Provo City, named in a $10 million civil lawsuit blaming the city for the death of a 19-year-old Brigham Young University student killed by a drunken driver last year, has asked that the lawsuit be dismissed.
Provo's response to the lawsuit was filed in 4th District Court.In addition to naming Provo, the lawsuit names Provo police officer Philip 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 Weaver's parents, James and Brenda Weaver, his sister Jamie and Cynthia Rippstein, a passenger who was seriously injured in the March 28, 1987, accident. Each plaintiff seeks $2.5 million in damages.
Provo "denies that the plaintiff Cynthia Rippstein has been damaged in the amount of $2.5 million or in any other amount," the response says, "and denies that the plaintiffs James H. Weaver, Brenda Weaver or Jamie Weaver have each been damaged in the amount of $2.5 million or any other amount . . ."
The response asks that the plaintiffs' request for "damages, costs of suit or any other relief be denied, that all allegations against this defendant be dismissed" and that the city be reimbursed legal costs and attorney's fees.
The city said Jerry R. Meissner and Jaime R. Meissner were responsible for any injury or damage sustained by the plaintiffs, not the city.
According to a stipulation of fact Jerry Meissner signed last August, he was intoxicated when he ran a red light at the intersection of University Avenue and First South while fleeing Provo police. After entering the intersection while eastbound on First South, Meissner's pickup smashed into a pickup driven by Chad Weaver, killing Weaver and injuring Rippstein.
Provo's response to the lawsuit says the "city and its employees are immune pursuant to the Utah Governmental Immunity Act" and that the plaintiffs "failed to file an undertaking pursuant to the Governmental Immunity Act" as required by law.
Forte Hotels International, which owns the Travelodge Motel at 124 S. University Ave., also has asked that the suit be dismissed and that the firm be awarded legal and attorney's fees.
The suit says the motel is "negligently situated" and prevented Meissner and Weaver from seeing each other's vehicles as they entered the intersection.