$25M for Girl Who Suffered Brain Damage in California Crash

December 23, 2019

Sacramento County will pay more than $25 million to the family of a 12-year-old girl who was left with brain damage after her family car was struck by a sheriff’s patrol car vehicle.

The settlement last week is the largest for a civil lawsuit in county history, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Julian Awad, then age 10, was in a car driven by her father on July 14, 2017, in the unincorporated Arden-Arcade area when it was struck by a sheriff’s sport utility vehicle.

The car was making a left turn when it was hit by the speeding patrol vehicle, which was answering a report of a fight in progress.

The sheriff’s SUV wasn’t using its emergency lights or siren when the collision occurred in a three-way intersection, attorneys for the family told the Bee.

A California Highway Patrol report confirmed that the sheriff’s SUV caused the accident by speeding, the Bee said.

Julian, her father, mother and two siblings were all injured. The deputy in the SUV suffered cuts.

The girl received massive head injuries and will likely require round-the-clock care for the rest of her life, attorney Jason Sigel told the Bee.

The negligence lawsuit named the county and Sheriff’s Office and the deputy who drove the SUV.

The county confirmed that a settlement had been reached but representatives with the Sheriff’s Office didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment, the Bee said.

Earlier this year, the Sheriff’s Office settled a $7 million wrongful death lawsuit over the 2016 death of Chad Irwin, who was shot and killed by deputies in Citrus Heights after he walked towards them holding a knife.

The negligence lawsuit said authorities knew in advance that he had been drinking, was depressed and had expressed suicidal thoughts.

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