BELLEVILLE – Former Belleville police officer Jeffrey Jensen, who sued lawyer Bruce Cook over a traffic accident, has joined Cook in shifting blame to the officer who drove the patrol car.
Cook filed a third party complaint against Aaron Hackleman on Feb. 27, and Jensen consented to it.
Attorney Lucy Unger of St. Louis wrote for Cook that on May 19, 2016, Hackleman drove 72 miles an hour on West Main Street.
Cook’s complaint says that he learned through discovery that Belleville allowed officers to exceed limits on emergency calls by no more than 30 miles an hour. Hackelman was disciplined over the incident, according to Cook.
The complaint also states that Hackleman owed a duty to refrain from willful and wanton conduct that might injure other persons.
Hackleman allegedly failed to apply his brake to slacken his speed and showed utter indifference to the safety of Jensen and Cook.
If Cook were found liable to Jensen for damages, Cook asks that he be entitled to contribution from Hackleman for the full amount.
His suit also asserts claims against Belleville, as the city allegedly failed to train Hackleman in safe operation of his vehicle, failed to enforce safe practices with him, and failed to supervise him.
The accident happened on West Main at 62nd Street, as Cook left Fletcher’s Kitchen and Tap in a 2015 Lexus.
Jensen sued Cook last April, claiming disability from his injuries.
He also sued Cook’s firm.
His lawyer, James Keefe of Fairview Heights, wrote that Cook operated his vehicle as the firm’s president, partner, or agent.
He wrote that Cook had a duty to exercise ordinary care and a duty to yield to emergency vehicles.
Circuit Judge Christopher Kolker presides.