ONLINE EXCLUSIVE - New trial in Dixon estate civil case?

There could be a new civil trial to determine damages in the 2004 stabbing death of an 11-year-old foster girl. "Nothing has been scheduled or set," said Toledo attorney Joan Szuberla, who represented the county in the March trial. "It's hanging out there."
Cary Ashby
Jul 25, 2010

 

There could be a new civil trial to determine damages in the 2004 stabbing death of an 11-year-old foster girl.

"Nothing has been scheduled or set," said Toledo attorney Joan Szuberla, who represented the county in the March trial. "It's hanging out there."

Huron County Common Pleas Court recently scheduled a Jan. 22 hearing to determine the amount of attorney fees the plaintiff, Connre Dixon's estate, might receive from the county.

On March 23, a jury determined the defendants, the Huron County Department of Job & Family Services and the Huron County Commissioners in 2004, should pay $600,000 to Dixon's estate.

Visiting Judge Judith Cross ruled in mid-October to reduce the amount by half a million dollars. The judge wrote that the original verdict was excessive, saying the jury "lost its way" and called the $600,000 "not justifiable under the law."

Cross gave Willard attorney Jim Martin, who represented Dixon's estate, 21 days to accept or reject her ruling. Because he didn't accept, Szuberla said, there could be a new trial on damages. Martin was unavailable for comment Monday.

Szuberla noted that both sides could appeal the results of the first trial.

"That appeal might happen. ... It's very complicated," she said. "Will that trial happen anytime soon? It's hard to tell."

Former Monroeville foster father Paul Efaw is serving three years in the Hocking Correctional Facility for 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.

Comments

Bobbi Stover (A...

I have comments on the civil trial that may happen in the Connre June Dixon case. I would like to know what would be a fair amount to ask for the neglect of security for a child in foster care. The responsibility of this child was with the STATE. Now,Connre is not with us because of this neglect. I honestly think that $600,000 was mere pocket change due to the pain and suffering of her siblings. Now the judge would like to drop the price of STATE neglect to $500,000. Where is the justice here?

I Agree (Anonymous)

I agree with you Bobbi Stover. 600,000 is only mere pocket change. I don't understand how the jury's decision was unjustifiable under the law. Jim Martin (Dixon's Attny) suggested the jury hold HCDJFS liable for 1,000,000 and I think he would know what was justifiable under the law.

I think no (Ano...

amount of money is enough for anyone's lost life and the 600,000 is nothing they should put up and shut up. Nothing will ever bring that little girl back but at least that money could take care of the other kids.

Norwalktaxpayer...

What's sad here is the fact that the girl's family wanted nothing to do with her, until the possibility of a lawsuit was brought up.
If the family cared so much about the girl, why was she in foster care?
Again, it's a tragic story...She's gone, her mother's gone (drug overdose), and if I understand correctly, there's just a couple of surviving relatives.

Leave it to lon...

I would be all about this money NOT being enough *IF* the family really gave a crap about that little girl. Apparently they didn't. Actions speak louder than words. That money should go to a children's home in that girl's name, not to some money grubbing relatives. They should be shamed.

Norwalktaxpayer...

Precisely my point.

They should... ...

donate the money to whatever 'house' or center set up for kids with this type of problem behavior. Or Ronald McDonald house, but to put the money into the hands of people who will just piss it away in no time is wrong. Put it towards some good use.

First of all (A...

anything under one million dollars for anyones life is just a slap in the face. Second this money should go toward directly caring for her siblings that are left NOT the adults. These kids have had a miserable enough life as it is. Someone responsible should have custody of them all to at least keep them together and be accountable for every dime spent of that money. I would like to know who payed for this child's burial because the one who put her with that monster should have to pay for it. I don't like to go by rumors but I have heard from day one the rumors of child molestation by this man. I hope and pray it is not true for that girl's sake she suffered enough.