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Lake Co. settles with woman struck by sheriff's deputy
By Russell Lissau | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 10/28/2009 4:46 PM

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A Long Grove woman whose car was struck by a Lake County sheriff's deputy, who was using his in-car computer while headed to a call, will receive $125,000 as part of a settlement approved Wednesday.

Additionally, county officials will examine how the deputy was using his computer to learn from the accident, said Assistant State's Attorney Janelle Christensen, who represented the county in the case.

The accident happened in January 2008 on Route 176 near Fairfield Road, east of Wauconda.

Deputy Thomas Flores was responding to a possible suicide when he struck the rear of Maria Blumenfeld's car, Christensen said. At the time, Flores had been receiving information about the call over his radio and an in-car computer, Christensen said.

Blumenfeld suffered a torn rotator cuff and knee injuries, and she required surgery, Christensen said.

Flores was not hurt.

The lawsuit was filed later in the year.

Although county officials believed the deputy legally wasn't at fault because the law protects police officers involved in car accidents while headed to calls, they decided to settle the suit, Christensen said. The county did not admit liability in the settlement, she said.

Flores did not break any policies or procedures, Christensen said.

The county board's finance committee approved the settlement amount Wednesday. Blumenfeld had asked for $250,000 in damages, Christensen said.

Blumenfeld declined to comment. Her attorney could not be reached for comment.