King County WA has agreed to pay $7 million to settle a lawsuit filed by a woman severely injured when a Metro Transit supervisor’s van struck her while she was riding a Vespa scooter to work.
A portion of the settlement cost may be paid by Seattle under a separate indemnification agreement, but no information was immediately available about the terms of the agreement. Seattle was also named as a defendant after King County claimed the Capitol Hill intersection where the accident occurred was unsafe.
Elizabeth Newman was “struck violently” by the Metro van as she rode her Vespa on the way to her job as an operating-room nurse at Swedish Medical Center the morning of Nov. 21, 2007, according to the complaint filed by Newman and her husband, Thomas.
The Metro van driver, Rickey P. Moore, traveling on Thomas Street, passed a stop sign and failed to yield the right of way to Newman, who was on 12th Avenue East, according to the complaint.
According to the complaint, Newman was thrown 40 feet by the impact of the collision, suffering severe internal injuries and compound leg fractures, and was in a coma for several days at Harborview Medical Center. She hasn’t recovered sufficiently to return to work.
Pierce County Superior Court Judge Brian Tollefson ruled in October that Newman, 33 at the time of the accident, was not liable for contributory negligence.
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