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Monday, August 16, 2010

Suit Seeks $3.7 Million in Pedestrian's Death

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Mon, Aug 16, 2010 at 3:46 PM

The Oregonian is reporting that a lawsuit has been filed in the death last year of Lindsay Leonard, a 23-year-old Reed College graduate fatally struck by a car while crossing SE Foster Road with a friend.

According to the O: The suit, filed by Leonard's family Friday in Multnomah County Circuit Court, seeks $3.7 million and accuses the city of failing to properly maintain the intersection, as well as for failing to replace burned-out a streetlight hanging over the intersection.

UPDATE, 4:45: After talking with the attorney for the Leonard family, Richard Vangelisti, we ought to point out that other defendants include Portland General Electric, for its role in maintaining the streetlight; the driver in the crash, Tito Jose Feliciano; and Feliciano's employer, the parent company of Save-A-Lot Food Stores, where he was working as a manager.

To download a PDF copy of the complaint, click here.

Leonard was walking with a friend, Jessica Finlay, when a car driven by Feliciano hit them. Leonard died instantly, while Finlay, also 23 at the time of the crash, died in January after lying in a coma for months. The Oregonian also says Finlay's family has retained counsel but so far filed only a tort claim notice with the city, a necessary step before filing a formal lawsuit.

Police investigated the crash, but Feliciano was never cited or charged with a crime. While Portland has been lauded as a safe city, transportation advocates and others say dangers remain for pedestrians and bicyclists and note that Oregon is one of four states without vehicular homicide laws.

After the crash, Mayor Sam Adams vowed to have the streetlight's burned out lightbulb replaced. Others have also complained that the crosswalk's paint had worn off, making it hard to see.

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