Passenger in DUI vehicle sues cop | TheUnion.com
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Passenger in DUI vehicle sues cop

A passenger in a vehicle driven by a drunken man that smacked into a Grass Valley police officer’s vehicle last year is suing the officer, the city and the hospital for alleged negligence that caused injuries and emotional distress.

Kurt Peterson of San Jose is suing Officer Kyle Shoberg in Sacramento County for allegedly driving too fast and causing the Sept. 30, 2007, accident on East Main Street at Dorsey Drive in Grass Valley.

According to CHP reports, Shoberg was northbound on East Main and going through the intersection while responding to a call. Shoberg told the CHP he looked to his right just in time to see a vehicle with no lights on smash into his patrol car, spinning it into a power pole.



Witnesses and Shoberg said the officer had his emergency lights on, but none could remember whether his siren was activated, the CHP reports said. Shoberg was injured at the scene as were Peterson, second passenger Colin Doty of Grass Valley and driver Nathaniel E. Taylor of Grass Valley.

According to CHP records, Taylor tried to walk away from the scene but was detained by arriving police officers. Taylor later was found guilty of driving under the influence; he received a sentence of one year in the Nevada County jail and five years of probation at a July 11 sentencing this year.




Peterson was taken to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and then flown to Sutter Roseville Medical Center, according to the suit filed by his San Francisco attorney, David Anderson.

While at the Roseville hospital, nurses Jacqueline Bailey, Brenda Palm-Daughters and Shannon Birdsall allegedly didn’t remove a breathing tube quickly when Peterson began choking, causing him emotional distress, the suit said.

“It added insult to his injuries,” Anderson said. Sutter Roseville spokeswoman Robin Montgomery said the hospital could not comment on pending litigation.

The lawyer said Peterson suffered severe facial scarring and a permanent loss of motion as a result of injuries in the wreck.

“Everyone has a right to file a lawsuit,” said Grass Valley police Chief John Foster, adding that he could not comment on pending litigation. But Foster did say Anderson’s contention that Shoberg did not have his siren on at the time of the crash, “can’t be proved or disproved.”

The CHP report said Shoberg’s speed was a contributing factor to the crash, but concluded that driver Taylor was in the wrong because he was drunk and did not yield to an emergency vehicle at the intersection.

The city was cited in the suit for allegedly not giving Shoberg proper emergency driving training. The suit asks for relief, but does not specify an exact monetary amount sought.

To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail dmoller@theunion.com or call 477-4237.


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