A jury trial date is set for April 27 on a lawsuit brought by a Menlo Park physician who was serious injured in December 2012 when the Mercedes Benz she was driving struck an injured horse lying in an Interstate 280 traffic lane in the early morning darkness. The car, traveling north on I-280, became airborne, collided with a cyclone fence and came to rest off the freeway, Dr. Jean W. Gillon says in her lawsuit.
The defendant is San Mateo County. Suits against Webb Ranch and Stanford University were settled. The ranch's insurance will compensate Dr. Gillon with a total of $4 million, according to court documents. It's not clear whether the settlement with Stanford involved a transfer of funds. The ranch is located on Stanford property.
In the early hours of Dec. 29, 2012, three horses managed to escape the paddock at Webb Ranch, according to Tom Hubbard, president of Webb Ranch.
The California Highway Patrol said all three horses were running loose in the I-280 traffic lanes and were struck and killed shortly before 5 a.m. by "passing motorists."
In her suit, Dr. Gillon accuses the defendant of negligence. She says a San Mateo County sheriff's deputy directed her into a lane where a horse was lying.
Dr. Gillon, who was 61 at the time of the accident and a vascular surgeon with a practice in Redwood City, is seeking compensation for lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, medical expenses and property damage. She also seeks compensatory damages. She is represented by San Francisco attorney Anthony L. Label.
In its response, San Mateo County claims immunity from liability and says the negligence was Dr. Gillon's.
The case will be heard in San Mateo County Superior Court.