A woman who was struck and injured by a cable car in Russian Hill in December 2022 has won an $11 million settlement.

Ruth Owades, who was 78 at the time of the accident, was struck by cable car being driven by an inexperienced operator, according to her lawyers, on December 28, 2022. As SFGate reports, the lawyers say that the driver was distracted, focused to his left, and "blew through" an intersection where he should have come to a full stop at Hyde and Chestnut streets, in violation of Muni protocol.

Owades suffered grave injuries, and while she was walking home from work at the time of the collision and was reportedly "energetic" and healthy prior to the accident, the traumatic brain injury she suffered left her "a shell of her former self," her lawyers said in a court filing. She "now requires 24 hour care and assistance for the rest of her life," they add.

As MSN notes, Owades was CEO of Calyx & Carolla, the first fresh flower online catalogue, and a successful businesswoman during her career. She is also the widow of Joseph L. Owades, who is famous for being the inventor of light beer.

The cable car was traveling at its maximum speed, 9.5 miles per hour, when the collision occurred.

The lawyers contended that the operator was "not watching the road" and did not even make a proper stop at what was an actual stop on the cable-car line.

The city opted to settle the case before going to trial, and Owades will now receive $11 million for her ongoing care. The SF Board of Supervisors approved the settlement during their closed session on Tuesday.

Jen Kwart, a spokesperson for the city attorney’s office, tells the Gate, "We believe the proposed settlement is an appropriate resolution to this matter."

Photo: Ken Hilton