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Menlo Park: Settlement reached in lawsuit over crash that hurt 6-year-old twins

Original post made on Jun 2, 2014

While the physical and mental consequences of a crash that hurt 6-year-old twins remain, the legal repercussions appear resolved: The Cadigan family has settled its lawsuit against the driver, according to court documents.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, June 2, 2014, 11:58 AM

Comments (14)

Posted by pogo, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 2, 2014 at 12:47 pm

pogo is a registered user.

Well, I'm glad that this litigation was settled to the satisfaction of the parties and I hope the injured children will have a full recovery.

For those of you who vilified this driver for not settling this suit sooner, you should know that these things take time. This is in the interests of both parties - the injured family wants to be able to fully assess damages and the driver is entitled to a full and complete discharge. Assuming this conditional agreement is entered, this entire matter will have been settled in about seven and half months.

Again, I hope the children have a full recovery.


Posted by Reader, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 2, 2014 at 1:34 pm

I hope they took him to the cleaners. Can we please get drivers test for people over a certain age. This should have never happened. My understanding is one boy has life long injuries but I could certainly be wrong. Mental damage - definitely.

Please let this this family have peace in raising the kids.


Posted by Chance, a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Jun 2, 2014 at 1:59 pm

One 80-yr.-old driver may be in much better physical and mental shape than a particular 50-yr.-old driver.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Jun 2, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Ed Nelson is 90 years old not 80. As drivers age, they should have to complete driving tests. I am 63 and would not hesitate to vote to see this become law. One of the reasons this man was vilified was because he attempted to countersue based on the rediculous allegation that the children were behaving recklessly. Nice try.


Posted by Kaz, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 2, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Pogo, I do not like the focus of your comment, that the driver should not be vilified for the _length of time_ it took to settle the suit. There is, however, abundant additional cause to vilify him.

The family are likely not satisfied - what could compensate them or their child for the lifetime damage? And it's clear one child will not fully recover -- ever. Settling does not undo the damage or provide satisfaction, only some degree of closure.

[Portion removed. As you can see from the Almanac clip, he did not sue the family. He responded to their lawsuit.}(look back in the Almanac for that bit, 12/31/12: Web Link)

"The 90-year-old driver of a car that reportedly pinned 6-year-old twin brothers against a wall on Santa Cruz Avenue has denied all responsibility for the resulting injuries, claiming the children were engaged in behavior that was reckless, careless and negligent.

The driver, Edward Nelson of Woodside, made that claim in his response to the Cadigan family's lawsuit naming him as the defendant. According to the lawsuit, filed on Nov. 14, the Cadigan twins and their 9-year-old brother were walking along Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park when a BMW SUV with the license plate "EN ESQ" jumped on to the sidewalk, striking the twins.

The Oct. 17 crash broke one twin's arm and left the other 6-year-old boy in critical condition; he was released from Stanford Hospital following a five-week stay and multiple surgeries. The family seeks punitive as well as general damages on behalf of all three boys for their injuries, which the lawsuit describes as ranging from multiple, extensive skin grafts and damage to the lower body; orthopedic and soft-tissue damage to the upper body; and emotional trauma.

Mr. Nelson states in his response to the lawsuit that the plaintiffs "carelessly, recklessly and negligently conducted and maintained themselves" in a way that contributed to the accident. Furthermore, "knowing the probable consequences thereof, (they) placed themselves in a position of danger and voluntarily participated in all the activities," and so assumed any related risks. Finally, the plaintiffs failed to "reasonably mitigate" any damages they sustained."
- - - -

The child who spent 5 weeks in the hospital will never recover the life potential he had before he was run into. The family will never forget the trauma. All their lives have been irrevocably changed. Tragic. How horrible [Portion removed] for a (90 y.o. Woodside resident, former attorney, driving a BMW SUV with a vanity plate, with attorneys from two law firms defending him -- pardon me if my generalizations are off) to insist on continuing to drive in his condition, and to accuse children on a sidewalk of negligence, including _failing to mitigate_ for injuries HE caused them. Stomach-twistingly sick. He and his attorneys and their law firms should never be forgotten or forgiven for that black mark against their reputations and their lack of humanity.

[Portion removed.]


Posted by SteveC, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 2, 2014 at 3:12 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

Get over it folks. He will not be shot at sunrise. I hope the children completely recover.


Posted by MP Resident, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 2, 2014 at 8:34 pm

How about some legal changes - they're long overdue. Perhaps:
- regular retests for drivers of all ages
- strict liability for collision with a person who is not in the roadway

It's nowhere near enough, but would be a good start


Posted by MLK, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 2, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Please, Google, hurry up with those self driving cars. And please, AARP, get out of the way and let the DMV require driving tests of people over the age of 75 so that children of such people aren't stuck trying to get the car keys away from their parents.


Posted by concerned resident, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 2, 2014 at 11:09 pm

The elderly driver was at fault in many ways. His behavior after the accident and his ensuing legal actions is an embarrassment.


Posted by SteveC, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 3, 2014 at 6:54 am

SteveC is a registered user.

MLK: Hope you have lots of money for ins. Won't be cheap.


Posted by pogo, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 3, 2014 at 7:30 am

pogo is a registered user.

1. As the editors of The Almanac pointed out, Mr. Nelson never sued the family who was injured in this accident as erroneously claimed by two posters. The offensive reply to the family's lawsuit came from a law firm that was probably hired by Mr. Nelson's insurance company.

2. I do not vilify people who have the misfortunate to cause an accident. This was not an intentional act. If you ever cause an accident, I hope you aren't vilified either.

3. Yes, older drivers should be tested more frequently.

4. I'm guessing that this was settled by the insurance companies and, except for the deductible, they will pay for all damages.


Posted by Tom, a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jun 3, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Tom is a registered user.

Intention has nothing to do with it. If someone is negligent and physically hurts somebody, then they should be responsible for their actions. There are a vast number of criminal convictions in which the perpetrator was negligent and irresponsible but was still convicted even though they said "I didn't mean to do it". The "I didn't mean to do it" defense does not work in most situations, unless a car is involved.

Being responsible for negligent acts should not involve suing the victims (for walking on a sidewalk). I don't buy that he was not involved in creating or approving the original statements. If he did not approve of them, why were they not immediately retracted? It was not until extended public(potential juror) outcry that the original statements were modified. This was obviously damage and PR control, not fixing a mistake, which could have been done much earlier. It was obvious that they were originally sticking to their statements.







Posted by pogo, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 3, 2014 at 1:55 pm

pogo is a registered user.

Don't let facts get in your way, Tom.

Fact: The driver NEVER sued the family that was hit by his car. His attorneys were only answering the lawsuit (as they are required to do). Yes, their answer about fault was abhorrent and was later rescinded, but the driver never sued this family.

Fact: The driver was responsible and the fact that there is now a settlement where he is paying validates that. The only thing the driver can legally do is pay money... and he is.

Fact: This was an accident. The driver didn't wake up that morning and say "I think I'm going to run over some kids on the sidewalk." He lost control of his car... something that happens thousands of times a day to thousands of people. In this case, I'm sure the driver's age contributed to the accident - just as another driver's youth, distraction, intoxication, texting or hurrying might contribute to their's.

I'm glad they reached a settlement in just 7 months. I hope this family has a full recovery and I hope this driver will use a taxi from now on.


Posted by SteveC, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 3, 2014 at 3:09 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

Pogo is correct. Get your facts right before commenting on subjects you are not completely aware of.


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