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Dahlonega man hurt after police chase files lawsuit against Georgia State Patrol

DAHLONEGA — A man knocked off a ladder after a 2014 car chase has filed a lawsuit against the state Department of Public Safety, seeking at least $1 million and claiming the Georgia State Patrol negligently performed a precision immobilization technique, or PIT, maneuver.

Terry Dean Grizzle, of Dahlonega, filed the suit in Lumpkin County State Court on March 21.

“The Department of Public Safety does not comment on pending litigation,” the Georgia State Patrol public information office wrote in an email.

A PIT maneuver is a tactic to cause a fleeing car to turn sideways.

On July 30, 2014, a state trooper pulled over a suspected stolen Ford Ranger near Ga. 52 and Happy Hollow Road in Dahlonega. While the deputy examined the driver’s documentation, the driver sped off, according to the lawsuit.

The trooper later executed the maneuver, “causing the Ford Ranger to careen out of control,” the suit claims.

“At the same time, plaintiff Terry Dean Grizzle was on a ladder working on a sign at Parts City Auto Parts,” according to the lawsuit. “The Ford Ranger careened into the pole and ladder upon which [Grizzle] was perched, knocking the ladder off the pole and dashing [Grizzle] to the ground, causing [Grizzle] serious and permanent injuries.”

Grizzle was taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, where he was treated for broken arms and facial bones.

According to the lawsuit, the medical expenses have exceeded $195,000 for injuries including head trauma, rib fractures and a herniated disc.

According to the suit, Lumpkin County law enforcement had set up tire-deflation devices close to the chase location.

Executing the PIT maneuver “negligently failed to consider the risk of foreseeable harm to [Grizzle],” according to the complaint.

The suit claims the defendants “should be held liable in an amount of at least $1,000,000” and seeks a jury trial.