filed suit along with his law partner, Rich Schoenberger of Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger.

Liou received a traumatic brain injury that left her in a permanent vegetative state. The crosswalk is marked but located in a crest of the road which is out of view until a driver is approximately 100 feet away and has no lights or stops signs controlling traffic, according to Saeltzer.

In the 15 years prior to Liou’s accident, three other pedestrians have been killed in the same crosswalk, according to the law firm’s research.

Caltrans representatives did not return an inquiry for comment.

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