The City Council agreed to settle a lawsuit involving an LAX employee who was hit by a Big Blue Bus employee driving a utility vehicle $2,875,000 after a closed session meeting Tuesday night.
Lisa Fuqua was in a marked crosswalk at Avion Dr. and 98th Street near the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Westchester when a truck hit her on Sept. 24, 2013. The BBB employee behind the wheel, Ramon Barba, was on his way to repair a bus near LAX when he hit Fuqua, according to court documents.
The former management analyst for the City of Los Angeles will likely deal with her injuries from the crash for the rest of her life, according to her attorney David A. Azran.
“She was actually attending a course that was being put on by the City of Los Angeles for her advancement,” Azran said over the phone from his office in Encino. “She was in management and was attending a course and actually on her way to obtain some materials from her car to go back to the course when she was struck.”
The crosswalk was marked by a stop sign. The truck’s impact sent Fuqua flying several feet before hitting the pavement. Because she was working for Los Angeles at the time, part of Fuqua’s settlement will go toward reimbursing her worker’s compensation benefits.
Fuqua could not be reached to comment on her settlement, but Azran says she was relieved to avoid the stress of a jury trial that could have lasted up to three weeks.
“This would have been an expert driven trial,” Azran said. Forensic accountants, medical experts, accident reconstruction and biomechanical engineers, as well as life care planning experts would have likely been called at trial.
Acting City Attorney Joseph Lawrence declined to comment on the settlement to the Daily Press.
Insurance will cover most of the multi-million dollar pay out, with $1 million in City funds going toward defense costs and the plaintiff.
The City will likely pay out the settlement in the next 90 days.