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Westside Digest

Venice : L.A. Agrees to Crash Payment

April 14, 1988

The City of Los Angeles has agreed to pay $209,000 to a Venice woman who was involved in an automobile accident in 1982 allegedly caused by a Los Angeles police officer driving an unmarked car.

The City Council's Finance and Revenue Committee voted Tuesday to allocate the money, which was awarded last month to Julia Apperson by a Santa Monica Superior Court jury. The committee, following the advice of the city attorney's office, voted not to appeal the case. The payment must also be approved by the full City Council.

In a deposition read at the trial, Apperson, 59, said she was driving westbound on Broadway near 6th Street in Venice at 10:25 p.m. on Aug. 6, 1982, when the unmarked car appeared, heading in the opposite direction and without its headlights on. Apperson said the car was partially in her lane and the driver suddenly turned on the headlights, causing her to swerve into a parked car to avoid a head-on collision.

Officer Anthony Manente, the driver of the car, testified that he was driving eastbound on Broadway with his headlights on and noticed nothing unusual when he passed Apperson's Lincoln Continental. Moments later, he testified, he heard Apperson's car crash into a parked car.

According to a report prepared by the city attorney's office, Apperson developed a blood clot in her brain as a result of the accident and now suffers from a seizure disorder.

In February, the report said, the city rejected an offer to settle the case for $150,000, offering instead to pay $75,000. When the settlement negotiations failed, the case went to a jury trial.

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