A man from Ansonia, Conn. is suing the Yale Police Department for allegedly causing a car crash in which the plaintiff sustained heavy injuries.
Edward Jennings filed a lawsuit in Milford Superior Court Oct. 27, alleging his car was hit as a result of a University Police vehicle pursuit. Jennings is asking for more than $15,000 in damages in part to pay for the treatment of several injuries he said he sustained in the accident.
Jennings, who lives at 212 Howard Avenue, said in the lawsuit he sustained an arm injury and a severe back injury for which he needs surgery that costs more than what he can afford. Jennings said the accident occurred when a stolen Cadillac pursued by Yale Police collided with a 1992 Ford pickup truck, which then struck his vehicle.
Yale Police Lt. Michael Patten said the Department could not comment on the Jennings lawsuit because it is pending litigation. Although there is no specific policy on car chases on the University Police Web site, the New Haven Board of Police Commissioners grants Yale officers full jurisdiction throughout New Haven, the site states.
Caroline Hendel, the assistant general counsel for the University’s Office of the General Counsel, said she could not comment on this pending litigation because many details about the case are still unresolved.
“This case is so new,” Hendel said, “These cases can take years. We might be two or three years away from a resolution.”
According to the suit, Jennings’s vehicle was hit by the pickup while it was stopped at a traffic light on Ella Grasso Boulevard, located at the intersection of Orange and Congress avenues. The Yale Police chased the stolen Cadillac through the intersection as they tried to pull over the vehicle. The Cadillac did not stop, hitting the Ford pickup that then collided with Jennings’s vehicle.
In his suit, Jennings asserts that the Yale Police vehicle involved in the pursuit put the general public in danger by traveling at extreme speeds. The suit alleges that the risks to public safety caused by the pursuit were greater than the benefits of continuing the chase.