Park City Council authorizes $200,000 settlement to end lawsuit
The Park City Council on Thursday approved a $200,000 settlement agreement to end a lawsuit claiming a pedestrian suffered monetary and emotional damages as a result of a city vehicle hitting him in 2015.
The vote was unanimous and the elected officials did not discuss the matter.
The lawsuit stemmed from a January 2015 incident in which a city employee driving a city-owned vehicle hit the plaintiff while backing up to park near the Park City transit center, according to a staff report prepared in advance of Thursday’s meeting. The man, a California resident named Coleman McClary, was transported to the Park City Hospital.
McClary filed the litigation in March of 2016. The lawsuit claims he sustained a back injury and incurred costly medical expenses, as well as suffered pain and emotional distress, as a result of negligence on behalf of the vehicle’s driver. Summit County and the driver, who the lawsuit identifies as Darwin Pollard, were named as co-defendants alongside Park City.
Court records indicate the case was set to go to a jury trial in August, but the staff report says the sides reached the settlement after going through mediation in February.
The staff report, drafted by Tricia Lake, the assistant city attorney who represented the defendants in the lawsuit, recommended that the City Council approve the settlement, calling a trial a “last resort.” The report cautioned that the city could ultimately pay more than double the amount of the settlement, as well as attorney and expert witness fees, if the case went to trial. Juries in Utah have awarded sums ranging from $25,000 to $715,000 in similar cases, the report states.
Lake declined to further discuss details of the settlement.
The $200,000 settlement will come from the city’s risk management fund, according to the report.
City Hall has scheduled an event on Tuesday, May 21, designed for people who are contemplating a bid for elected office in the municipal campaign.