At the Jan. 27 meeting, the City Commission approved a personal injury settlement between Alejandro Leiva and Ethan Honorat against the City of Tallahassee. This settlement comes from a car accident involving a Tallahassee Police Department car. This settlement will resolve the claims against the City for a total of $146,049, including $16,049 worth of property damage. The amount will be paid from the Risk Management Fund.
On Jan, 24, 2019, Leiva was driving and was hit by a Tallahassee Police Department vehicle at the intersection of W. College Avenue and South Macomb St. The accident happened because the police officer ran a red light. The accident caused Leiva, a 23-year-old college student, and his passenger, Honorat, to suffer multiple injuries. Their total medical expenses added up to $96,559.
Leiva and Honorat served the City with a lawsuit seeking damages for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. This case was negotiated by Risk Management for a full settlement of $146,049.
This sum includes property damage to Leiva’s vehicle, which was totaled, costs and attorney fees. Leiva suffered injuries to his neck, shoulder, knee and ankle and had to receive a partial discectomy because of herniated discs. His medical expenses added up to $50,532. Honorat also suffered injuries to his neck, back, knees and ankles and had to receive injections to his cervical spine and a partial discectomy. His medical bills added up to $46,017.
I worked at the apartment building right in front of where the accident happened. We had to pull up the camera footage in front of where the accident happened. The police officers lights were off until moments after the crash. The police officer also ran the light while on the computer inside of his patrol vehicle.
The article does not say that the Officers lights and sirens were activated. Were there any witnesses that actually SAW that the lights and sirens were activated or could it be that TPD is saying they were activated?
Tony, they didn’t want a trial either. Apparently they failed to yield to the police vehicle, which was in an emergency response, so there was some fault on the driver of the other car. After their very unfortunate injuries, they were fortunate to get what they got.
It appears the city was very fair, but not overly so.
I think we may be missing the critical part about the officer running the red light while their lights and sirens were activated. Meaning they were in emergency response mode and this vehicle did not stop like the others around it and the result was a crash.
The “big dogs” working civil cases on behalf of the City are getting $25k-$30K just as retainers. Stretch that out over a year of back and forth and hire and depose an expert here and there and it you end up spending almost $100K just to be ready to defend yourself.
So the odds are it’s cheaper to just write a check and avoid the risk of an anti-police jury. If the injured took $150K it was becasue their side also knew the case was sketchy and they didn’t want to front the costs and time and also risk a jury and walk away with nothing.
The City does this often. As infuriating as it may be for the officer driving the police car, it actually works out to be the rare demonstration of fiscal responsibility.
Which slip-and-fall attorney represented the “victim”? Now that the check has been cut, the Law Firm gets 30 to 40 percent of the total take plus all the hourly charges spent suing the City. The victims will be lucky to get 30 percent of the check after paying off the law firm.
If it was the Officers fault then, WHY did they have to sue for medical expenses?
I can’t believe that with those Injuries there Attorney settled for just $146,017. A Couple $Million sure but THAT? WTH?