Man Receives Settlement After Losing Leg in California Fire Apparatus Accident

A 53-year-old father who lost his right leg after a crash sent a fire truck careening into a restaurant last year is poised to receive a $15 million settlement from Alhambra and Monterey Park, according to court documents.

As Kenneth Thai of Monterey Park waited to cross an intersection on April 16, 2014, an Alhambra fire ladder truck heading south on Garfield Avenue collided with a Monterey Park fire engine going east on Emerson Avenue. Both emergency vehicles had lights and sirens activated and were responding to a house fire in Monterey Park.

Monterey Park’s fire engine veered onto the sidewalk, hit Thai, pushed him through the wall of Lu’s Dumpling House at 330 N. Garfield Ave. and left him pinned underneath the massive vehicle, according to court documents.

“Prior to this incident, I was healthy and had no physical limitations,” Thai said in a court declaration. “I spent weeks in the hospital and lost my right leg above the knee. … I have spent the last 15 months in near constant contact with physicians, surgeons, therapists, psychologists, prosthetic consultants and other medical professionals in order to address my injuries and limitations.”

The city councils in Alhambra and Monterey Park have both agreed to the $15 million settlement without admitting fault, according to court documents. The settlement is scheduled to be paid in three installments with full payment made no later than Aug. 31.

In addition to a crushed right leg, Thai also suffered numerous afflictions including facial nerve damage; injuries to his penis, eyes, head and right shoulder; and fractures in his face, vertebrae, left elbow and wrist, and femur, according to court documents. As of July 23, Thai’s medical expenses reportedly exceeded $530,000.

Thai and his attorneys declined to comment because of a confidentiality agreement they expect to sign to finalize the settlement.

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