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Dori: Portland homeless hit-and-run case sets bad precedent for Seattle

With so many homeless people living next to I-5, Dori wonders when a recent case out of Portland will be repeated here. (MyNorthwest)

I wonder when this is going to happen in Seattle. In Portland, a 31-year-old homeless woman and her 45-year-old boyfriend were hit by vehicles when they illegally ran across a highway on-ramp at night wearing dark clothing.

A car hit the woman. Then a second car hit her and dragged her hundreds of feet.

Here is where things get really complicated. As The Oregonian reported, the first driver who hit the woman was drunk. And he left the scene — he drove home before he called police and turned himself in. The driver of the second car that hit and dragged the woman stayed at the scene.

The second driver was not charged. And they could not try the drunk driver for the woman’s death because they could not prove that a sober driver would have seen her.

Dori: Homeless burrowing under I-5 is a failure of our politicians

The mother of the homeless woman who was killed sued the driver of the first vehicle for $9.5 million. But according to lawyers, this mom had basically neglected and deserted her daughter as a child. That girl grew up to have a baby at 14 and then become homeless. The mother’s parental rights had been terminated during the girl’s childhood.

But the driver’s insurance company wanted to settle, so the homeless woman’s mother received $305,000 — even though she basically abandoned her daughter as a child. The 45-year-old man also sued and won.

When is this going to happen in Seattle or the Puget Sound area? Look at all the homeless people who are camped alongside or under freeways. There was a person who was hit on I-5 a couple of years ago. This case is going to give precedent that no matter how distant the homeless person’s parents are, they’re eligible for hundreds of thousands of dollars in a lawsuit.

This Portland case is going to open up real problems here. When a homeless person is killed on the roads, the family that did not reach out to them, did not shelter them, and did not love them can now sue for a fortune. It’s really unbelievable.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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