Thursday, July 11, 2002
Manning & Marder Employees Roll Up Their Sleeves For Blood Donations to Help Downed Officer
By KIMBERLY EDDS, Staff Writer
A battalion of rolled-up white dress shirt sleeves and police uniforms limped out of the downtown law offices of Manning & Marder, Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez yesterday as the firm hosted the first of two blood drives in support of a Los Angeles Police Department officer who was critically injured last month when he stopped to help the victims of a crash.
Officer Bruce Hunt was driving home in his police cruiser late June 29 when he spotted a traffic accident and stopped to administer to first aid to the victims. Other cars slowed when they approached the accident scene, but another motorist failed to slow down and sideswiped two other vehicles, sending one of them crashing into the patrol car and another car into Hunt, pinning him between two cars.
The off-duty officer suffered a broken pelvis, fractured clavicle, collapsed lungs, two fractured femurs and internal bleeding.
His wife, Kathleen Hunt, is a partner at Manning & Marder.
The idea for the blood drive, which will replenish the units of blood used by Hunt during surgery, was brought to managing partner Steven Manning, who said he jumped at the chance.
The firm gets much of its work defending officers in nearly 40 police agencies against civil liability.
“We believe in the police mission and we support them,” Manning said.
Manning described Hunt as a kind of “superman” who has a tough-guy image from afar, but face to face is “the nicest man, the sweetest man you would ever meet.”
Hunt’s condition has been since upgraded to stable but serious, and doctors expect the officer to survive his injuries, LAPD spokesman Jack Richter said. Hunt was taken out of intensive care Monday.
The 14-year LAPD veteran has already undergone three major surgeries on his right leg to ensure proper circulation and function, Richter said.
The blood drive was originally scheduled to be a one day event, but so many people expressed interest, that it had to be extended to a second day.
Ten of the firm’s 60 Los Angeles lawyers, including Manning, participated in the drive, along with nine of the firm’s employees.
The firm’s hallways were filled with lawyers and employees rushing from place to place with blue bandages showing the aftereffects of their philanthropy.
Members from the public also donated blood, along with officers from the LAPD and employees from other office’s in Manning & Marder office building.
An associate with Manning & Marder who declined to give her name said she rolled up her sleeve for the effort because “there’s such a need [for blood] out there and it was a small way I could help Bruce and Kathy.”
Marcia Jackson, a legal secretary at the nearby law firm of Clark & Trevithick, said she felt the need to do something when she heard about the accident.
“I was just devastated when I heard the news,” Jackson, who lives in Santa Clarita, said.
The drive netted 65 units of blood which will be donated to the Los Angeles-based Ralph M. Parsons Blood Donor Center.
Each donor gives two cups of blood, Nove Oliver of the Blood Donor Center at Holy Cross said.
When the donors were finished giving blood, they enjoyed juice, cookies and fruit before going on with their day. Donors also had an opportunity to write their get well wishes on an oversized sign posted on a wall.
Officer Allen Kwiatkowski said he was there because a fellow officer needed help.
“It’s really what we think about every day,” Kwiatkowski said. “We put this blue suit on, we do our best, and in the back of your mind its always kind of riding there that this might be the last day.”
LAPD Acting Chief Martin Pomeroy said he was more than willing to help a member of the department family by donating, even if he isn’t exactly fond of the process.
“I’m not the bravest person in the world, but I do give blood occasionally,” Pomeroy said with a smile.
Hunt, a member of the LAPD’s SWAT team, was among several officers who received the Medal of Valor, the department’s highest award for bravery, for actions during a confrontation with a suspect holed up in a Canoga Park warehouse in May 1997.
Manning & Marder will host a second blood drive July 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at their Los Angeles office located at 660 S. Figueroa St., 23rd floor.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company