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Seattle Man Injured in Crash With Patrol Car Gets $650,000 Settlement

Posted on May 26, 2011

A man injured in a Seattle auto accident with a police patrol car in February 2009 recently settled his personal injury case with the city for $650,000.

51-year-old Donald A. Meyer was driving his pickup truck around 5:20 am in the Sodo neighborhood in Seattle when he was hit head-on by a police patrol car driven by 26-year-old Seattle Police Department officer John Welch.

Welch, who was driving the speed limit of 40 MPH in the northbound lanes of the Fourth Avenue South bridge at the time of the crash, slipped on ice before slamming into Meyer's vehicle. He was not heading to an emergency call.

Meyer sustained injuries to his chest, neck, back and abdomen. He has since returned to work at a Sodo bottle-making factory, but reportedly still has headaches and other lingering symptoms of the wreck. Future treatment and pain and suffering were part of the settlement.

While Meyer originally sought more than $1 million in damages from the accident, the suit was settled for $650,000 late last month. According to Jean Boler, chief of the Civil Division at the City Attorney's Office, the settlement "avoids the risk of trial and fairly compensates the injured party."

Meyer's lawyer was pleased that the city took responsibility for the crash. While an unfortunate incident as a whole, we are glad that the victim of this accident was able to earn fair compensation for his injuries and related costs.

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