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. Of what value is selling alcoholic beverages to State Fair patrons when there are many families with children attending. Is this the message we want to give children attending and participating in the Fair, another venue with alooholic consumption onsite. Is this to promote beer and wine production in the state which are great for the breweries and wineries, but where does this end up 10-15 years from now, lots more drinkers for the alcoholic contents. If these drinks are so important, why not remove the alcohol content and the flavor and drink itself similar to soft drinks would be the novelty, not the alcoholic content and its affects on the drinker. There is no social or material benefit from drinking alcoholic beverages, mostly people want to get slightly or highly drunk.

  2. I did;nt know anyone in Indiana could count- WHY did they NOT SAY just HOW this would be enforced? Because it WON;T! NOW- with that said- BIG BROTHER is ALIVE in this Article-why take any comment if it won't appease YOU PEOPLE- that's NOT American- with EVERYTHING you indicated is NOT said-I can see WHY it say's o Comments- YOU are COMMIES- BIG BROTHER and most likely- voted for Obama!

  3. In Europe there are schools for hairdressing but you don't get a license afterwards but you are required to assist in turkey and Italy its 7 years in japan it's 10 years England 2 so these people who assist know how to do hair their not just anybody and if your an owner and you hire someone with no experience then ur an idiot I've known stylist from different countries with no license but they are professional clean and safe they have no license but they have experience a license doesn't mean anything look at all the bad hairdressers in the world that have fried peoples hair okay but they have a license doesn't make them a professional at their job I think they should get rid of it because stateboard robs stylist and owners and they fine you for the dumbest f***ing things oh ur license isn't displayed 100$ oh ur wearing open toe shoes fine, oh there's ONE HAIR IN UR BRUSH that's a fine it's like really? So I think they need to go or ease up on their regulations because their too strict

  4. Exciting times in Carmel.

  5. Twenty years ago when we moved to Indy I was a stay at home mom and knew not very many people.WIBC was my family and friends for the most part. It was informative, civil, and humerous with Dave the KING. Terri, Jeff, Stever, Big Joe, Matt, Pat and Crumie. I loved them all, and they seemed to love each other. I didn't mind Greg Garrison, but I was not a Rush fan. NOW I can't stand Chicks and all their giggly opinions. Tony Katz is to abrasive that early in the morning(or really any time). I will tune in on Saturday morning for the usual fun and priceless information from Pat and Crumie, mornings it will be 90.1

ADVERTISEMENT