“Berkeley to pay $170,000 to woman hit by squad car”
This article appeared on page C – 3 of the San Francisco Chronicle
Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, January 19, 2012
The city of Berkeley has agreed to pay $170,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by an El Cerrito woman who was hit by a police car while riding her scooter.
Lisbeth Ann Bittle was riding her scooter east in a traffic circle at Del Norte Street in North Berkeley when she was hit by a northbound patrol car the afternoon of April 6, 2009. Bittle, now 34, flew over the handlebars and suffered leg injuries that required surgery, said her attorney, Daniel Martinez de la Vega.
Berkeley police Officer George Gravette told investigators with the California Highway Patrol that he had not seen Bittle until his Ford Crown Victoria cruiser hit her, said CHP Officer Sam Morgan.
Gravette “confirmed he was not responding to anything and was not distracted,” the CHP said in its report, which concluded that the officer had been at fault.
Gravette has since retired from the department.
De la Vega said Wednesday that he wasn’t surprised that someone had been hurt in the traffic circle, saying it was “notorious” as a dangerous intersection.
The City Council approved the settlement Tuesday, said Deputy City Attorney Matthew Orebic. The money will be paid from city funds. Generally, the city is responsible for payouts of less than $350,000, and settlements above that amount are covered by insurance.
Read original aritcle: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/01/19/BAOU1MR38P.DTL
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