Lawsuit response claims pedestrian hit by car was at fault
Merle Peter Michels has responded to a lawsuit filed in January by the family of Chloe Demers, who was seriously injured in an accident for which Michels faces a charge of driving without due care.
The lawsuit, filed by Christian Ardiles, Demers' father, seeks money to cover loss of income, loss of earning capacity, future care costs and general damages, among other claims.
The response to the lawsuit, filed by John Broadway of the law firm Gillespie Renkema Barnett Broadway LLP on Wednesday, March 13, states any accident that might have occurred happened "without any negligence on the part of the defendant, Merle Peter Michels, who at all times operated the vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner.
It states Demers "sustained no injury, loss, damage or expense as a result of the alleged accident."
The notice of claim filed on her behalf noted she suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, a broken tibia and fibula, multiple lacerations, abrasions and bruises to her entire body, a blown pupil and an ACL injury to her left knee.
Michels response states any alleged injuries "were caused or contributed to by the actions of the plaintiff," claiming Demers did not pay attention, did not take proper care to avoid any accident, did not move in time to avoid an accident, walked into the path of the vehicle "so close it is impracticable for the driver to yield the right of way," failed to yield the right of way to the vehicle, did not follow traffic-control signals at the intersection and entered the roadway when the word "wait," the words "don't walk" or an outline of a raised hand were being shown on the traffic signal.
It also alleges Demers impaired her ability to hear traffic by wearing headphones or ear buds, adding that Demers "has failed to follow medical advice in respect to treatment or exercise."
The lawsuit claims Demers has been left with scars on her head and body and now suffers seizures, pain, depression, sleep problems, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and headaches.
It states Michels was speeding when he ran the red light and failed “to take reasonable steps to avoid a collision” with Demers.
There is no dollar amount listed in the document.