On December 9, 2014, the Township of Haddon (Camden County) agreed to pay $240,000 to a Gloucester Township teenager who said that a Haddon police car struck her when she “was a pedestrian who was lawfully walking in the crosswalk.”

In her suit, Kimberly Huckel claimed that on February 11, 2012, Officer Gary L. D’Alessio, Jr., while driving a Haddon patrol car, struck her while she was lawfully in a crosswalk at the intersection of Haddon Avenue and Stratford Avenue in Haddon Township.

The case is captioned Huckel v. D’Alessio, et al, Camden County Superior Court Docket No. CAM-L-185-14 and Huckel’s attorney was Richard M. Josselson of Haddonfield.  Case documents are on-line here.

None of Huckel’s allegations have been proven or disproven in court. The settlement agreement resolution expressly states that the $240,000 payment does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing by Haddon or any of its officials. All that is known for sure is that Haddon or its insurer, for whatever reason, decided that it would rather pay Huckel $240,000 than take the matter to trial. Perhaps the defendants’ decision to settle was done to save further legal expense and the costs of trying what were in fact exaggerated or meritless claims. Or, perhaps the claims were true and the defendants wanted to avoid being embarrassed at trial. This is the problem when cases settle before trial–it is impossible to know the truth of what really happened.

Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project. Please send all comments to [email protected]