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By Felix Adamo / The Californian
BY JAMES BURGER Californian staff writer email@example.com
Kern County supervisors on Tuesday dropped a lawsuit against college student Tyler Schilhabel.
In 2011, nearly a year after an off-highway vehicle accident paralyzed the Independence High School quarterback, he rear-ended a vehicle driven by a county employee.
A Bakersfield Police Department investigation determined Schilhabel — driving a 2008 Toyota Scion modified so he could operate it by hand — hit Sheriff's Office Services Technician Katie Long’s Dodge Intrepid after the red light both cars were stopped at turned green.
Police reports said Schilhabel was to blame for the accident and that damage to the vehicles was minimal. But Long complained of pain and was taken to a hospital.
According to County Counsel Theresa Goldner, Long spent three months off work as a result of injuries she received in the accident.
That cost the county $6,676 in workers compensation costs.
The lawsuit against Schilhabel was aimed at recovering that cost. The Schilhabels’ insurance company wouldn’t pay up.
But, when Goldner discovered who the county was suing, she said she decided to check with supervisors on whether they thought the lawsuit was worth pursuing.
They didn’t think it was.
“By a unanimous vote, the board authorized County Counsel to dismiss this case, with prejudice, on the basis that it is not economic and is not in the taxpayers’ best interest to proceed with the case,” Goldner announced after a closed session discussion of the case Tuesday.