Editor's Note: The name of the 12-year-old accident victim described in this story has been removed at the request of his family out of consideration for his privacy, as has the name of the driver of the car in light of no charges having been filed relating to the accident.
Palo Alto store Izzy's Brooklyn Bagels has agreed to pay $1.9 million to settle a lawsuit involving one of its employees who struck and seriously injured a child riding his bicycle in 2012, according to court documents filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court.
The City of Palo Alto, its contractor O'Grady Paving, Inc. and subcontractor JJR Construction, Inc, and the driver and the vehicle owner were also part of the settlement, and their insurers will pay a small portion of the total $1.96 million settlement.
On Nov. 5, 2012, a car driven by Izzy's worker (name removed) struck (name removed), of Palo Alto, at 7:19 a.m. on the 2500 block of Park Boulevard. The boy, 12, was bicycling to (removed) Elementary School, according to a police report. (Name removed) suffered a significant brain injury and fractures to his leg, hand and mandible.
(Name removed) was driving a Nissan Quest belonging to a relative south on Park through a construction area on his way to East Palo Alto to pick up supplies for Izzy's Bagels, he told police. The sun was in his eyes, he said, and he was driving between 25 and 35 miles per hour. He did not see (name removed) but heard the crash, noticed his windshield was broken and immediately stopped to investigate, the police report stated.
(Name removed), who was wearing a helmet, was struck from behind. He had left the bicycle lane to get around the construction zone, according to the report, and was veering back in when he was hit. The impact flipped (name removed) onto (name removed)'s hood and windshield. The force was such that his bicycle frame was broken in two, and bicycle parts were strewn across the road, according to the police.
A toxicology study of (name removed)'s blood found evidence of methamphetamine at the time of the collision, the report stated. (Name removed) told police that he had a previous addiction to methamphetamine, but he had not taken any in a while. He was not charged in the incident.
Israel Rind, owner of Izzy's Bagels, said that (name removed) was off the clock when the accident occurred and was not driving for Izzy's. He said Izzy's has its own driver and company truck and would not send an employee in his own vehicle to pick up supplies. Rind asserted that police may have misunderstood (name removed), for whom English is not his first language, when they interviewed him about the accident, according to the report.
The lawsuit, which was filed Aug. 28, 2013, asked for $17 million and claimed "a substantial factor that contributed to this incident is the City of Palo Alto's negligent design, construction, maintenance, signing, operation and control of the roadways."
City Attorney Molly Stump said this week that the city did not have to pay any money in the settlement, which was finalized by the court on May 31. Contractor O'Grady Paving's subcontractor, JJR Construction, which was working in the area on the day of the incident, paid through its insurer, she said.
Although limited by a confidentiality agreement, Stump said in an email: "On behalf of the City Council, we are pleased this matter has been resolved, and extend our sincere hopes for continued recovery to the young man and his family."
A publicly available document regarding how the settlement proceeds would be distributed describes the lingering issues for (name removed) and states that ongoing health problems will affect his lifetime earning potential by $3 million to $4 million. The cost of his ongoing therapeutic care and counseling could reach an estimated $326,500, the document stated.
The document breaks down financial responsibility under the settlement: City of Palo Alto, O'Grady Paving and JJR Construction will pay $45,000; (names removed) (the driver and vehicle owner), $15,000 and Izzy's Brooklyn Bagels, $1.9 million.
The majority of the settlement, nearly $1.4 million, will be placed in a restricted interest-bearing account until (name removed) reaches age 18, and a settlement trust will be established at a future date by the probate court. (Name removed)'s attorneys, Sumner Law, will receive $490,000 for services and expenses. Meridian Resources Company for Anthem Blue Cross will receive $35,660, and The Rawlings Company for Aetna Health Plans will receive $2,050.
Andrew Lauderdale, Izzy's attorney, said he and his client could not discuss the settlement due to the confidentiality agreement. Scott Sumner, attorney for (name removed), also said he could not comment due to confidentiality.