HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The widow of a man killed while walking in Edinburg by a Weslaco Fire Department non-emergency vehicle is suing the city of Weslaco.
The widow of Juan Pedro Guerra first filed the suit against the city in late October, less than a month after Guerra died in Edinburg.
According to the original petition from the plaintiff, Guerra was walking on East El Cibolo Road in Edinburg on Oct. 4 when a vehicle struck and killed him.
The petition states the vehicle was a Weslaco ambulance, however, reports from police at the time state it was a non-emergency vehicle for the Weslaco Fire Department.
Guerra, 35, had just been released from county jail prior to the accident. He died of the injuries he suffered in the collision.
The plaintiff is seeking monetary relief for the loss of Guerra for her and his children. She is seeking from $250 thousand to $1 million, according to court documents.
As of Nov. 29, Weslaco officials have not responded to the lawsuit issued against them. A citation states the city had 20 days to formally respond to the lawsuit or risk a default judgment being made, but no such action was taken by city officials.
According to an affidavit filed Nov. 23, several attempts were made to contact David Suarez, Weslaco mayor, about the lawsuit so that officials may formally respond, but all attempts were unsuccessful.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit believe Suarez “is actively, consciously and deliberately attempting to avoid service.”
The next scheduled motion in the litigation is a March 2022 date that serves to move things along in the lawsuit so actions do not get stagnant.
Weslaco responded to a request for a statement with the following message:
“The city of Weslaco respects the family’s decision to hire an attorney to file a lawsuit. Texas’ judicial system allows for civil lawsuits to be filed against a local municipality when seeking monetary compensation. The city’s legal department will litigate the case in accordance with all legal procedures.
The city of Weslaco remains transparent about the process it commonly utilizes in regards to being served with a lawsuit. The city’s elected officials are typically not served with lawsuits against the city. Rather, any and all lawsuits against a municipality may be served to designated city staff, such as city administration, or by certified letter with a return receipt requested.”