The city council agreed to settle a motor vehicle accident lawsuit on Tuesday night by paying $135,000 to a city woman alleging she suffered “severe” injuries after being struck by a vehicle operated by firefighters on River Street.
Tunisha Wise says she was passenger in a vehicle traveling west on River Street that halted at a red light at the intersection of Lafayette Street. She claims a vehicle operated by firefighters Michael Scherer and Lucas Zarate collided into the front of her vehicle on August 28th, 2013.
Wise’s lawsuit states she suffered “severe, painful and permanent injuries” as a result of the collision. She says she required extensive medical care and treatment and was prevented from attending to her regular duties.
Council members voted 8-1 to settle her lawsuit by paying $135,000. Michael Jackson, 1st Ward councilman, cast the sole vote against the settlement. “I have a hard time with that one,” he said without much explanation.
Wise will receive her settlement money in three installments. She will receive $45,000 within 60 days, $45,000 on July 1st, 2017, and $45,000 on July 1st, 2018.
The council discussed the case in a closed-door meeting with its attorney and deputy fire chief Brian McDermott prior to moving on settling the matter.