Family of 15-year-old killed in Detroit ATV crash settles lawsuit for $12M

Damon Grimes died in 2017

DETROIT – The family of Damon Grimes, a 15-year-old who died in an ATV crash in Detroit, has settled a lawsuit against law enforcement members for $12 million.

Grimes died on Aug. 26, 2017, when he crashed the ATV he was riding after being Tased by Michigan State Police Trooper Mark Bessner.

The wrongful death lawsuit was against Bessner, Trooper Ethan Burger and Sgt. Jacon Liss.


Bessner was sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison after being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in April.

Police say Bessner was chasing Grimes when he Tased him on Detroit’s east side. Grimes crashed into the back of a parked car.

MSP released a statement Friday:

“The Michigan State Police extends its continued condolences to the Grimes family, friends and supporters. Damon Grimes’ death is a tragedy that could have been avoided if not for the criminal and unforgivable actions of a former MSP trooper. The MSP recognizes that while this monetary settlement does not change how this has affected the Grimes family, it may help to begin to bring some closure. The MSP sincerely apologizes to everyone impacted by this senseless act and we have prioritized working with our troopers and the community to avoid this from happening again.”

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