Beaumont cop found negligent for running stop sign, man awarded $155K

David Yates Mar. 9, 2010, 5:19am

A Jefferson County jury recently awarded a man $155,000 for injuries he allegedly received when a Beaumont police officer ran a stop sign and sideswiped his vehicle.

The weeklong trial of Clifford Teasley vs. City of Beaumont started March 1 in Judge Bob Wortham's 58th District Court and concluded March 5.

Teasley sued the city in October 2008 under the legal doctrine respondeat superior � Latin for "let the master answer �" alleging the police officer who struck him failed to abide by the same traffic regulations he is paid to enforce.

Court documents show that on Nov. 4, 2006, Teasley was traveling west on South Street when Officer Cody Foote sped through a stop sign, causing Teasley to come into contact with the broadside of the police vehicle.

"I was (entering the intersection) when suddenly out of nowhere comes this police car flying down the road," Teasley testified March 3. "The air bags exploded ... my bumper came off and fluids were leaking out of my car."

Teasley said that within minutes of the incident, several police cars showed up at the scene, along with a crime scene unit.

He testified that he declined to go to the hospital and returned home following the incident.

Jurors awarded Teasley $105,000 in medical expenses, $20,500 in lost wages, $22,000 in mental anguish and $7,500 in impairment.

During the trial, he claimed that in the past he has worked as a disc jockey and most recently as a hair cutter, but has been unable to return to work since the incident. Teasley also testified that he received major injuries a few years prior to the 2006 incident when he fell off a 20-foot ladder.

Teasley was represented by attorney David Starnes.

The city was represented by attorney Quentin Price.

Case No. A182-498

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