04-0195R

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF $20,761.44 TO AUTO-OWNERS INSURANCE, AS SUBROGEE OF WENDY AND EUGENE LEWIS, IN FULL SETTLEMENT OF ALL CLAIMS ARISING FROM AN ACCIDENT ON SEPTEMBER 5, 2003.

BY COUNCILOR STOVER:

BE IT RESOLVED, that the proper city officials are authorized to pay to Auto-Owners Insurance, as subrogee of Wendy and Eugene Lewis, the sum of $20,761.44 in full settlement of all claims arising from a motor vehicle accident with a city vehicle on September 5, 2003; payment to be made from Self Insurance Fund 0610.


STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  On September 5, 2003, an accident occurred at the intersection of 27th Avenue West and Superior Street in the city of Duluth between Wendy Lewis and Daniel Glibbery, an employee of the city of Duluth. At that time, Glibbery was operating a Dodge Ram pick-up truck when he was distracted by a tractor-trailer in the adjacent lane making a right hand turn and drove through a red light. A collision occurred with the vehicle driven by Lewis resulting in substantial damage to the Lewis vehicle.

The city's liability is based upon the legal principle that an employer is liable for the negligence of its employees. Here, sufficient evidence exists to conclude that the city's employee was negligent, that his negligence was a direct cause of the damage sustained by the Lewis vehicle, and that the employee's negligence was greater than any negligence which a jury may attribute to Wendy Lewis.

An initial demand for damages in the amount of $23,068.26 was submitted by the insurer. The city of Duluth investigated the claim and verified the damages and expenses. Settlement negotiations were conducted, and an agreement has been reached to settlement the claim for 90 percent of the original damage amount, which is $20,761.44. The city attorney's office recommends this settlement.