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Woman sues over collision with Duluth squad car

A licensed massage therapist who hasn't been able to work since her vehicle collided with a Duluth police officer's squad car is suing the city for injuries she received in the accident.

A licensed massage therapist who hasn't been able to work since her vehicle collided with a Duluth police officer's squad car is suing the city for injuries she received in the accident.

Lauren Nash, formerly of Duluth but now living in Chino Valley, Ariz., alleges that Officer David Hnatek was negligent in the July 23, 2011, accident on Minnesota Highway 23.

The suit, which seeks more than $50,000 in damages, claims that Hnatek made a U-turn to proceed from the southbound Highway 23 shoulder, directly across southbound traffic, to begin traveling north.

"Our position is that the police officer never made his intentions clear and he never signaled that he was making a left-handed turn into oncoming traffic," said Duluth attorney Eric Beyer, who is representing Nash. "He started to make his move and my client was right there."

The suit alleges that as a direct result of Hnatek's negligence, Nash sustained grievous bodily injury, including permanent injury to her neck, left shoulder and lumbar spine. The plaintiff is asking for past, present and future medical expense and past, present and future pain, suffering and emotional distress.

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Beyer said Nash was driving a friend's 2009 Subaru. Her medical bills are more than $20,000. Beyer said the city has admitted liability and paid for the property damage of the vehicle.

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