Provo City and its police department have been named in a $10 million lawsuit that partially blames the city for the death of a 19-year-old Brigham Young University student killed last year by a drunken driver who was fleeing police.
In addition to naming the city and police department, the suit names Provo Police officer Phillip A. Webber; Jerry R. Meissner, who is serving one to 15 years in the state prison for automobile homicide in the death of Chad M. Weaver, Spokane, Wash.; Jaime R. Meissner, brother of Jerry and a passenger in his pickup at the time of the accident; and the California firm Forte Hotels International Inc.
The suit was filed by the decedent's parents, James and Brenda Weaver, his sister Jaime, and Cynthia Rippstein, a passenger in Chad Weaver's vehicle who was seriously injured in the March 28, 1987 accident.
According to the lawsuit, the "Provo Police Department (and) the City of Provo . . . negligently failed to provide guidelines, standards or procedures to be followed by police officers chasing or pursuing suspects driving vehicles."
Provo Mayor Joe Jenkins said city officials are sorry the accident occurred, but he stands by police department procedures.
Forte Hotels International, which owns the Travelodge Motel at 124 S. University, is named because the motel is "negligently situated" and prevented Meissner and Weaver from seeing each other's vehicles.