Settlement reached with estate of accident victim
By Lisa Brody
Bloomfield Township officials announced on Thursday, March 24, they had reached a settlement agreement of $40,000 with the estate of Bradley Bauer, who was hit and killed in a fatal pedestrian accident on September 22, 2021 when he ran into oncoming traffic at 3:30 a.m.
Former township clerk Jan Roncelli was the driver, and called 911. At the time, she was driving a township-owned vehicle.
Birmingham police and the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office declined to file criminal charges. It was determined Roncelli did not have any drugs or alcohol in her system, and from accident recreation and the accident report, it was believed Bauer ran into the driver's side of Roncelli's vehicle as she passed through the intersection. Toxicology reports determined the man, Bradley Bauer, 30, had a drug alcohol level of .34. Surveillance photographs from near the crash site indicate Roncelli's vehicle had been stopped at a red light at Maple and Coolidge and the light had just turned green when the accident occurred. It does not appear Bauer was in a crosswalk. Roncelli was not charged in the accident.
On December 29, a lawsuit was filed against Roncelli and Bloomfield Township in Oakland County Circuit Court on behalf of Karissa Duff, representing the estate of Bradley Bauer, by attorney Kevin Riddle of the Fieger Law firm. The lawsuit seeks in excess of $25,000 in damages to be determined and attorney fees, alleging gross negligence by Roncelli and said the township should have known her driving practices, history and habits, and that by allowing her to drive a township vehicle “she would likely be involved in a traffic collision.” Roncelli does not have a history of traffic violations.
Roncelli was dismissed from the lawsuit in January of this year, by way of a stipulated order of dismissal.
In a news release, the township said: “The Township entered into a very reasonable settlement of $40,000 with Plaintiff which has now been finalized. By the express terms of the settlement agreement, the settlement is not to be construed as an admission of liability or responsibility but, instead, was entered into for the purpose of avoiding significant legal and expert fees which would be incurred through continued litigation of this matter.”
The board of trustees met in closed session to approve the settlement agreement.