Stephen Ellison

Families of Injured Boys Reach $30M Settlement With City of Morgan Hill

The families of two young boys hit by an SUV in Morgan Hill three years ago have reached a settlement in the amount of $30 million with the city.

The crash occurred on July 4, 2016, at Fourth and Monterey streets at a time when the intersection had no traffic signal or illuminated crosswalk.

Michael and Mateo are close cousins, and on that day, they were with their parents riding a bike and scooter in the crosswalk when the SUV hit them.

"(The city) should have had some temporary safety measures in place," attorney Catherine Adams said.

Both boys were badly hurt. Mateo, now 9, has mostly recovered. Michael, 16, suffered a traumatic brain injury.

"As we kept researching, we kept finding more that supported our theories," Adams said.

Adams discovered the city had just recently removed speed bumps for the Fourth of July parade. Back then, there was little sidewalk lighting, and there was orange landscape fencing.

"Those medians, in the dark, blocked the oncoming traffic from seeing the pedestrians coming across the intersection," Adams said. "We believe that is really the cause of the accident."

That’s why the city attorney said insurance lawyers decided to settle with the families. The deal allows both parties to avoid a lengthy trial and lets the boys look forward now as they continue their recovery and return to school.

The city said the settlement is paid for by its insurance company.

The families declined to comment.

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