Relatives of three killed in fire truck accident settle suit with city for $40,000

May 09, 2012|By Peter Hermann

The law, sometimes, can be a bit difficult to comprehend.

Relatives of three people killed when a firetruck that went through a red light hit their car in Northwest Baltimore are to get a grand total of $40,000 in their out-of-court settlement. A woman hit by a car driven by a passed out health department worker and seriously injured settles for $200,000.

The difference?

State law caps civil damages in accidents involving first responders when they're operating lights and sirens and headed to emergencies. So even though the fire truck in the 2007 crash was speeding to a call that turned out to be burned food on a stove, and didn't stop at a red light, as it was supposed to, the family gets just a few thousand dollars.

The law caps damages at $20,000 per victim, up to two victims. Any beyond that and the cap is $40,000, divided by each of the plaintiffs.

The Board of Estimates is to vote this morning on whether to accept the settlements these cases, as well as another for $100,000, this one an accident involving a tow truck driver.

Read more details of the accidents here.

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