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.


To Lillie (Anon...

swiss family will never stop being negative and mean because they are miserable and misery loves company. Sooner or later they will figure out they are not going to get that here because nobody can stand swiss family. You have to be a down right evil hateful person to talk about two 10 year olds the way he/she/it did. Swiss family thinks sunshine comes out of their @$$. This idiot is so bored/lonely/pathetic they have nothing better to do then say crap to get stuff started on here for their enjoyment. Everyone should ignore swiss family and not reply to them because swiss family craves the attention. Obviously this is the only place they can get attention.

swiss family......

if i were being mean and hateful,just for the sake of being mean and hateful, that would be completely wrong on my part , but i don't think i am being hateful, at all, i am being a realist, and i am trying to find solutions to todays problems, and keep them from happening again.don't some of you realize that in some places in this country, people who want to kill someone , but know that they will end up in prison forever, will now days, hire a willing juvenile, who needs some money to do their killing for them, that way, their crime will be treated as a juvenile offense in the courts, and their names will never appear in the newspaper, because of their ages. so they accomplished their goal, of taking someone out, and did it at a much smaller price, because kids will work cheaper that adults, and it will only be on thei juvenile record, the way i see it its a win, win situation. and this set up is unacceptable, and needs to be changed.That is why i am so against these little girls and the crime that they committed, it is not a personal attack on them, i don't personally know either one of them, i am just trying to find a way of them to not beat the system that we have created, but is in dire need of updating

Lopper of Nogg...

Swiss, do you ever re-read your postings? No? I thought not.

swiss wrote thi...

What you didn't finish though Dorothy, is that it will also decrease th demand for gas in Norwalk, and by your math, not mine, Dorothy, should decrease the price of gas in Norwalk, which is what we are trying to do in the first place!! so, oh great teacher of economics, Dorothy, please explain that to us all " NO, NOT A MEAN BONE IN HER BONY BODY!!!

swiss family......

to "swiss wrote this as gas guzzler" by re reading the quote that i said , that is my opinion, and the way that i read it, it is NOTMEAN AT ALL .. she used magical b.s. to try to make everyone believe her propaganda, and i just quoted what she was saying, how does that make me mean??

to swiss family...