In January of 2007, Hagens Berman’s client, Scott Harris, was riding his bicycle from his home on Bainbridge Island to his workplace at Third Avenue South and South Bennett Street in Seattle, Washington. Scott was taking every safety precaution as a bicyclist in traffic, and had operating lights on the front and back of his bicycle, as well as on his backpack.
Scott was preparing to make a left turn onto South Bennett Street from First Avenue from the left lane. He signaled his turn with an extended left arm. Suddenly, a city of Seattle police car struck Scott from behind at a high speed. Witnesses to the bicycle accident say the officer was traveling at an “excessive speed” and failed to use emergency lights and siren.
“After being struck from behind by the right front bumper of the police car, Mr. Harris’ body and bicycle went up onto the hood of the police car, striking the windshield, then flew approximately 60 feet in the air across the street where he came to rest under a parked tractor-trailer,” the lawsuit states.
The police pursuit bicycle crash left Scott with multiple injuries, including a broken neck, multiple fractured vertebrae, a head injury causing partial memory loss, anterior cervical fusion, partially torn rotator cuff, as well as sprains, contusions and massive scarring and other injuries.
The SPD officer who struck Scott is a city of Seattle employee, and was acting as such during the collision.
Hagens Berman represented Mr. Harris in his case against the city of Seattle for the officer’s gross negligence in operating his vehicle. The collusion led to loss of wages, significant physical injuries, medical expenses and other damages.