The parents of a 17-year-old student killed when he was struck by a city-owned flatbed truck in a Highland Park crosswalk will receive a $6 million legal settlement approved Wednesday by the Los Angeles City Council.
Mariposa Perez, the mother of Andres Perez of Montebello, and the boy’s father, Sal Perez, filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court in 2016, alleging negligence, dangerous condition on a public property and assault and battery.
“Our hearts go out to Andres’ parents, it is hard to imagine the enormity of their loss,” said Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer.
Perez was struck Dec. 15, 2015, after the Los Angeles Unified School District closed all campuses because of an online threat sent to several school board members. The teen was headed to Los Angeles International Charter High School and was crossing the street at Avenue 60 and Figueroa Street at about 7:30 a.m. when the city vehicle driven by Francis hit him, police said at the time.
LAUSD officials said that because the notice classes had been canceled came late, many students had not heard about it and were headed toward their schools.
The lawsuit states that the location where Andres Perez was killed is a T-intersection that is “dangerously defective” with inadequate traffic control devices, poor pavement markings, a difficult line-of-sight and poor tree placement, all of which make it a “dangerous, concealed trap for pedestrians.”
The truck’s driver, David M. Francis, had a prior history of being “impulsive, careless, thoughtless … as well as being mentally, emotionally and physically unstable,” the suit states. The driver also was “blatantly and egregiously unfit and unqualified to be driving the … truck,” the suit alleges.
Francis tried to hide, destroy or misrepresent evidence about the incident to try and evade responsibility, the suit alleges.
The LAPD said Francis told them he did not see the teen, but stopped after hitting the boy and tried to help him.
The settlement was approved on an 11-0 vote.