Pedestrian injured by driver on sidewalk sues

Andrea Dearden Oct. 18, 2010, 3:38am

An Orleans Parish woman accused of being intoxicated and driving her car toward a group of people on a New Orleans sidewalk is being sued for injuries to one of the pedestrians.

Darryl E. Carter filed the complaint against Ashley Nicole Depriest and her insurance carrier, Garrison Insurance, doing business as United Services Automobile Association, on Oct. 12 in Orleans Parish District Court.

The alleged incident happened in October 2009. Carter says he and three friends were standing in front of Foot Locker at the intersection of Bourbon Street and Canal Street. Depriest was behind the wheel of a 2008 Mazda MZ3 when she allegedly made an illegal turn, jumped a curb and veered in the direction of Foot Locker.

According to the complaint, Carter had to dart out of the way of the car, using his "hands to brace and push off the front hood of Depriest's Mazda." Carter says the force of the car pushed him backward and into the brick building.

Depriest was allegedly intoxicated and was arrested for driving under the influence and reckless driving. She was also cited for making an improper turn and improper lane usage.

All four pedestrians involved declined medical care at the time of the incident, but Carter says he suffered serious and painful injuries to his neck and lower back as a result of being tossed into the brick wall. He says he has undergone medical treatment but is no longer in need of care.

Carter contends it was Depriest's negligence that caused his injuries.

Also named in the suit is Depriest's insurance carrier, United Services Automobile Association. Carter says the company is responsible through vicarious liability.

Carter is asking to be compensated for his medical expenses. He is also seeking exemplary damages, claiming Depriest showed reckless and wonton disregard by driving while intoxicated.

Attorney Vernon P. Thomas is representing Carter.

Orleans Parish District Court Case No. 10-10434

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