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The Dripby Mark Reutter10:27 pmMay 8, 20120

Runaway vehicle settlements will cost city $300,000

Victims of two runaways – an animal control truck that veered off Belair Road and a library bookmobile that broke loose in West East Baltimore (see note below) – will be paid $300,000 by the Board of Estimates tomorrow to settle their lawsuits.

Timothy Morgan was detailing his car on June 10, 2010, when Enoch Pratt’s Mobile Library, being towed by a city truck, got free from its hitch after turning onto Milton Street Avenue from North Avenue. The mobile rolled onto the sidewalk, striking Morgan and a parked car.

Morgan suffered serious and permanent injuries, including a fractured fibula, and ran up about $20,000 in medical bills, according to a memo prepared by the City Solicitor’s Office. He sued the city for $500,000 for past and future medical care and pain and suffering.

The board is set to settle his case for $100,000.

The board is also scheduled to approve $200,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by Paris Butler. She was standing at a bus stop on Belair Road at 3 a.m. on Saturday, February 26, 2011, when a Ford truck, owned by the city and driven by Lakia Davis of the Health Department’s Animal Control Office, mounted the sidewalk and struck Butler.

“As a result of the incident, the claimant incurred significant injury as well as medical expenses in excess of $345,000,” according to the settlement memo. The memo attributed the accident to the driver falling asleep or “a possible medical problem.” The Animal Control Office operates 24 hours a day.

$40,000 for Fire Truck Collision

In a final case before the panel, the city is expected to pay $40,000 to Sylvie and Denys Karamukalinizha to settle their lawsuit stemming from the death of Irena Petrov, her husband Mikhail Petro and Igor Saub.

The three were traveling in their car on Clarks Lane on December 9, 2007, when they collided with a city ladder truck running through a red light at Park Heights Avenue.

The fire truck had its emergency lights and siren activated in response to a fire call. Although the solicitor’s office “strongly disputes liability on a number of various grounds,” it asks the board to approve the settlement to avoid the time and expense of protracted litigation and “the uncertainties and unpredictability of jury verdicts.”

NOTE: The City Solicitor’s office confirmed that its settlement memo for the Morgan case mistakenly said Milton Street instead of Milton Avenue.

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