Family of man killed by Oakland police car sues city


The wife and children of an Oakland man who was struck by a police vehicle while crossing the street and ultimately died, filed a wrongful death claim against the city Thursday, according to court documents.

In the complaint filed in Alameda County Superior Court, the plaintiffs allege Bien Cam Tran, 58, was walking in a crosswalk across East 12th Street near the intersection with Third Street on Aug. 30, 2014, just after 1:30 p.m. when a police cruiser struck him.

At the time, police said the officer driving the car, identified in the suit as Devin Underwood, was the lone occupant and was responding to a call for service. According to the complaint, Tran died on Sept. 3 as a result of the injuries he suffered in the collision.

Alex Katz, chief of staff at the Oakland City Attorney’s Office, said this morning his office has not yet seen the complaint:

“We’ll have to review the case before we respond.”

The city spent $11.63 million to resolve claims, settle lawsuits and satisfy judgment payments in fiscal year 2013-2014, according to a report released by the City Attorney’s Office. The city faced 130 lawsuits in the fiscal year, compared with 153 the previous year.

The department spent $15.46 million on its in-house counsel and $4.47 million on outside counsel, according to the report. It spent just over $1 million on litigation expenses, such as depositions and court fees.

Joseph Nierenberg, an attorney for Tran’s family, did not immediately return a request for comment. The complaint does not specify an amount for damages.

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