Almanac

News - November 27, 2013

Lawsuit filed against driver who hit 6-year-old twins

• Menlo Park boy goes home from hospital after five weeks.

by Sandy Brundage

A Menlo Park family has filed a lawsuit against the driver of a car that reportedly jumped a curb and pinned two 6-year-old twin brothers against a wall in downtown Menlo Park.

The Oct. 17 crash left one boy in critical condition. After multiple surgeries, he was released from Stanford Hospital following a five-week stay, according to police. The other boy sustained a broken arm.

According to the lawsuit, the Cadigan twins and their 9-year-old brother were walking along Santa Cruz Avenue near Walgreen's when a BMW SUV with the license plate "EN ESQ" jumped across the sidewalk, striking the twins.

The lawsuit identifies the driver as Edward Nelson of Woodside. Police had withheld his name since no criminal charges had been filed; at the time of the accident, the 90-year-old man's license was confiscated and he was ordered to schedule an examination within five business days with the DMV, or risk suspension of his license.

Police Cmdr. Dave Bertini said he didn't know whether Mr. Nelson followed through. "Once we do the initial paperwork for the suspension pending a retest of a driver, it is then out of our hands and goes to the DMV Office of Driver Safety. That entire process is administrative in nature, not criminal and does not involve the police department unless the officer that issued the priority re-examination form needed to answer any questions for the DMV," he said.

As Mr. Nelson held a valid license and wasn't under the influence of alcohol or other drugs at the time of the accident, he faces only an infraction. Investigators have completed their work and sent the case to the District Attorney's Office, which will decide whether to file a charge for driving on the sidewalk, according to Cmdr. Bertini.

Filed in San Mateo County Superior Court on Nov. 14, the lawsuit seeks punitive as well as general damages on behalf of all three boys for their injuries, which range from multiple, extensive skin grafts and damage to the lower body; orthopedic and soft-tissue damage to the upper body; and emotional trauma. The filing states that the injuries may be permanent.

Attempts to reach Mr. Nelson on Monday afternoon were not successful. He graduated from Stanford Law School and was licensed to practice law from 1957 to 2001, according to the California State Bar.

The Cadigan family is represented by Michael Kelly and Valerie Rose of Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, located in San Francisco.

A case management conference has been scheduled for March 2014.

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