City to pay $58,000 settlement |

City to pay $58,000 settlement

jill lufrano

Carson City will pay a Lake Tahoe couple $58,000 for injuries the two received after their sedan was struck by a city fire department emergency vehicle in 2000.

Dan and Madlyn Denny were treated for several injuries following the accident and sued the city in March 2002, charging the fire department acted negligently when responding to a call.

Fire Battalion Chief Mark Bowers was driving a city-owned Chevrolet Suburban on June 6, 2000, when responding to an 11:06 a.m. fire alarm at the 3000 block of College Parkway. He was slowly creeping into the intersection of College Parkway and North Carson Street when he struck a sedan driven by Dan Denny.

A third car, a Ford Explorer driven by Pierce Flemming was southbound on Highway 395. In an effort to avoid the accident, the driver went off the road and into a traffic signal control box, sheering it off at the ground. Flemming has since died from causes unrelated to the accident.

Madlyn Denny, now 76, sustained two fractures to her sternum, rib fractures and separations, metal and glass in her chest and a bruised lung and a tear in her knee tissue.

Her husband, Dan Denny, now 79, received bruises and cuts to his leg and has recovered, Winters said. Both were wearing seat belts.

Carson City and the Dennys engaged in court arbitration. Arbitrator Stephen Wassner decided in favor of the Dennys, awarding Madlyn Denny $50,000 for her injuries, the most allowed under state law, and Dan Denny $8,000. Wassner ruled Bowers did not use “due care” as required by state law as he approached the intersection.

Carson supervisors discussed the matter in closed session Thursday. Supervisor Shelly Aldean said the board discussed the comments of the arbitrator and the fact that there were two vehicles involved in the accident.

“It was unclear it was an emergency vehicle,” Aldean said.

Supervisors voted unanimously to settle the case, with Supervisor Richard Staub absent.

The $58,000 the payment will be made from the city’s Insurance Claims Payment fund.