The family involved in a tragic crash this spring in Northeast Seattle has filed $45 million in claims against the city of Seattle for failing to supervise the driver of a truck that hit them while they were out for an afternoon walk. The crash killed a couple and critically injured their daughter-in-law and infant grandson. Filing a claim is the first step toward suing the city for damages, if the family doesn’t settle a claim with the city outside of court.
A pickup driven by Mark W. Mullan crashed into Dennis and Judy Schulte in a Wedgwood crosswalk March 25, while they were out for a walk with their daughter-in-law, Karina Ulriksen Schulte, and her infant son, Elias. Ulriksen Schulte and her son were badly injured in the crash, and Dennis and Judy Schulte died. Mullan smelled of alcohol, failed field sobriety tests and had a preliminary breath-alcohol level of 0.22 percent, nearly three times the state’s legal limit of 0.08 percent.
Mullan was on probation after a DUI conviction, under the supervision of the Seattle Municipal Court Probation Department. He had a suspended license and wasn’t supposed to be driving without an interlock device.
According to the claims, filed late last week, “The city of Seattle failed to properly monitor and supervise Mr. Mullan, and as a result, he was allowed to violate the terms of his probation, go untreated and drive his vehicle without an interlock device while intoxicated.” Mullan pleaded not guilty in April to multiple charges.
The claims include damages for physical, mental and emotional injuries, plus medical expenses and wage losses for Ulriksen Schulte and her son, the estates of Dennis and Judy Schulte, Ulriksen Schulte’s husband, Dan Schulte, and his sister, Marilyn Schulte. They total $45 million in all.
Seattle spokeswoman Katherine Schubert-Knapp said she couldn’t comment on the claims.