Case details

Driver claimed child ran into the side of her vehicle





Result type

Not present

arterial, clavicle, dental, fracture, right clavicle, shoulder, tooth
On June 25, 2012, at around 2:25 p.m., plaintiff Beautiful Watts, 6, made a purchase from an ice cream van parked on the side of Porter Avenue in Stockton and then ran around the front of the van, back into the roadway. As she did so, a vehicle operated by Melanie Walters attempted to drive past the ice cream van, causing Beautiful to strike the side of her vehicle. Beautiful fractured a tooth and her right clavicle, and suffered a hematoma to her forehead, a hemorrhage in her left eye, as well as numerous cuts and abrasions. Joshua Watts, acting as his daughter’s guardian ad litem, sued Walters, alleging the defendant was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. Plaintiff’s counsel argued that Walters was negligent for failing to see the ice cream van before the impact occurred. Counsel also argued that Walters was traveling at an unsafe speed for the conditions, in that children and an ice cream van were present. Thus, counsel contended that Walters should have passed by the ice cream van at a greater distance, as she was 3-feet from the ice cream van when the accident occurred. Walters claimed that Beautiful was negligent for running into the side of her vehicle, as evidenced by the dent in the front quarter panel of her vehicle, just behind the front right tire. Walters also claimed that Beautiful was 100 percent negligent for running into the roadway without first checking for cars. She contended that she was driving under the speed limit, as she had allegedly seen children in the area, and that Beautiful’s parents, Joshua and Angela Watts, and neighbor, Angela Williams, were all negligent for failing to properly supervise Beautiful., Beautiful suffered a fracture of her right clavicle, a baseball-sized hematoma to her forehead, a fractured incisor tooth, a subconjunctival hemorrhage in her left eye, and multiple cuts and abrasions to her head, arms and legs. She was subsequently taken by ambulance to the Emergency Room at San Joaquin Memorial Hospital, in Bakersfield, where her right arm was secured in a sling and she was given pain medication. Beautiful then followed up with her primary care physician and dentist. Beautiful did not require any surgery, and she did not complain of any residual or limitations.
Superior Court of San Joaquin County, San Joaquin, CA

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