What was once unusual, is now usual; another lawsuit against the City of Naperville. Attorneys at all levels of government are busy defending accusations. On the Federal level it’s Russian collusion with President Trump, on the State level it’s politicians trying to stay out of the slammer, and on the local level city attorneys are busy justifying incompetence, the results of terrible policy, or sometimes accidents in the truest sense.
The most recent lawsuit filed against the City occurred on July 13. The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the family of a 73-yearl old Naperville woman who was killed in a tragic accident on the evening of April 8 after she left a church service and was returning home.
Phyllis Manderson was driving northbound on Ogden and turned left (west) onto Feldott and her vehicle was struck by a Naperville police vehicle heading southbound at a high rate of speed estimated at 68 mph in a 40 mph zone while attempting to catch up to a driver who was allegedly looking at a cellphone.
A terrible accident indeed, but one that may have been avoidable. Supposedly the Naperville police officer had not yet engaged the squad car’s siren or emergency lights prior to impact. Had those actions taken place, it’s very possible Manderson would have noticed and then not made the turn. Witnesses supposedly told investigators from from the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office that they ‘believed’ Manderson did not yield the right-of-way to the police vehicle.
Now it goes to court, the details will be sorted out, and a ruling will be made in time. As is the case all the time with Naperville city officials, they don’t comment on details of a lawsuit that they suppossedly haven’t seen, then when it goes to court, they have no comment because it’s in litigation, and when litigation is complete they have no comment if they lose the case. If they win the case, then they are willing to tell anybody and everybody in every communication mode possible.
It’s tragic for everybody directly involved, the victim and her family, the police officer, and the officer’s family, and all those who know those involved. The definition of ‘accident’ is ‘an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury’. This situation truly qualifies.