CLEVELAND (WJW) — The Ohio Supreme Court has issued an order that requires the city of East Cleveland to pay $12 million in damages and interest to the victims of an accident that was caused by an East Cleveland police officer nearly 15 years ago.

The story began to unfold on Oct. 5, 2008, while the officer was responding to what turned out to be a false report about a stolen motorcycle. Investigators said that officer, patrolman Todd Carroscia, was traveling 70 mph in a 25 mph zone, when he slammed into the car at the intersection of East 140th Street and St. Clair Avenue in Cleveland.

The high-speed collision caused severe injuries for the driver, Charles Hunt, and his passenger, Marilyn Conard.

Hunt, who did not realize what happened until he woke up in a hospital ICU, told FOX 8, “I couldn’t understand why it happened. And why would he be traveling that fast?”

The investigation in 2008 revealed that Carroscia was driving on a suspended license at the time of the accident. Carroscia was initially removed from the police force by former East Cleveland Mayor Eric Brewer. However, he was later reinstated by the mayor who succeeded Brewer, Gary Norton.

Hunt and Conard filed a lawsuit against the city of East Cleveland and Carroscia. In 2017, a jury found the city and the officer were negligent, and awarded Hunt and Conard nearly $8 million in damages.

“Officers can go as fast as they need to get to an emergency, but when it comes to a typical call like this, they’re not allowed to do that,” Bobby DiCello, the attorney who represents the plaintiffs, told FOX 8.

However, since 2017, East Cleveland has done nothing to honor the verdict returned by the jury.

“The bottom line is the city refused to pay or address this judgment. They acted like it didn’t exist. They acted like it never happened,” said DiCello.

In response to our questions, East Cleveland maintains there was no evidence of any negligence by the city, and that the 2008 accident was caused by Carroscia’s “perverse disregard for the safety of persons and property.”

In response, Hunt told us, “I was wondering how could they do that. I don’t understand.”

Hunt and the estate of Conard, who passed away in 2019, won a major legal victory when the Ohio Supreme Court issued a Wednesday order requiring East Cleveland to pay the plaintiffs a total of $12 million, which includes interest and penalties on the original award by the jury.

“Given the history, I don’t know that we have a great expectation that they’re going to do the right thing, but all we can do is continue to follow the legal process and try to use those avenues to force them to pay,” said plaintiffs’ co-counsel Justin Hawal.

Among the legal remedies now being considered by the plaintiffs is to ask the courts to compel East Cleveland to place a tax levy on the ballot to come up with the $12 million owed to the two victims.