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Jenny Albano
Jenny Albano
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Women Awarded $7.5 Million From Norfolk for Son Who Was Hit by City Truck

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The city of Norfolk is awarding a woman $7.5 million because her son was hit by a truck which was driven by an employee of the city.

The circuit judge hearing the case must approve the settlement so the case is scheduled to go to trial next week. Council approval isn’t necessary but the judge sought approval anyway.

Renee D. Wilson brought the lawsuit in January 2007. Wilson’s attorney, Jack Drescher, said Travis Dalton was standing in the median on Brambleton Avenue near Posey Lane in December 2006 when he was struck by a city truck driven by city employee Theodore Goodman. Dalton suffered serious brain injuries. The lawsuit first named Goodman as a defendant. Wilson later added the city.

Dalton is now 19 years old, but can only has the brain capacity of an 11 year old. According to the lawsuit Dalton will never be able to work or support himself. He spent three months in the hospital after the accident and must return frequently for check-ups. Dalton had to have part of his skull removed because of the pressure from the swelling in his brain and his medical expenses cost over $329,000.

The city of Norfolk is arguing that it is not liable because the driver, Goodman, was traveling between two of the city’s facilities. The prosecution states that Goodman could be held personally liable because he was driving and not performing tasks of his job.

Because the city is self-insured, it puts revenue each year into an account to pay legal settlements. Sources said the council was told Tuesday night that the fund will pay most, but not all, of the $7.5 million settlement. That means some money likely will have to be set aside to pay for the settlement in the next budget, which Williams is currently putting together.