The city of San Diego has agreed to pay $4.8 million to the family of two men who were struck by a car outside Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns, killing one of them, it was announced Tuesday.
The settlement follows a civil trial in which attorneys representing the family of Jaime Leonen and Joseph “Jorge” Lopez argued the men crossed a street that created a blind spot for pedestrians, resulting in more than a dozen collisions involving pedestrians along that stretch of roadway.
The men were visiting the hospital in 2015 because a family member had recently given birth.
The crash killed Leonen and left Lopez with serious spinal injuries.
Attorneys for the family argued that a dip in the roadway prevented the men from seeing the car that hit them, while the city argued the men were distracted by a cell phone as they crossed and were not paying attention to traffic conditions.
The trial resulted in a hung jury earlier this year.
“Jaime lost his life, Jorge suffered a severe spine injury, and their loved ones witnessed this entire tragedy,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Brett Schreiber in a statement. “Jorge underwent multiple surgeries, including a spinal fusion surgery, and incurred more than $1 million in medical expenses. Jaime suffered a far worse fate, and all of this could have been avoided if the city of San Diego had only done its job.”
City News Service contributed to this article.