The Nebraska Legislature Is Planning To Give A Man From Kearney Who Was Hurt In A 2017 Crash $4.45 Million


LINCOLN, Nebraska – The Nebraska Legislature is planning to give a guy from Kearney a multimillion-dollar settlement because he was seriously hurt in a pursuit in Grand Island.

A change was made to LB1188 that added $4.45 million. After getting through the Business and Labor Committee, the bill takes care of settlement payments for the State of Nebraska. Miles and Christy Margritz, as well as his lawyers, will get the multimillion-dollar payment.

After he was hit by a suspect running away from the Nebraska State Patrol on December 20, 2017, Miles Margritz of Kearney sued the state of Nebraska in 2020.

The suit says that Jose Ortiz stole a car and was driving north on Grand Island’s Highway 281. Even though the police tried to stop him, he sped off and ignored all the traffic signs and warnings.

Ortiz hit Margritz’s car as he drove into the crossing of Old Potash Highway and Highway 281 to make a left turn.

The accident killed Ortiz and left Margritz with “serious and permanent injuries requiring extensive hospitalization and multiple surgeries and treatment,” the lawsuit says. In a letter, Margritz’s lawyer said that his injuries will last forever.

The claim says that Christy, Margritz’s wife, has also had to care for him since the accident. Their lawyer said she no longer has the same quality of life she did when her husband wasn’t hurt.

His hospital bills came to $648,666.39, and the case says that because of his injuries, Margritz lost more than $54,000 in wages.

The claim goes on to say that the Nebraska State Patrol should have stopped chasing Ortiz and that the chase made Ortiz run away and hit Margritz. The lawyer said that when state workers started chasing the suspect “while approaching a busy intersection,” they broke policy, state law, and standard police procedure.

Margritz’s lawyer said that because of this, state law says the State of Nebraska should be responsible for his injuries.

The lawsuit asked for a verdict that would cover Margritz’s past and future medical bills, missed wages, pain and suffering, loss of consortium for his wife, attorney’s fees, and any other damages the court thought were fair.

There hasn’t been a settlement agreement signed yet, but it looks like the state is getting ready to pay the Margritz family. The bill was passed out of committee and will now be talked about by the whole Legislature.

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