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Helen Jones
Executive Vice President 

On Wednesday, September 9, a Miami jury returned an $8.6 million verdict for families of two University of Miami doctoral students who were struck and killed by a car in October 2013. Ying Chen, 27, of Beijing, and Hao Lui, 26, of Harbin, China, were crossing the street to return to their off-campus apartment after class, when Milady Pequeno struck the pedestrians with her Porsche. She reportedly admitted to not paying attention to the road at the time of the accident, stating she was talking to her mother who was a passenger in the car, and that an SUV on the road had obstructed her view of the students. The jury returned with a 95% fault verdict against Pequeno, claiming she was driving in a reckless manner and failed to pay attention to the road. The families of the victims will ultimately split the verdict; however, a source close to the families commented that they were expecting much more in damages. Chen and Lui were studying in University of Miami’s doctoral program for computer and electrical engineering, both with very bright futures ahead of them.

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