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$1 million awarded in son's death tied to chase

Police pursued another car

Michael Ferraresi
The Arizona Republic

Dec. 15, 2005

SCOTTSDALE - The parents of Cody Brett Morrison were awarded a $1 million settlement this week and say they are prepared to move on without the specter of a long legal battle with Scottsdale.

The 22-year-old was killed when a Fountain Hills man, trying to escape police, drove the wrong way on Loop 101 and struck a car carrying Morrison and two others. The police pursuit violated city policy.

Two victims injured in the April 7 accident will also receive money from Scottsdale. Matthew Lewis, 23, will get $400,000; and Nicholas Rosin, 23, will receive $100,000.

Mark and Denise Morrison, originally asked for $3 million. In a statement, the family said the money and recent changes to Scottsdale's police pursuit policy will help them cope with the loss of their son.

Five Scottsdale police officers - three supervisors and two patrol officers - were reprimanded earlier this year after a seven-month internal investigation for their roles in the chase with wrong-way driver David Szymanski.

"We do not hold any animosity or hatred toward the officers who violated policies," the Morrisons said. "We understand that mistakes were made under the pressure of performing their responsibilities."

Scottsdale police followed Szymanski after an incident at the apartment of his ex-girlfriend.

Szymanski awaits trial in Maricopa County Superior Court on first-degree murder and other charges. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

Matthew Wright, attorney for the Morrisons, said he thought Scottsdale handled the pursuit policy review and settlement process well.
"We feel good about the fact that positive changes will be made so no other family will have to go through something like this," Wright said.

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