Las Vegas Sun

July 28, 2014

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Settlement ends civil suit involving Stupak’s son

Nevada Stupak spent Wednesday campaigning door-to-door in Las Vegas Ward 3 instead of being stuck in District Court.

Stupak, who is seeking to unseat City Councilman Gary Reese in the June 8 general election, reached a settlement in a civil suit late Tuesday stemming from a March 31, 1995, motorcycle accident that injured him and nearly killed his father, gambler Bob Stupak.

The terms of the settlement, which resulted in District Judge Valorie Vega vacating Wednesday's scheduled trial date, were not immediately available.

Stupak's attorney, Sam Harding, could not be reached for comment. Attempts to reach Stupak also were unsuccessful. He was out walking his ward and talking to voters, one of his campaign officials said.

Stupak filed his suit on Aug. 30, 1996, against Christine Kuhl, the driver of the car that collided with the motorcycle on which the younger Stupak was a passenger and his father was the operator.

Kuhl later forced Bob Stupak into the case as a third party. She argued through her attorneys that because the motorcycle was traveling at excessive speed, Bob Stupak had to share in the responsibility for his son's injuries. Kuhl's attorney, Don Shreve Jr., could not be reached for comment.

Bob Stupak's attorney, Ralph Porter, declined to discuss the monetary settlement, other than to confirm that his client was not required to pay toward the settlement. He confirmed that Nevada Stupak was paid a sum of money.

The elder Stupak, who was riding a Harley-Davidson the night of the accident, suffered massive head and facial injuries. He also suffered a broken pelvis, ankle and wrist. The accident also put him into a coma for 12 days, and he remained hospitalized for three months. His medical bills were paid by his insurance company.

Nevada Stupak, a 23-year-old card dealer at the Bellagio, finished second during the May primary and earned a shot at Reese, a barber, who won by a significant margin but failed to garner 50 percent plus one vote to avoid the runoff.

According to court documents, Stupak was a passenger on the motorcycle that was traveling south on Rancho Drive in the left lane.

"Defendant, operating a 1986 Subaru, made an improper left turn colliding with the motorcycle causing it to spin in a clockwise manner resulting in a second impact with Christine A. Kuhl's vehicle," the complaint says.

In the complaint, Nevada Stupak says he suffered injuries to his neck, head, back, legs "and mental stress and anxiety, all or some of which conditions may be permanent and disabling in nature."

Stupak, 19 at the time of the accident, sought in excess of $10,000 in actual damages and in excess of $10,000 in special damages and attorney fees.

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