The lawsuit filed on behalf of Kara Hamm targets the driver of the police cruiser, Sgt. Curt Theune of the Spring Lake/Ferrysburg Police Department, and the Village of Spring Lake. It asks for more than $25,000 in damages.
Read the lawsuit document: Download the "Related File" PDF below this story.
Theune declined to comment Tuesday, and referred all questions to Village Manager Chris Burns.
“The village has submitted the documents to our insurance carrier and adjuster, who will assign an attorney to defend Sgt. Theune and the village against the lawsuit,” Burns said.
Although Hamm sought her own treatment after the crash and was not taken to the hospital by ambulance, the lawsuit claims she suffered “severe and debilitating injuries.” The lawsuit claims her injuries included a “traumatic brain injury/post-concussion syndrome/closed head injury,” as well as “other injuries to her head, torso and extremities.”
Hamm’s attorney, Randy Allaben, said his client continues to seek treatment “primarily for memory and concentration.” The attorney said that, in cases like his client’s, an injury might not show up on a scan, but symptoms become apparent when someone tries to go back to work and family members notice a change in their behavior or temperament.
Allaben said the children in the van that Hamm was driving did not suffer injuries with any long-term effects, but the boy received burns from battery acid from the police car.
The incident occurred when Theune was responding to another crash shortly after 4 p.m. May 7 and his police cruiser struck Hamm’s van.
Theune was driving west on Savidge Street in Spring Lake with the vehicle’s lights and siren activated. Witnesses said he slowed when approaching the Lake Avenue intersection, but was unable to avoid Hamm’s minivan, which was northbound on Lake Avenue with a green light.
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