Kristin Smart’s family files lawsuit against Cal Poly, citing negligence in initial investigation


Kristin Smart’s family files lawsuit against Cal Poly

Kristin Smart’s family files lawsuit against Cal Poly


SAN LUIS OBISPO – The family of murder victim Kristin Smart has filed a lawsuit against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

The lawsuit lists three complaints against the school: negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and wrongful death.

Smart, a Stockton native, was a freshman at Cal Poly when she disappeared after an off-campus party in May 1996.

A former classmate of Smart, Paul Flores, was eventually convicted of her murder in 2022. Paul’s father Ruben Flores was found not guilty of being an accessory after the fact by a separate jury. Her body has yet to be found.

The lawsuit against Cal Poly comes after the school issued a public apology in 2023 for how it first handled the investigation into Smart’s disappearance. As alleged in the lawsuit, Kristin’s friends and family quickly reported her missing – but campus police wanted to wait until after Memorial Day Weekend to take a missing persons report.

Along with detailing Flores’ history of incidents after Kristin’s disappearance, the lawsuit also alleges that Cal Poly could have prevented her murder if they properly investigated and disciplined him after a series of harassment incidents reported to the school.

“Cal Poly’s failures are indefensible, and it must be held accountable to prevent this cycle of callous negligence from ever occurring again,” the lawsuit surmises.

Smart’s family is seeking monetary damages from the school.

Cal Poly hasn’t commented on the lawsuit as of this writing. 



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