MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The remaining two plaintiffs in the Holidazzle civil trial settled out of court Wednesday for $93,000.
The settlement was reached before a Hennepin County jury was due to begin deliberating the amount of damages Cari Gerlicher and her daughter, Hannah, were due for being injured by a police van at the Holidazzle parade on Dec. 4, 1998.
Cari Gerlicher, a police sergeant whose pelvis was broken, and Hannah, who is now 7 years old, were among the nine people injured when the van surged into the crowd on the Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. Two others were killed.
The Gerlichers will be paid by Federal Signal Corp., which made a device that controlled the flashing of the brake lights on the police van. Two weeks ago, the jury decided the city of Minneapolis was 87.5 percent liable for the accident, while Federal Signal was 12.5 percent liable.
In 1999, the city paid the victims a total of $750,000, a maximum capped by state law. Each victim will get a share of that to be determined by the court, but the amount Federal Signal must pay three other plaintiffs remains in dispute.
On Tuesday, the jurors awarded more than $4 million to the Mitchell Lanz family of Maple Grove. They awarded $3.8 million to Erin Lanz, 10, whose arm crushed in the accident. Doctors eventually amputated her arm above the elbow after four unsuccessful operations to save it. The jury also awarded $30,000 to her younger brother, Michael Lanz, 7, whose arm was broken, and $162,455 to Mitchell Lanz, the children's father, for medical bills.
Further court proceedings will be needed to determine how much of the $4 million the Lanz family will receive. Their attorney, Dick Gill, said that while state law caps the city's liability, he will argue that Federal Signal is liable under other state laws for the entire sum awarded to Erin Lanz, minus her share of the $750,000 from the city.
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