Injured man testifies in lawsuit against city of Waterloo
Feb 24, 2013 (Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
WATERLOO, Iowa -- Jarvis Boggs said details of a crash that paralyzed him remain blurry. He remembers having a green light, turning his head to the right and seeing bright lights, hearing his name called and hitting the brakes.
Then he "braced for impact."
"It just happened so quick," Boggs, 22, told jurors hearing his lawsuit against the city Friday.
His next memory is waking up on the floor at passenger Daniel Harrington's feet and trying to breathe. He couldn't feel his arms and legs, and a cry for help sounded more like a whisper, he said.
A Waterloo police squad car collided with Boggs' vehicle about 1 a.m. Dec. 31, 2008. Officer Dustin Yates was headed north on East First Street going to a call without lights or sirens. Boggs was driving on Mulberry Street.
The question of who had a red light is in dispute.
Attorney David Roth, representing the city and Yates, questioned Boggs about drinking earlier in the day and about a party he left moments before the accident. Roth pointed to evidence Boggs had marijuana in his system and his blood-alcohol level was more than the legal limit.
"It's been quite some time since then," Boggs said when asked to recall certain details.
Prior to Boggs' testimony, his mother, Kathy Porter, took the stand. Jurors saw a nearly 30-minute video showing a typical day with Porter and other family members tending to Boggs' needs.
"I'm on call 24 hours a day," Porter said.
She also works as a nurse at Covenant Medical Center.
Footage showed a limp, expressionless Boggs laying in a hospital bed at home, as well as daily bed baths. The video also showed the process to trigger a bowel movement and a claw mechanism used to lift Boggs out of bed and move him to a chair. He requires an assistant to suction mucus to clear his airway, according to Porter.
An exterior ramp was installed on the house to accommodate a wheelchair.
Boggs admitted to his attorney, Mel Orchard, he was "a little embarrassed" by the video. But he added he is blessed to have his family.
Boggs also acknowledged feeling "sad and bad at the same time" when his sisters get frustrated because his mom spends so much time with him.
Boggs said he enjoys talking to friends and family through social networking websites.
"So there is joy in your life " Orchard asked.
"Yes, I would say so," Boggs said.
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Falls Courier (Waterloo, Iowa) at www.wcfcourier.com Distributed by MCT
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