A Portland man has filed a $566,700 lawsuit against the city of Portland and Portland Police Officer Robert Searle for a rear-end collision last year.
Steven Wade says that he was driving on Southeast Fuller Road on Feb. 23, 2012, when he stopped for a pedestrian pushing a baby stroller. Searle, the suit says, failed to stop and rear-ended Wade.
The suit, filed May 8 in Multnomah County Circuit Court, says Wade missed work and lost wages, and his car was repossessed as a result.
Wade says his medical bills totaled $9,114 and his lost earnings were $910. The rest of the claim for damages comes from "past, present and future medical expenses, pain, suffering, lost income, and impairment of earning capacity."
Wade filed a claim with the city of Portland in March 2012; it was denied on April 26, 2013.
Wade also alleges in the suit that the city failed to train Searle, who has been with the department since June 2001, in how to safely operate a police vehicle.
Police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson says he reviewed the report on the collision, and it is a "slow speed rear end bump with no damage to Wade’s car." He says that all officers go through rigorous training, but due to the nature of the job, collisions are statistically more likely for police.
"It is one of the things that we're more susceptible to than a lot of jobs, for patrol especially," Simpson says. "Our cars operate 24/7 year round. It happens, but we do what we can do reduce it."
Each crash, he adds, goes through a collision review board that determines whether the officer's crash was preventable.