Minneapolis settles in car accident case

by James Nord

The Minneapolis city council approved a settlement Friday granting $35,000 to a 63-year-old victim of a car accident with a city employee.

In December 2007, a city employee driving a front end loader ran a red light and hit Minneapolis resident Lynda Gronberg’s vehicle.  Gronberg suffered "significant injuries" and her car was totaled, according to a city council report. 

Minneapolis Assistant City Attorney Tom Miller examined the case and decided to settle with Gronberg because of the city’s liability, he said.  A police officer witnessed the city driver, Willy Walker Jr., hit Gronberg and described the accident as severe, according to the report.  Gronberg incurred more than $5,000 in medical expenses as a result of the accident and lost about $3,600 in potential wages.

The city council voted to approve the settlement without discussing it as part of a committee’s larger agenda, which Miller said is normal in cases such as this.  He called the case "not atypical" for the city.

Speaking generally, Miller said in cases where a city employee is involved in a car accident, some investigation occurs.  Because it appeared Walker was not negligent or breaking city rules, it is unlikely disciplinary action took place.