Injured biker files tort claim against city


Jennie Runevitch/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - One of the victims of Friday's deadly crash involving an IMPD officer wants the city to pay.

The attorney for 47-year-old Mary Mills took the first step toward a lawsuit that seeks $700,000 in damages, the maximum that can be requested under state law.

What happened at an east side intersection Friday morning already led to seven felony charges against Metro Police Officer David Bisard. Now, it has led to a potential lawsuit. Attorney Mark Ladendorf filed a tort claim, the precursor to a lawsuit, Thursday against the city, calling this a clear-cut case of negligence.

"Innocent people were subjected to trauma, life-long injuries and even death. I don't think any of us have heard of anything like this, at least in my 30 years of practice,"  he said.

Ladendorf represents Mary Mills, one of three motorcyclists on a ride Friday morning, when their day came to a crashing end.

Investigators believe Officer Bisard drove drunk when he hit the bikes with his squad car at East 56th Street near I-465.

The collision killed Eric Wells. Kurt Weekly and Mills, his passenger, were seriously hurt and remain at Methodist Hospital.

"She has severe orthopedic and neurological injuries throughout her body including a broken leg and broken pelvis. Mary Mills is going to have difficulties for some time in her life. Hopefully by the grace of God she makes a full recovery, but we need to get her as much compensation as we can,"  Ladendorf said.

Mills' children contacted Ladendorf about a potential lawsuit Sunday, two days after the deadly wreck, but before they even learned Officer Bisard was charged with driving drunk when he hit the bikers.

"Drunkenness in the middle of the day probably is the worst thing that they can hear other than the fact that their mother's been severely injured and her friend," Ladendorf said. "A senseless tragedy that took place. Something that none of us would have thought could happen."

The city has 180 days to respond to the tort claim:  admit liability and potentially settle, or deny and face a lawsuit in court.

Mills' attorney also represents George Burt, a biker who witnessed, but was not injured in Friday's crash. He said Burt also plans to file a tort claim against the city.