Indy woman injured by bump-out settles with city, E&B Paving

Nov. 17—An Indianapolis woman injured after hitting a Kokomo curb extension, also known as a bump-out, has reached settlements with both the city and a paving company.

Lucina Eaton received $150,000 from the city of Kokomo in a settlement agreed to in April, according to a release and indemnifying agreement acquired by the Tribune through a public records request. Per the settlement agreement, the city of Kokomo does not admit any wrongdoing.

More recently, in October, Eaton reached an undisclosed settlement with E&B Paving, an Indiana-based asphalt and concrete paving company, according to court filings.

The two settlements mean an end to Eaton's charges of guilt against the city and E&B Paving regarding a July 17, 2018, motorcycle accident involving Eaton and a bump-out at the intersection of North Apperson Way and Madison Street.

However, the city of Kokomo's cross claim for indemnity against E&B Paving remains in litigation after failed settlement talks. A jury trial is scheduled for March 20.

Eaton's attorney, Douglas Sakaguchi, declined an opportunity to comment on the settlements.

According to a complaint filed by Eaton, she suffered "serious and permanent" injuries when she struck the bump-out. Her lawsuit criticized the lack of signage on the side of the road and the lack of pavement markings on the road indicating to drivers that the road narrows.

At the time of Eaton's accident, that stretch of Apperson Way was under construction as part of a road project the city was undertaking that included adding curb extensions, landscaping islands and on-street parking spaces. The intersection was milled but was not paved and did not have lane markings at the time of Eaton's accident indicating that the road narrows, according to court filings.

Shortly after Eaton's complaint, the city of Kokomo filed a cross claim against E&B Paving, arguing the company is responsible for paying any past and future costs related to the lawsuit due to certain clauses in the construction contract.

In subsequent court filings, E&B Paving denied having to indemnify the city for any lawsuit for injury during the course of construction. In December, the city filed a motion for summary judgment in its favor and against E&B Paving.

In June, Special Judge Timothy Spahr of Miami County granted partial summary judgment, ruling that the city's contract with E&B Paving states the contractor must indemnify the city in case of any lawsuit for injury during the course of construction. But the judge ruled against the city in its claim that E&B Paving should be required to indemnify the city for its own negligence.

*UPDATE: This article has been updated to reflect that Eaton's attorney Douglas Sakaguchi declined to comment on the settlements.*

Tyler Juranovich can be reached at 765-454-8577, by email at tyler.juranovich@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter at @tylerjuranovich.