Car Crash Attorney Reaches $15M Settlement for Family of Bicyclist Killed by Police Car in Hawaii

September 6th, 2019

Philadelphia car accident attorney

By Dean I. Weitzman, Esq.


The family of a 63-year-old bicyclist who was killed when he was struck by a police car while visiting Hawaii in 2015 will receive a $15.1 million settlement in connection with his death.

The victim, Jeffrey Surnow, of West Bloomfield, Michigan, was riding a bicycle while visiting Hawaii’s Big Island when he was struck and killed on March 1, 2015, by a police patrol car being driven by a former Hawaii County Police Department officer, according to a Sept. 2 story by The Hawaii Tribune.

The police car was being driven by former Officer Jody Buddemeyer, who had been working a second consecutive 8-hour patrol shift and crashed into Surnow’s bicycle, the story continued. The police department at the time required officers to work back-to-back shifts, but the former policy has been dropped.

Buddemeyer, now 34, was convicted in October 2018 by a jury on a charge of misdemeanor negligent homicide and sentenced to one year of probation with no jail time. He no longer works for police department and is appealing his conviction.

Buddemeyer was originally charged with first-degree negligent homicide, evidence tampering and false reporting after fatally striking Surnow, according to an earlier story by The Hawaii Tribune. The jury acquitted him of evidence tampering and false reporting and found him guilty of a lesser offense – negligent homicide. During the trial, evidence showed that a fatigued Buddemeyer struck Surnow from behind while the cyclist was riding eastbound on Waikoloa Road.

“The prosecution asserted throughout the trial the former officer falsely reported the crash when he called it into dispatch as a hit-and-run,” the story reported.

Surnow was a real estate executive for a company he founded and managed hundreds of millions of dollars of properties, mostly in Michigan, the story reported.

Legal cases like this one occur around the nation every day and are examples of similar kinds of car crash cases that MyPhillyLawyer attorneys regularly work on tirelessly for our own clients. Often, we are not able to discuss the cases we are actively working on due to confidentiality requirements, so we discuss other relevant cases in the news such as this one to illustrate the legal situations people find themselves in every day.

When you need a car accident injury attorney, we here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in any kind of vehicle crash, slip and fall, workplace injury or wrongful death in Philadelphia or anywhere in the United States. We pledge to make sure that you and your family get the compassionate, dogged and experienced legal representation that you deserve and expect from a professional legal team which works hard to uncover every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Talk to a Philadelphia car crash attorney at MyPhillyLawyer by calling 215-914-5471 or toll-free at 1-866-907-2231 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

Listen to Court Radio every Sunday at 7 a.m. with me, attorney Dean Weitzman of MyPhillyLawyer, on Philadelphia’s Old School 100.3 WRNB, Boom 103.9 or on Classix 107.9 WPPZ FM. Listen to Court Radio online or on the radio every week for the latest on legal topics and to get answers to your legal questions. In addition to addressing the topical issues of the day, we’ll answer caller questions on a wide range of legal issues.

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