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Two injured on motorcycle sue Indy over police crash

October 4, 2011

Two people who were seriously injured when an allegedly intoxicated Indianapolis police officer collided with their stopped motorcycle are seeking unspecified damages from the officer, the police department and the city in at least the third civil suit over the case, including two in the past week.

Kurt Weekly and Mary Mills filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Marion County against former Officer David Bisard and the other defendants, claiming the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department did not adequately oversee Bisard.

"It was foreseeable and substantially certain to the Defendants the City of Indianapolis and IMPD that its failure to properly train, supervise and monitor IMPD Officer David Bisard would cause a collision resulting in serious injuries and/or death or would expose the public including Kurt Weekly to such risk," the lawsuit said.

After the Aug. 6, 2010, crash at an Indianapolis intersection, blood work showed Bisard had a blood-alcohol content of 0.19 — more than twice the legal limit for drivers — when he drove his squad car into two motorcycles stopped for a traffic light. A judge earlier this year threw out the blood test in the criminal case against Bisard because it wasn't performed according to state law.

The collision killed 30-year-old Eric Wells, and his family sued the city in December, claiming Bisard was negligent.

Weekly says he suffered a brain injury, incurred more than $500,000 in medical expenses and has lost wages as a result of the collision. Mills, who was riding on Weekly's motorcycle, also is seeking damages for medical bills and lost wages.

Weekly and Mills, who recently married, also claim they experienced emotion pain from witnessing "the gruesome death" of Wells, their friend and co-worker, and each other's suffering.

Indiana tort law caps the city's liability at $700,000 per claim.

Bisard's attorney, John Kautzman, said he had no immediate comment on the lawsuit. City attorney Samantha Karn said it does not comment on pending litigation.

A third lawsuit was filed last week by three formerly high-ranking Indianapolis police officers. They are suing the city for damages and lost wages after being demoted for how they handled the crash. Former Assistant Chief Darryl Pierce, reduced with the others last year to the rank of lieutenant, said the three were made scapegoats.

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