Award to foster girl's estate cut

From $600,000 to $100,000. Visiting Common Pleas Judge Judith Cross has ruled to reduce the amount of money the estate of a deceased 11-year-old foster girl will get by half a million dollars.
Cary Ashby
Jul 25, 2010


From $600,000 to $100,000.

Visiting Common Pleas Judge Judith Cross has ruled to reduce the amount of money the estate of a deceased 11-year-old foster girl will get by half a million dollars.

Former Monroeville foster father Paul Efaw is serving three years in prison for Connre Dixon's Oct. 18, 2004 stabbing death. Attorneys originally named Efaw as a defendant in a subsequent civil lawsuit, but he was dismissed without explanation before jury selection began in the March trial.

On March 23, a jury determined the other defendants, Huron County Department of Job & Family Services (HCDJFS) and Huron County Commissioners, should pay $600,000 to Dixon's estate.

Cross, in her ruling filed Tuesday, wrote that the $600,000 verdict was "excessive and is against the manifest weight of the evidence ... that Connre Dixon was conscious from the time she was first stabbed until she died.

"While the coroner could and did testify that Connre may have lived five or six minutes; she did not testify to any degree of medical certainty that Connre was conscious and able to feel pain and suffering," the judge continued. "No one else testified on this matter. Therefore, the award of damages for and suffering is not justifiable under the law."

Toledo attorney Joan Szuberla represented the county in the civil trial.

"We're pleased the jury lost its way, because we believe that's what happened," Szuberla said. "I can't speak for the judge, but that's some of the language she used."

The Toledo attorney explained Cross' ruling by saying there had to be evidence someone witnessed Dixon's "conscious" pain and suffering.

"The key word is conscious," Szuberla said. "You can't speculate. There has to be evidence."

Current commissioner Mike Adelman was a defendant in the lawsuit, as were former commissioners Terry Boose and Ardeth Chupps.

Adelman called Cross' ruling "a favorable decision" in respect to the county and its insurance company, County Risk Sharing Authority (CORSA), but declined further comment. CORSA is expected to pay for the lawsuit. Adelman explained that CORSA is administered through the County Commissioners' Association of Ohio and is part of a consortium with about 60 other Ohio counties.

"They handle legal matters for counties," he added.

Attorney Jim Martin, who represented Dixon's estate, argued that HCDJFS violated the girl's right to safety by improperly placing her in Efaw's home. Efaw, during the trial, denied allegations of what Martin called "bizarre" behavior, such as telling another child to "play with his thing" after Efaw put his finger through his zipper.

After the jury came back with the $600,000 verdict, Martin said he was "completely elated," calling it "an indictment on what's been going on" with HCDJFS. He was unavailable for comment this morning.

Martin has 21 days to tell the court if he agrees with Cross' decision. "In the event the Plaintiff does not agree, (the) Defendants are awarded a new trial on the issue of damages," the judge wrote.


such a tool (An...

swiss family is a tool. the tooliest of all tools.

Seriously (Anon...

Almost 100 percent of the posts on this Website have a spelling error!!! Seriously, type your commment in Microsoft Word and spell check it before you post it. A comment made by someone who can not spell simple words is hard to take seriously.

craftsman (Anon...

it would be nice if the employees at the HCDJFS had to pay the fines out of their own wages.Maybe then they would actually do the job that they are being paid to do.that should get them to do their jobs,and finally treat their cases like they were other people's lives that they have control over,instead of just some toy that they can experiment with

once again (Ano...

This story is no longer news, it's days old.

swiss family......

unfortunately, this type of story,and the ultimate outcome will probably not be the last time that we are hearing about cases like this.the only way to avoid this from reaccuring,is to have the HCDJFS employees do a better job of screening these prespective foster parents. right now it is way too easy for any sicko to adopt these foster children , and do anything that they want to them. Ihave even heard that Michael Jackson has heard how easy it is to get these kids in huron county!! and seems very interested! come on HCDJFS employees... do your job!!!!!

a reply to the ...

you are one sick puppy, swiss.

ah swiss family...

the lone dingleberry on the @$$ of our fair city.

re:ah swiss fam...

Here here!!

swiss family (A...

as always...the lone dingleberry in this town is your mom!

Only if.... (An...

you are my mom. Glad to see your always a psycho!

re swiss family...

I think swiss family works for HCDJFS, has the same mentality, sick.

to swiss family...

Nice comeback! That the best you got? What about YOUR mom? I'll bet the nuts don't fall far from the tree, do they??

swiss family......

good one to whomever used my name to write a comment about someone's mother. first of all check out the time it was posted. have you ever seen me post anything on here at that time in the afternoon? i don't have access to my computer at that time,but the person that commented right after that bogus comment may be arguing with himself?the times seem to be pretty close.and you people think that there is something wrong with me

to swiss family...

If you only have access to a computer at a certain time as you stated on another post that you read the reflector and post on your employer's time then I guess you are admitting you cannot afford a home computer and internet access. Just admit to your postings. P.S. There is something wrong with you - mentally.

Yes! You are co...

and swiss also stated that we are "jealous" of her in that post, too. Can you imagine being jealous of THAT?

swiss family......

just for the record, i do have a nice home computer, but after my work , there is a certain amount of travel time where i am driving, and can not be on my computer. you people need to get your own lives, and quit trying to take over mine. i should be honored, after all you really are just jealous of me and my life and my wisdom..

vrm (Anonymous)

This money needs to be put into an account for conors siblings, if not this is going to be a lot of drug money for certain family members.

to swiss (Anonymous)

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL! you forgot to mention how 'witty' you are. and I'm sure you're really 'good looking' too. You got it all! You're a S-T-A-R. OK, gotta go get my "own life" now. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!

Oh no she didn'...

Swiss said we're jealous of her wisdom? And her life? Why? why in the world would you say that? Is your name Carla, from the metro parks? I'm jealous of her, she has a cee-ment pond. Very classy lady...

re:swiss family...

legend in your own mind. Seek mental help!!! Tell the psychiatrist you have delusions of grandeur.

To swiss family...

Your job is probably just as important as you are relevant. Keep up the great postings, you just keep digging yourself a little deeper and deeper, don't you?

WHY??????????? ...


swiss family......

re"WHY??????????? " THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I would really like it if people didn't feel as though they had to make comments, regaurding my comments! i think that i have a right to my opinion, and a right to express my opinion, but there are people on here who think it is there job to tear apart, and correct my spelling, and correct my punctuation etc all of the time. i never claimed to be the perfect speller, or the expert on punctuation eyc. so please , let me post my comments in peace, and try to stick to the topic at hand.

re:swiss (Anonymous)

Nobody would tear your "opionions" if they were not so ignorant and rude. "Why" was not defending you maybe you need to go back and read their post again especially the last line!!

swiss family......

please show me where my comments are " ignorant and rude" compared to everyone elses comments!

re: swiss famil...

Well lets see I don't have all days and most of the postings are gone now so let's just go with the one about the two little girls that started the fire those were pretty ignorant.

Lillie Chaos (A...

I met this little girl within days of her birth. Her grandparents were loving devoted people. No one is perfect but this poor little life was wasted by people making bad choices. She has brothers out there in the
world. Her mother truly wanted the best for her children
and chose the person who has them now. I hope it was the right choice.

I do not think the money should be "given" to anyone with any type of drug abuse history....not that my opinion counts but there are still 2 very little boys out there
who need love and understanding and lots of conselling, I am sure.

The maternal grandfather was absolutely devastated as I am sure other family members were. I know there happens to be an Aunt Kay also with an aching heart. These people were punished horrendously by the loss of this little girl.

I am also aware of other family members who just see dollar signs. I hope this money is just not arbitarily turned over without supervision.

Jim Martin is a good man with fair and honest convictions maybe the court can appoint him to structure a trust.

This is so very sad. This poor child had a very hard life and even harder death. My heart goes out to all involved.
I know how it hurts my heart to think of it.....I can only imagine how her family feels. I know if there is an afterlife Donnah is holding her close.

swiss family......

i still stand by my statements about the 2 little arsonists that set the Newton Terrace apt's on fire!! they should be taught a lesson, and the other kids their age should realize that there are consequences to their actions!! all of you that want to give them hugs and security, i hope that they move in next to you , so you have to live with the fear of what they will do next , to your property this time,all of the time

To SwissFamily ...

Will you please stop being so negative and mean.
Yes, they did a bad thing and made a bad choice. Now step up to the plate and try to show compassion for another person. We are our brother's keeper. I think the parents need a good smack of reality regarding responsibility.
We OWE our children a decent life filled with love and respect.

I hope I am not reading another horror story of death and destruction in the Reflector soon because someone else failed a child.

I am ready to take responsibility....I will do anything I can to help a child, love a child. Not just b**ch and whine about other people. There are lots of people like me willing to help anyway we can....we just don't know what direction to take and all we hear is "give us some money and we will make things better" from public agencies and formums.

Are there any suggestions for actions and not just negetive
mean comments rehashing past issues????? What can I do can tomorrow be better????????????

I never get any answers.

Off with her he...

Go Lillie, Go Lillie...