King County pays $2.1 million to innocent victim of car collision caused by Sheriff Deputies’ high-speed pursuit
High-speed police pursuits are among the most dangerous and deadly activities of law enforcement officers. As a result, police pursuits should be limited to chasing dangerous criminals and by law must be conducted with overhead lights and siren when necessary to warn members of the public of the emergency nature of the situation. On Aurora Avenue in Shoreline, where the posted speed limit is 40 mph, two King County Sheriff Deputies observed a driver speeding at 50-60 mph. As the deputies chased the speeder, he fled and sped. The deputies continued to pursue him for over 30 blocks at speeds up to 95 mph without their lights or siren. The dangerous chase ended when the fleeing driver ran a red light and crashed into an innocent driver, our client. The crash demolished our client’s car forcing paramedics to remove him from his car with the “Jaws of Life.” Our client suffered life-threatening injuries requiring multiple surgeries and treatment at Harborview and a rehabilitation hospital for over two months. Although our client made a remarkable recovery, he is able to walk and work, he will suffer chronic pain and functional limitations for the rest of his life. To resolve our client’s lawsuit alleging that the Deputies’ high-speed pursuit was negligent, King County paid $1.9 million to our client and $200,000 in a structured settlement to his two minor children. Our client was represented by MHB lawyers Katie Chamberlain, Jesse Wing, and Tim Ford, together with co-counsel the Bean Law Group.