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$15M Settlement in Officer’s Distracted Driving Crash Suit

May 22, 2013

A $15 million settlement has been reached between Santa Clara County, California, and a man injured in a crash caused by a police officer who was eating a hamburger while driving.

The lawsuit was filed by 78-year-old Diem Van Lam, who suffered a torn aorta, fractured skull and seven broken ribs when his vehicle was struck by a cruiser operated by Sheriff’s Deputy Greg Markovic in January 2012.

According to court records, Markovic took his eyes off the road three times right before the 4 a.m. crash in San Jose, one time to unwrap the hamburger, once to attend to a stuck radio microphone and once to turn off a light he switched on by accident.

Markovic suffered a permanent disability in a later, unrelated incident in which he rescued a child from a vehicle in a highway crash.

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