The family of the cyclist killed in a collision with a garbage truck filed
a $10 million dollar lawsuit against the driver’s company.
41-year-old Tamar Monhait was riding north on Water Avenue, just north
of the Hawthorne Bridge, when the garbage truck made a left turn into
her path. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Monhait’s family by Paulson
John Coletti in Multnomah County Circuit Court, states that Monhait was travelling
in the bike lane when the driver of the garbage truck turned into her
path. The lawsuit states that they failed to use a turn signal and was
travelling too fast.
Surveillance video from a restaurant near the site of the crash captured
Monhait, illuminated by a flashing light attached to either her bicycle
or her body, can be seen approaching the intersection on her bicycle when
the garbage truck suddenly makes a left turn. The video published by The
Oregonian stops before the rest of the events unfold, but according to
their reporting, Monhait’s body can be seen on the road behind the
truck once the driver stops their vehicle.
The lawsuit claims that Republic Services, the company the driver works
for, does not properly train its drivers to make a safe left turn.
The lawsuit also references a
previous Paulson Coletti case where a Republic Services driver made an illegal right turn and caused
a crash that severed the leg of a downtown office worker. The jury awarded
the victim in that case $13.5 million, which was later reduced to $3.5
million by a judge.