Seattle Settles Ambulance Crash for $65.7 Million

The City of Seattle has settled an apparatus accident case with a catastrophically injured attorney for a whopping $65.7 million. The accident occurred on April 24, 2016 when a Seattle Fire Department ambulance proceeded through a red light without stopping, and collided with a Porsche 911 driven by attorney Brooke Taylor.

Taylor, a nationally renowned commercial litigation attorney who represented T-Mobile, Zillow and REI, suffered traumatic brain injuries and initially was not expected to survive. She will require extensive care for the rest of her life, and currently requires round-the-clock care.

Taylor’s claim alleged that the ambulance driver failed to stop at the red light or comply with Washington state law that requires emergency personnel “to only proceed through a red traffic light ‘after slowing down as may be necessary for safe operation,’ which he failed to do.”

The $65.7 million settlement is reported to be the largest in Washington state history. The bulk of the settlement will come from several insurance companies who each agreed to pay at their policy limits. The remaining balance of $6.5 million will be paid by the city, representing it’s deductible.

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About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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