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updated: 4/22/2010 1:56 PM

Geneva Twp. assessor sues Pace over husband's death

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Geneva Township Assessor Denise LaCure has filed a lawsuit against Pace bus service, saying her husband died as a result of his wheelchair being improperly secured on a ride across town last October.

David R. LaCure, 61, died Feb. 7, more than three months after his wheelchair broke free from a bracket system on a Pace bus, "throwing him violently to the floor of the bus and causing a violent impact to his person," according to the complaint filed this week in Kane County.

The lawsuit says the mishap took place the morning of Oct. 20, 2009, after LaCure, a former police officer, firefighter and father of three, boarded a bus that was to take him from his home on the 2100 block of Western Avenue in Geneva to a dialysis treatment center less than two miles away, as part of Pace's Dial-A-Ride program.

As the bus turned left onto Keslinger Road from Randall Road at a high rate of speed, the suit says, LaCure's motorized wheelchair came unfastened from a set of brackets and tipped over, causing him to break a hip and suffer a stroke that led to his death, according to the suit.

Denise LaCure, who was elected assessor in spring 2009, filed the lawsuit as an individual and estate administrator, and not as an elected official. She is accusing Pace, the Regional Transportation Authority and MV Transportation Inc. of failing to secure the wheelchair, failing to maintain a reasonably safe bracket system, and failing to train employees how to secure wheelchairs correctly.

LaCure and a Pace spokesman each declined to comment Tuesday.

The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, goes before Judge Judith M. Brawka July 15.