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San Francisco would pay nearly $5 million to settle a firefighter DUI collision lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco is willing to pay nearly $5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by a man who sustained injuries in an accident caused by a firefighter who was driving a fire truck while under the influence of an intoxicant.

Back in October 2013, Jack Frazier filed suit against the city after an accident involving a fire truck in the city’s South of Market neighborhood. The incident happened on 29th of June 2013 when he suffered critical injuries.

Frazier was riding a motorcycle and sustained life-threatening injuries in the accident that occurred at Fifth and Howard streets. The time at which the collision happened was 11:30 p.m.

Firefighter Michael Quinn was taken into custody by the cops on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and escaping the accident spot.

In March 2014, he was indicted by a grand jury on the following counts:

  • Three felony counts of driving under the influence causing injury
  • Driving with a BAC 0.08% or higher causing injury
  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle with a BAC 0.04% causing injury

A Breathalyzer test was done to determine his BAC, but the judge ruled in March 2015 that the BAC level test results cannot be accepted as proof as the department’s breathalyzer devices are not according to the police standards.

District attorney’s office spokesman Max Szabo told that the criminal case filed against Quinn is still proceeding.

The lawyer hired by Frazier’s told that Quinn, who resigned from the San Francisco Fire Department after he caused the accident, allegedly escaped from the accident spot and was seen consuming water with colleagues at a pub nearby in an effort to sober up.

The amount of $4.99 million is proposed by the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office to settle the lawsuit. It is also said that the amount of $10,000 will be given personally by Quinn to the victim.

Before the settlement is finalized, it is required to be approved by the Board of Supervisors.

On Tuesday, Supervisor John Avalos said about the proposed settlement that he has decided to call for a hearing in the board’s Government Audit and Oversight Committee to know what steps the fire department has taken to stop on-duty officers from consuming alcohol or any other intoxicant and to ensure accountability for those who get involved in this wrongdoing while on-duty.

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