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Lawsuit Filed for Dos Pueblos Student Injured in ‘Microburst’ Storm in Santa Barbara

Alyssa Nuno, 17, of Goleta claims negligence by the city and others caused her serious injuries and 'some permanent disability'

A large tree toppled by a freak “microburst” storm last Labor Day weekend damaged vehicles at the Santa Barbara Harbor. Dos Pueblos High School student Alyssa Nuno, who severely injured in the incident, is suing the city and others, claiming negligence. Click to view larger
A large tree toppled by a freak “microburst” storm last Labor Day weekend damaged vehicles at the Santa Barbara Harbor. Dos Pueblos High School student Alyssa Nuno, who severely injured in the incident, is suing the city and others, claiming negligence. (Noozhawk file photo)

The Dos Pueblos High School student severely injured in the freak “microburst” storm last Labor Day weekend has filed a lawsuit for damages that names the city of Santa Barbara and several aquatic-related recreational companies as defendants.

Alyssa Nuno, 17, of Goleta was on West Beach with her family when the storm hit the afternoon of Sept. 3, 2017.

Beachgoers scattered when a sudden thunderstorm and 80 mph winds slammed the area, sending umbrellas flying and swamping boats in the Santa Barbara Harbor.

Nuno ran for cover in the Sea Landing area, and her family later found her buried under a kayak and other debris. She was seriously injured, with a brain injury and broken bones, and was flown by helicopter to the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Nuno spoke to Noozhawk about her ongoing recovery in December, when she was back in the area attending physical therapy and occupational therapy. At the time, she said she hoped to return to campus in January.

Since Nuno is a minor, she is being represented by her mother for the purposes of the lawsuit.

Attorneys from Harris Personal Injury Lawyers filed the complaint on Feb. 27, which initially named 10 defendants, but five of those have since been dismissed without prejudice, including Santa Barbara County.

Still named are the city and Waterfront Department of Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Adventure Company Inc., Cal Coast Adventures LLC, Truth Aquatics Inc. (doing business as Sea Landing), and the Santa Barbara Outrigger Canoe Club.

The complaint alleges that during the storm, Nuno ran for cover near the walkway between West Beach and the harbor, and watercraft “flew off the racks and collided with (Nuno), causing serious and life-altering injuries.”

Dos Pueblos High School student Alyssa Nuno, right, is seen during physical therapy in December. Nuno, who severely injured in a freak “microburst” storm last Labor Day weekend, is suing the city and others, claiming negligence Click to view larger
Dos Pueblos High School student Alyssa Nuno, right, is seen during physical therapy in December. Nuno, who severely injured in a freak “microburst” storm last Labor Day weekend, is suing the city and others, claiming negligence (Noozhawk file photo)

It alleges negligence and dangerous condition of public property, saying that defendants “failed to reasonably secure the watercraft on or to the racks.”

This lawsuit asks the court for general damages, medical expenses, loss of earnings and earning capacity.

“Plaintiff was hurt and injured in her health, strength, and activity, sustaining injury to her body, and shock and injury to her nervous system and person, all of which said injuries have caused, and continue to cause plaintiff great mental, physical and emotional distress, and nervous pain and suffering,” the complaint says.

It alleges that the injuries will result in “some permanent disability.”

On May 2, her attorneys filed a statement that claimed damages amounted to $50 million, and medical expenses up to that point totaled $714,469.

Santa Barbara County Superior Court documents for a July 3 case management conference cited a slightly higher number, $728,603.

Judge Thomas Anderle set the next court date for September and scheduled a mandatory settlement conference for Feb. 8, 2019.

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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