City of San Diego Not Liable in ‘Zombie Walk' Lawsuit: Judge

A Superior Court judge ruled the facts did not support the City of San Diego was negligent on the day of the crash, according to the San Diego City Attorney’s office

A judge has ruled the City of San Diego is not liable in a lawsuit stemming from a highly-publicized 2014 crash outside of San Diego Comic-Con.

On July 26, 2014, pedestrian Cynthia Campbell was hit by a car near a “Zombie Walk” parade on the streets of downtown San Diego. The car was driven by Matthew Pocci, a deaf man who failed to yield to pedestrians and onlookers as they participated in the event. 

Campbell was there photographing the parade; Pocci and his passengers were on their way home from Comic-Con when he plowed into the crowd.

Campbell was struck and pinned under Pocci’s car and suffered serious injuries in the collision. Pocci was ultimately convicted of felony reckless driving causing serious injury and was sentenced in December 2015 to three years of probation and 60 days of electronic monitoring.

Campbell, Pocci and Pocci’s passengers eventually sued the City of San Diego for damages in the accident, arguing the City should’ve closed roads and set up detours to make the streets safer during the “Zombie Walk” parade.

However, on Friday, a press release from the San Diego City Attorney’s Office said Superior Court Judge Judith F. Hayes had ruled the facts presented to the court in the lawsuit were insufficient “and did not support the plaintiffs’ claims that the City was negligent or created a dangerous condition that day.”

The case was argued for the City by Deputy City Attorney Kelly McGeehan. In the end, Judge Hayes ruled in favor of the City’s position, and ruled the City and taxpayers would not be liable in the lawsuits.

“For a public entity to be liable for a dangerous condition on public property that results in injury by a third party, there must be a defect in the condition of the public property, and the defect must have some causal relationship to the conduct that led to injury. In this case, no such defect was shown,” the press release from the City Attorney's office said.

To read the order from Judge Hayes, click here.

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