Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, February 1, 2002


Page 3


Man Makes Deadline in Filing Suit Over Angels Flight Accident


By a MetNews Staff Writer


A man claiming he sat next to the woman whose husband died in her arms on the Angels Flight funicular a year ago today is suing the city, the Angels Flight Foundation, its operators and those involved with its refurbishing for emotional damages.

The suit filed Wednesday by Sid Alexander Carter alleges that the operators of the short railway knew that the tourist ride was dangerous but that nothing was done to prevent it from running.

Along with emotional damage, Carter also suffered physical damage somewhat like whiplash, his attorney, Shelly Kaufman, said.

Carter’s suit joins another four suits on record that were filed as of Thursday morning against Angels Flight regarding the incident.

Yesterday was the last day to file a lawsuit based on the accident.

The wrongful death suit filed by Lola Praport, whose husband Leon died on the railway, reached settlement late last year with the City Council approving a three-prong award of $3 million. A judge must now approve the good faith settlement motion.

The tentative settlement reached with Praport calls for the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency to pay $1 million, the Angels Flight Foundation to pay $1 million and Pueblo Contracting, who refurbished the rail, to pay $1 million.

Praport’s attorney Greg Dordick said he will not settle with Pueblo Contracting but will accept the other $2 million.

In another lawsuit filed against Angels Flight last June, Larcita Ramos, who according to her attorney Steven Kirby lives and works in the downtown area, is claiming that she suffered a broken foot that required hardware to be put in it. Kirby said it is his understanding that Ramos also ended up with a portion of her body lying underneath the decedent.

Leilani Hamada’s lawsuit, filed last September, claims she suffered broken ribs along with some neck and back injuries. Her attorney could not be reached for comment.

Chris Bisgaard, an attorney representing the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency, said Hamada’s case was continued Monday for 90 days to allow the parties to pursue settlement.

Bisgaard said that once the Praport case is settled, the CRA will seek to recover lost damages from Pueblo Contracting.

Bisgaard would not comment on possible settlements in any of the lawsuits.

Shelly Kaufman, the attorney representing Carter, said that a request for consolidation of the lawsuits will probably be made.

Dordick opposes this and said that he will request the Praport suit be separated.

“I believe all other Angels Flight cases should be lumped together in order to promote judicial efficiency,” Dordick said. “But my client is 82 years old in failing health. She suffered massive brain damage. She doesn’t have that many years left to live. I’d like her to enjoy a few of those years without being in litigation for the rest of her life.”


Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company