Woman sues Charleston police officer, city over accident

By Cara Bailey | Jan 24, 2007

CHARLESTON - A Kanawha County woman filed a suit against a Charleston police officer and the city after the officer ran a stop sign and hit her vehicle.

Maribeth Hickman-Coleman filed the suit Jan. 16 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Officer Jon W. Petry and the City of Charleston.

On April 12, 2005, Hickman-Coleman was driving her husband's 1986 Mercedes Benz when Petry failed to stop at a stop sign and hit Hickman-Coleman's car, striking the right front fender. Hickman-Coleman also says she sustained some bodily injuries.

"Immediately after the accident, in violation of law, Petry directed (Hickman-Coleman) to move her vehicle from the point of impact, despite the face that there was no immediate danger to her or Petry, and despite the face that the vehicles were not hindering oncoming traffic," the suit says.

The suit also says that because Petry was acting as an officer at the time of the accident, the City of Charleston is vicariously liable for his acts.

Hickman-Coleman is demanding judgment against the city and Petry, seeking compensation as a result of negligence and reckless acts.

Hickman-Coleman's lawyer is Charles M. Johnstone, and the case has been assigned to Judge Charles King.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-88

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