Case details

Family claimed inattentive driver caused pedestrian’s death





Result type

Not present

ankle, arm, blunt force trauma to the head, brain, brain injury, fracture, fractures left arm, head, traumatic brain injury
On Sept. 26, 2014, plaintiffs’ decedent Ai Hua Liu, 75, was walking on the sidewalk along southbound Winchester Boulevard, in Santa Clara. As she walked in front of a driveway serving as the exit for the Valley Fair Shopping Center parking lot, a 2013 Ford Edge operated by Lauren Manion, a 29-year-old a grocery store employee, attempted to exit the parking lot. The co-owner of the vehicle, Lindsay Maslak, was a passenger in Manion’s vehicle while on their way back home after they shopped together because Maslak’s driver’s license had been suspended. However, as Manion exited the driveway with the intention of turning right onto northbound Winchester Boulevard, she struck Liu, causing Liu’s head to forcefully strike the pavement. Liu ultimately died the next day. The decedent’s husband, Guo Shu Wang, acting individually and on behalf of his wife’s estate, and their adult children, Bin Wang, Ying Wang and Xin Wang, sued the driver, Lauren Manion; and the owners of the Ford, Lindsay Maslak and William Maslak, Lindsay Maslak’s father. The decedent’s family alleged that Manion was negligent in the operation of the Ford Edge and that Mr. and Ms. Maslak were vicariously liable for Manion’s actions. Plaintiffs’ counsel contented that Manion failed to observe Liu walking in front of her vehicle when she attempted to exit the parking lot. Counsel also contended that Manion was a permissive user of the vehicle, which was co-owned and insured by the Maslaks. The defendants did not dispute liability., Liu’s head forcefully struck the pavement during the accident. At the scene, she was alive, but unresponsive and disoriented. As a result, an ambulance rushed Liu to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, in San Jose, where she was diagnosed as having sustained blunt force trauma to her head, resulting in a traumatic brain injury. She was also diagnosed with fractures of her left arm and ankle. Liu ultimately died as a result of the massive brain trauma. She passed away without regaining consciousness while still a patient at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center on Sept. 27, 2014. She was 75 years old. Liu is survived by her husband of 53 years, Guo Shu Wang, and their three adult children, Bin Wang, Ying Wang and Xin Wang. The decedent’s surviving family members characterized Liu as a dynamic, energetic and independent person who regularly attended church, did volunteer work, and provided emotional support for those in need. They also claimed that the decedent was the matriarch of their family and that family was of central and paramount importance to her. Thus, the decedent’s family sought recovery of $80,889 to cover the decedent’s medical expenses (before a Howell adjustment) and $44,238.69 to cover funeral and burial expenses. They also sought recovery of wrongful death damages, citing the lengthy marriage of over 50 years and evidence that the family was warm, close and loving prior to Liu’s death.
Superior Court of Santa Clara County, Santa Clara, CA

Recommended Experts


Get a FREE consultation for your case