Sunday, March 22, 2015

Bar's Insurance Company to Pay over One Million for Fatal Bicycle Crash Caused By Alcohol

A lawsuit filed by the parents of the rider has been settled in amounts over one million dollars against the driver and a bar’s insurance company that served a bicyclist who was fatally wounded in December of 2006 after being hit by a drunk driver.

John Osborne, the plaintiff’s attorney said Robert L’Ecuyer and Barbara Nordlund agreed to the offer from Berky’s in the amount of $1 million dollars for the death of Paul L’Ecuyer. $25,000 is to be paid on Monday by Melissa Arrington’s insurance company, being just one day prior to the trial that was to be held in the Pima County Superior Court.

The death of Paul L’Ecuyer’s death resulted in a 10.5 year prison sentence for Arrington, decided in January 2008 by a jury who found her guilty of aggravated DUI and negligent homicide.

Jurors were told by prosecutors that about 8:40 p.m. 45 year old L’Ecuyer was in the bike lane on his Schwinn when Arrington struck him after swerving off of the road and finally coming to a stop after going 800 more feet.

Already driving on a license that had been suspended, Arrington’s blood-alcohol level showed to be 0.156 in a test that was performed 2 2/3 hours after the accident occurred, being twice the level for a DUI. Witnessing the crash, a witness stated that before the collision occurred Arrington had swerved off of the road two other times.

Arrington’s lawyers stated the collision was just a tragic accident.
Arrington stated in testimony that she had recently signed an agreement for lease to purchase on her home located in Vail, and stopped at Berky’s located at 5769 E. Speedway to celebrate with her friends, where she had three drinks. She also stated that as she was reaching for hand sanitizer is when the accident occurred.

Osborne stated that L’Ecuyer’s parents filed the lawsuit against Arrington and Berky’s as a reminder to everyone how important the need is to continue “working tirelessly to do away with drinking and driving and to over-serving at bars."
Osborne said that the plans for the settlement are going to be used for the funding of a scholarship named after their son shortly after he lost his life, and for the education of their nephews’ and neices’. Part of the money might also be donated to Phoenix College and the University of Arizona.

When Arrington was being sentenced, Judge Michael Cruikshank stated the reason an aggravated sentence was given to Arrington was because of a recorded phone call that he found between a friend and Arrington to be "breathtaking in its inhumanity." Instead of being silenced from shock, Arrington laughed during the call that was made from Pima County jail where the gentleman told Arrington that someone they were both acquainted with said she deserved "a medal and a (expletive) parade because she had taken out "a (expletive) tree hugger, a bicyclist, a Frenchman and a gay guy all in one shot."

When the man stated it was a terrible thing for him to say, after laughing Arrington simply responded with "No, it's not." During the proceedings of the hearing, siblings and L’Ecuyer’s mother described him as being being a person with "enormous ideals" who helped pass out Martin Luther King Jr. Day fliers and urging others to write down their goals and dreams, who rode in other charity events and handed out baskets to needy people for the Thanksgiving holiday.

L’Ecuyer held degrees in counseling and career development from Phoenix College and the University of Arizona, as well as degrees from Chapman University.
A phone call for comment was not returned by Martin Claire, an attorney from Phoenix that represents Berky’s.

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