IBJNews

City reaches $1.5M settlement over death in Bisard case

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The family of a man killed when an Indianapolis police officer's cruiser plowed into two stopped motorcycles has reached a $1.55 million settlement with the city, attorneys said Thursday.

Eric Wells' father had filed a wrongful death suit against Indianapolis, its police department and Officer David Bisard after the 30-year-old Indianapolis man was killed in August 2010 when Bisard's cruiser crashed into his motorcycle, which was stopped at an intersection.

The lawsuit claimed "gross negligence" on Bisard's part, alleging that he was driving recklessly at a high speed while intoxicated. It also alleged that police investigators improperly failed to give the officer a breath test for alcohol at the scene.

Marvin Coan, an attorney for the Wells family, said the case's resolution brings "a certain element of relief" to Wells' parents and widow.

"I think that's something everyone would understand, although this is not a case where any amount of money is ever going to make up for the tragedy they're going to have to live with for the rest of their lives, due to the loss of Eric," he said.

City attorney Samantha Karn said Marion County's probate court must approve the settlement, and once that's done, the city will make a $1 million payment on July 2 to Wells' estate. The remaining $550,000 will be paid on or before Jan. 15, 2013.

"At this point, we are happy to have the settlement behind us. I think everyone agrees that this was a tragic incident," she said.

Karn said she could not comment further because the city still faces two lawsuits filed by crash survivors Kurt Weekly and Mary Mills. The pair, Wells' co-workers, were seriously injured when Bisard's cruiser struck their motorcycle, which was also stopped at the intersection.

Weekly and Mills' suits claim negligence on the city's part because of Bisard's conduct, Karn said.

A blood sample taken more than two hours after the crash showed Bisard had a blood-alcohol level of 0.19 — more than twice the legal limit for driving. But a judge ruled that an initial vial of the blood was inadmissible because it was drawn by an unauthorized person, forcing prosecutors to drop a drunken-driving charge against Bisard.

Prosecutors had hoped a second vial of blood would bolster their case. But that vial was moved and left unrefrigerated for about 22 weeks. Bisard's attorney has asked that it also be thrown out.

An internal police investigation found Bisard was driving 73 mph in a 40-mph zone and using a laptop computer for messages not related to police business.

The Bisard case and bungled investigation led to the eventual resignation of Police Chief Paul Ciesielski.

Bisard still faces reckless homicide and other charges.

A message seeking comment left Thursday for Bisard's attorney, John Kautzman, was not immediately returned.

Coan said the parties agreed May 18 on a settlement amount and signed the settlement agreement June 1.

Coan said money from settlement will go to Wells' parents and widow, who are his beneficiaries. Some of that money will go toward the not-for-profit Eric Wells Memorial Foundation to further Wells' passion for assisting underprivileged children, he said.

Wells' father, Aaron Wells, told The Indianapolis Star the settlement in his son's death doesn't make him feel any better.

"But any time you can put something behind you in this whole matter helps. We don't have to be concerned about future court dates and further decisions. It is out of the way," he said.

 

 




 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. In reality, Lilly is maintaining profit by cutting costs such as Indiana/US citizen IT workers by a significant amount with their Tata Indian consulting connection, increasing Indian H1B's at Lillys Indiana locations significantly and offshoring to India high paying Indiana jobs to cut costs and increase profit at the expense of U.S. workers.

  2. I think perhaps there is legal precedence here in that the laws were intended for family farms, not pig processing plants on a huge scale. There has to be a way to squash this judges judgment and overrule her dumb judgement. Perhaps she should be required to live in one of those neighbors houses for a month next to the farm to see how she likes it. She is there to protect the people, not the corporations.

  3. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/03-111.htm Corporate farms are not farms, they are indeed factories on a huge scale. The amount of waste and unhealthy smells are environmentally unsafe. If they want to do this, they should be forced to buy a boundary around their farm at a premium price to the homeowners and landowners that have to eat, sleep, and live in a cesspool of pig smells. Imagine living in a house that smells like a restroom all the time. Does the state really believe they should take the side of these corporate farms and not protect Indiana citizens. Perhaps justifiable they should force all the management of the farms to live on the farm itself and not live probably far away from there. Would be interesting to investigate the housing locations of those working at and managing the corporate farms.

  4. downtown in the same area as O'malia's. 350 E New York. Not sure that another one could survive. I agree a Target is needed d'town. Downtown Philly even had a 3 story Kmart for its downtown residents.

  5. Indy-area residents... most of you have no idea how AMAZING Aurelio's is. South of Chicago was a cool pizza place... but it pales in comparison to the heavenly thin crust Aurelio's pizza. Their deep dish is pretty good too. My waistline is expanding just thinking about this!

ADVERTISEMENT