The attorney representing Alex Eason noted that the decision to settle was motivated by the existence of the Governmental Immunity Act, a statute that limits potential damages to $150,000. Boulder County, in Colorado, falls within the protections offered by that statute.
The Daily Camera of Boulder, Colorado reports today that according to court records Eason—20 at the time—was sitting in the front passenger seat of a friend's Subaru Legacy when it was struck from behind by a marked patrol car driven by Boulder County sheriff's deputy Dale Sherratt.
The accident is reported to have happened at the intersection of Jay Road and 47th Street in North Boulder County. The Subaru in which Eason was riding was stopped for a red light at the intersection. The accident is reported to have occurred just after the traffic light had turned back to green.
The female plaintiff, who was attending the University of Colorado at the time and is now based at Scripps College in the state of California, alleged in a lawsuit filed in May that the accident left her with permanent brain injuries and "was the direct and proximate result of defendant Sherratt's recklessness and negligence."
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"This was an unfortunate accident in which the Sheriff's Office and the involved deputy did not dispute liability and have reached an amicable resolution," the statement read.
Eason's attorney indicated the deputy had formally apologized to his client.
"I think it's very, very concerning that you and I with our resources are relegated to go out and get insurance—and if we hurt someone we can be responsible for the entire amount of damages that they've suffered," attorney Bruce Rohde, who represented the plaintiff, said yesterday. "Whereas a governmental entity like Boulder County...can hide behind the curtain of this cap."
The sheriff's deputy was ticketed for careless driving in the car accident.