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County fights verdict

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 28, 2015 at 3:51 PM

The county has gone forward with its plan to fight the decision of a jury to award $600,000 to the estate of an 11-year-old girl killed by her foster father.

Last month a Huron County jury found in favor of Connre Dixon's estate in a wrongful death lawsuit. Dixon was fatally stabbed in 2003 by her Monroeville foster father, Paul Efaw.

The Huron County Commissioners in office at the time and the Huron County Department of Job and Family Services (HCDJFS) were the defendants in the suit. They filed three post-trial motions Wednesday:

A judgment notwithstanding the verdict meaning the county is asking the trial judge, Visiting Common Pleas Judge Judith Cross, to issue a ruling overriding the jury's verdict.

A request for a new trial.

A request that the court grant the Dixon estate a lesser award than $600,000.

"The motions speak for themselves," said attorney Joan Szuberla, who is representing the county on behalf of its insurance company CORSA. "We've asked the judge to do some post-trial analysis."

The motions are expected to be taken to the judge May 2, with a decision to follow, though Szuberla added the court has its own time table.

If the judge rejects the county's motions, the county could appeal. Szuberla declined to comment on the likelihood the county would appeal in that situation. And, when asked if she was optimistic about the motions said "I can't say. I just can't say."

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