Aspen cab driver settles civil lawsuit |

Aspen cab driver settles civil lawsuit

Wyatt Haupt Jr.
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” An Aspen taxi driver accepted an offer of $45,000 to drop a civil lawsuit that stems from an incident in which a drunken individual assaulted him in his cab.

Pavel Nesvat’s lawsuit against Brooks Mims Talton III was headed toward a jury trial June 8 in Pitkin County District Court when the offer came forth earlier this month.

Aspen attorney Jeff Wertz said Thursday it was not certain what a jury could have awarded in the case given the circumstances. Wertz represented Nesvat in the civil case, which was filed in September 2007, or about two months after the incident took place.

“It’s tough to say,” Wertz said. “They could’ve awarded a tenth of that or 10 times that [amount].”

Driving a High Mountain Taxi, Nesvat picked up Talton on July 29, 2007, following a private party at the Aspen Art Museum.

As Nesvat drove on Castle Creek Road, Talton attacked him from the back seat, the cabbie said in a statement provided to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.

Nesvat said something “heavy hit me in the head and made me almost lose control” of the vehicle. He said he turned around as Talton was screaming and got “hit in the face very hard.”

A few seconds later Nesvat stopped the vehicle and got out of the taxi so that he could telephone 911 and report the incident.

At some point Talton got behind the wheel of the taxicab and drove away. An Aspen police officer later stopped the taxicab as it made its way down Castle Creek Road.

Talton, who lives in of Oklahoma, was arrested and charged with motor vehicle theft, assault and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He ultimately agreed to a plea deal in 2008 in which he pleaded guilty to harassment and driving while ability impaired, according to court records.

He remains on unsupervised probation. Wertz said that Nesvat continues to drive a cab in Aspen.