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Company pays officer $1 million in accident

The officer claims he lost his job due to injuries in a collision with a drunken company driver.

By Bob Levenson

A Tampa landscaping company has agreed to pay more than $1 million to a former Orlando police officer who was injured in a traffic accident with a company driver.

A trial in the negligence lawsuit by former Officer Kevin Jones against the firm, Tomasella & Co. Inc., had been scheduled to start Tuesday. But the two sides announced the $1.075 million settlement instead.

Jones, now 37, suffered three broken bones in his leg, a lacerated knee and a broken jaw in the accident on Oct. 14, 1990. The injuries ultimately ended his police career, said his attorney, Russell Troutman of Winter Park.

Jones had gotten off duty and was on his way home, headed east on Colonial Drive about 10 p.m., according to accident reports. A westbound pickup driven by Robert Fagley, 42, of Orlando, turned south onto Summerlin Avenue into Jones' path, officers said.

Tests later revealed Fagley's blood-alcohol level to be .18, and he was convicted of driving under the influence.

Troutman said Jones was off work for nearly a year, then reinjured his knee shortly after returning to work in October 1991. He was fired because he had missed too many days of work, Troutman said.

Jones currently is not working, but plans to return to college, Troutman said. The money will pay for his medical bills. According to a court transcript, Troutman will collect about $300,000 in attorney fees.

From:
The Orlando Sentinel
Thu., July 2, 1992

Dead girl's family settles with dentist

The Crenshaws received $350,000 from the dentist's insurer and are fighting a law that limits some malpractice awards.

By Debbie Salamone

SANFORD - The family of an Altamonte Springs girl who died in a dentist's chair has settled its medical malpractice lawsuit against the dentist.

Scott and Barbara Crenshaw have received $350,000 from the insurance company of Altamonte Springs dentist Dwight Barron. They could receive another $600,000 if the Florida Supreme Court decides that limiting the amount of some medical malpractice awards is unconstitutional.

"It wasn't much of a settlement, but I was glad we didn't have to go through the trial process," Barbara Crenshaw said,

The Crenshaws sued Barron for negligence after their daughter, Jenny, died in August 1989.

Medical experts have said Barron gave Jenny, 8, a lethal dose of medication; Barron said the girl had an allergic reaction.

Barron's attorney, Joe McGuire, would not comment.

The state has stripped Barron of his dentist's license, and he was sentenced to house arrest and probation after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

Barbara Crenshaw said the family had little choice but to accept the settlement. Barren had decided not to have a trial, limiting the amount the Crenshaws could collect under the law to $350,000.

The Crenshaws' attorney, Russell Troutman, has argued that the law is unconstitutional.

But even if the law is overturned, Barbara Crenshaw said, it would not help much. Barron's insurance policy has a $1 million maximum, and he has declared bankruptcy.

The mother said she has used the money to pay medical, counseling and other bills that piled up during the lengthy court proceedings.

"The settlement helped with everything," she said. "But it is not compensation for the loss of Jenny."

From:
The Orlando Sentinel
Wed., July 2, 1992