A trial is under way in a Lawrence woman's $4.5 million lawsuit against the city stemming from an April 1989 accident in which the car she was driving struck a parked Lawrence Fire Department truck.
Collette R. Manzanares, 26, filed suit against the city on Dec. 7, 1990, claiming that fire department personnel were negligent when they parked the truck in a no-parking zone on Wakarusa Drive and "did not display any warning devices whatsoever."
Jury selection in the trial began Monday in Douglas County District Court.
According to court documents, Manzanares incurred $113,809 in medical bills stemming from the accident, which occurred April 7, 1989.
Manzanares claims that moments before the accident occurred, she was driving behind a recreational vehicle in the righthand lane. The recreational vehicle suddenly changed lanes to avoid the fire truck, and Manzanares whose view of the truck had been obscured by the recreational vehicle was unable to miss the fire truck.
In response, the city claimed Manzanares' "negligence was the sole cause of the collision" and that the accident would not have occurred had Manzanares "been exercising reasonable care in driving her car."
The city also filed a counter-claim seeking in excess of $18,000 for damage to the fire truck.
The city claimed that the area where the fire truck was parked "was not then posted as a no-parking zone." Manzanares disputes that claim.
Manzanares is seeking $4.5 million in medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, future wages and benefits and past and future physical and emotional pain and suffering.
The trial is expected to last the remainder of this week and possibly into next week.