The first lawsuit against the City of San Diego and the accused deaf driver who plowed into a crowd of ‘zombie walkers’ at last year’s Comic Con was filed Monday.
Cynthia Campbell filed a lawsuit against the city and accused deaf driver Matthew O. Pocci Jr. for negligence, dangerous condition of public property and another count of negligence.
Michael O. Pocci, who is deaf, is now charged with a felony count of reckless driving resulting in a serious injury. On July 26, 2014, he and his family, all inside a car, found themselves surrounded by a throng of pseudo-zombies marching in the Gaslamp District. As he surged forward, he hit a 64-year-old woman, injuring her arm.
In the lawsuit, Campbell alleges that the city did not obtain a special event permit from the city manager, as required by municipal code, for parades larger than 75 people.
“Had defendant city of defendant zombie walk complied with the San Diego Municipal code, the services of a sufficient number of traffic controllers and monitors for crowd control and safety would have been present,” according to the document.
The city did not arrange for street closures during the event either, the lawsuit claims, and the city “took it upon themselves to ensure all rules were followed.”
“However, Defendant City and its representative’s created a confusing, misleading and dangerous situation for motorists, parade participants and spectators, and then failed to warn or protect those facing the dangers that Defendant City helped to create.”
Campbell was at the intersection taking photos when Pocci tried to move through it, hitting and seriously injuring her, the lawsuit said.
“Despite his efforts to avoid causing injury to anyone in the crowd of participants and spectators, Defendant Pocci struck Plaintiff Campbell with his vehicle, knocked her to the ground, and ran over her, causing serious injury,” according to the lawsuit.
Campbell is looking for damages and would like past and future medical expenses, los earnings and loss of earnings capacity, general damages and the cost of the suit and other relief as determined by a court.
The Mayor’s office, which was named in the lawsuit, declined to comment.