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Scottsdale City Council to consider $225K out-of-court settlement due to 2020 motor vehicle accident

Photo of Scottsdale City Offices
A view of Scottsdale municipal offices that are part of the Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza.
(Photo: Arianna Grainey/

Scottsdale garbage truck allegedly rear-ended vehicle in May of 2020

By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press

It is alleged on May 26, 2020, a Scottsdale garbage truck rear-ended a vehicle near the intersection of east McDonald Road and State Route 101 resulting in hundreds of thousands of medical care for the alleged victim of the motor vehicle accident.

Scottsdale City Council, Tuesday, Sept. 13, is expected to consider an out-of-court settlement to the tune of $225,000 at City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd., to close the matter instead of pursuing the claims against the city at Maricopa County Superior Court.

“Plaintiffs allege that a City of Scottsdale employee caused the accident by rear-ending their vehicle with a city-owned garbage truck,” said Sherry Scott, city attorney, in her report to City Council. “Plaintiffs alleged they were injured and incurred medical bills totaling $170,000. Plaintiff [Mr.] Buntin also claimed $89,000 was needed for his future medical care. Both plaintiffs claimed joint lost wages and household services totaling $756,000, which they allege were caused by their inability to work following the accident.”

Ms. Scott explains to City Council the original claim against the municipality came to a total of $4 million.

“Pre-suit, plaintiffs demanded $4 million to settle their claims. Plaintiffs then filed a lawsuit in Maricopa County Superior Court,” she of the of the local legal process. The parties engaged in a formal mediation with an independent mediator on Aug. 16, 2022. The parties were able to agree on a proposed settlement of $225,000, subject to council approval, during the lengthy mediation.”

The proposed settlement agreement will resolve all legal claims against the city in this matter, Ms. Scott reports.

“This proposed settlement would resolve the entirety of the lawsuit, including past and future medical specials, lost earnings and all related fees and costs,” she said. City staff is recommending that the City Council approve this settlement because the cost, uncertainty, and risk of going forward to trial in this case outweighs the amount of this negotiated settlement.”

According to an Arizona Attorney General opinion, settlement and judgment payments are eligible for inclusion in a municipal primary tax rate here in Arizona. City officials report the proposed settlement of $225,000 may be included in the city’s primary property tax rate for the next year.

Photo of Scottsdale City Attorney Sherry Scott
Scottsdale City Attorney Sherry Scott. (Photo: Arianna Grainey/
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