Filed by Roger Lerrick in Santa Clara County Superior Court this past week, the 10-page complaint alleges that Luis Felipe Hau "negligently and recklessly" violated more than a half-dozen vehicle codes, including driving at an unsafe speed and driving under the influence of a controlled substance.
The Nov. 5 collision on the 2500 block of Park Boulevard -- a so-called bicycle boulevard -- left the Hoover Elementary School student with a traumatic brain injury so severe he could not recognize his father. The suit says the boy will continue to "suffer extreme mental, physical and nervous pain and suffering in the future" as a result of his injuries.
Following a lengthy review of the facts, prosecutors said they would charge Hau with a single misdemeanor count of driving without a license. A small amount of methamphetamine was found in the Sunnyvale resident's system, but he did not exhibit any symptoms of being under the influence, according to Supervising Deputy District Attorney Cindy Hendrickson.
Hau could face up to one year in jail if convicted.
In addition to Hau, the city of Palo Alto and a private contractor it hired to repave Park Boulevard, O'Grady Paving Inc., are being sued. The complaint alleges that they should have provided "proper" safeguards against a "dangerous condition" caused by the roadwork.
Rangel Hau, the registered owner of the 2004 Nissan Quest that struck the boy, and Izzy's Brooklyn Bagels, a business Luis Hau said he was driving for at the time of the collision, are also named as defendants. Rangel Hau and Izzy's should have known that Luis Hau did not have a valid driver's license, the suit says.
According to the suit, the boy was wearing a helmet and riding his bicycle "safely and legally" at the time of the collision.
A dollar amount is not specified in the suit, but Todd Emanuel, a private attorney for the Lerrick family, filed a $17 million claim for damages against the city of Palo Alto earlier this year. The claim, which partially attributed the collision to negligent road construction and maintenance, was rejected by the City Council, setting the stage for the current legal action.
Follow Jason Green at Twitter.com/jgreendailynews.