A Fresno County jury has ruled in favor of the city of Clovis in a personal injury case involving a 12-year-old girl who suffered a traumatic brain injury after being hit by a truck.
Lawyers for Destany N. Molinar, who is now 14, alleged that the crosswalk at Willow and Holland avenues was dangerous because it was unmarked and dimly lit. Attorney Richard Watters faulted the city for not taking care of the problem. He was seeking at least $9 million in economic damages.
But the nearly month-long civil trial ended swiftly Thursday when the jury returned a 9-3 verdict against the family of the injured girl. It took the jury less than an hour to reach a verdict.
Attorney David Overstreet IV, who represented the city of Clovis, argued the intersection and crosswalk were not dangerous and did not have a high number of car crashes or pedestrian accidents.
Destany was crossing the intersection with family members, including two adults and her 7-year-old brother, at about 10 p.m. on July 20, 2016. As the family approached the southwest corner of Willow and Holland, they stopped and checked for oncoming cars and began crossing, according to the lawsuit.
The girl was struck by a truck while crossing the northbound lanes. Watters blamed the lack of a crosswalk and poor lighting as part of the problem. Destany suffered a serious brain injury as a result of the accident and will require long-term care, Watters said.
Overstreet told the jury during his closing arguments that Destany isn’t to blame – nor is the city of Clovis. He argued the fault lies with the adults who did not properly supervise her.