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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