Push back: Mitchell hearing delayed indefinitely

cover-gerry-mitchellArtist Gerry Mitchell, one year after the crosswalk incident.

A hearing scheduled for Friday, May 21, in Gerry Mitchell's $850,000 suit against the City of Charlottesville and two police officers has been indefinitely delayed after retired Augusta County Judge Thomas Wood, appointed to hear the case after Charlottesville Circuit Court Judge Edward Hogshire recused himself, withdrew this week due to an undisclosed health issue.

In November 2006, Mitchell, who is confined to a wheelchair, was struck in a West Main Street crosswalk by an Albemarle County police cruiser, then ticketed in the UVA emergency room by Charlottesville police officer Steve Grissom. Mitchell filed suit against the City, Grissom, and the Albemarle County police officer who struck him, Gregory C. Davis, in June 2009, alleging negligence, malicious prosecution, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Lawyers for the City and for  Grissom had filed a motion to dismiss the case based on the legal concept of sovereign immunity, which protects government entities from liability.

City attorney John Zunka has not returned the Hook's repeated calls for comment. Mitchell's attorney, Richard Armstrong, notes that this delay could be lengthy since the Virginia Supreme Court must now appoint a replacement for Judge Wood, who received a commendation from the Virginia General Assembly earlier this year.

"It's unfortunate that this case keeps getting delayed," says Armstrong, "but we still look forward to having the people of Charlottesville decide whether these were appropriate actions on the part of the police department."

The incident sparked outrage that included a petition to City Council, a fundraiser for Mitchell's medical bills, $700,000 in new crosswalks, and the creation of a citizen's police advisory panel.


Judge Wood is living with, and probably dying from, lung cancer. He has been trying to help us out here in Charlottesville by sitting as a substitute judge, but maybe his health difficulties are getting too bad.

People stop changing your names and repeating yourselves. You're not fooling anybody. How much do you think Mr. Mitchell should settle for, $850k?

Jake, the video exists. It's on youtube and has been for years. It's pretty grainy, but if you think you can see the 'no walk' signal, then you could be right. However, the burden is the policeman's side: ââ?¬Å?Contributory negligence is an affirmative defense that must be proved according to an objective standard whether the plaintiff failed to act as a reasonable person would have acted for his own safety under the circumstances. The essential concept of contributory negligence is carelessness.'"

Gasbag points out that Mr. Mitchell may have had the light when he entered the crosswalk (in his wheelchair).

But your point is irrelevant in regards to the suit against the City, which is what I thought the issue with the City Attorney was.

THIS lawsuit is also for malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of emotional distress on the part of the two police officers that allegedly conspired to add insult to injury and present the HIV-positive, wheel chair bound Mr. Mitchell a ticket for being in the crosswalk improperly prior to the County policeman running him over (you couldn't make that up).

So his "contributory negligence" may reduce or eliminate the liability of the COUNTY cop, but how does it reduce or eliminate the claim that the CITY attorney is fighting? Did the city police officer malicious prosecute Mr. Mitchell? Was the prosecution intended to cause emotional distress?

Neither of those questions, it seems to me, have anything to do with the case law you have cited. So as good as you are at using lexus nexus, Gasbag is absolutely right in pointing out that nothing you've said has anything to do with the claim Mr. Mitchell is making against the city.

Quoth Cville Eye: "I’ve had enough fun toying with you."

The very definition of an internet troll. You're welcome.

Good question. I suppose there's a good chance they did have both police chiefs under the impression there were no witnesses in the Mitchell incident.

This shouldn't go a step further. It's imperative that the city settle with Mr Mitchell in this matter. Why should we have to take this hit to our reputation? By ganging up on a sick man in a wheelchair, the city attorney is making us all look ridiculous.

@Oldhoo: Juries don't decide facts, they decide questions of fact. If there's no question of fact (such as, per se negligence), then juries dont get to decide that question. The reason there are so many personal injury attorneys is because normally you don't have cases involving video cameras on cars. The reason those questions don't go to juries is because there's a fear that juries won't properly apply the law. Unless Mitchell disputes the clarity or accuracy of the video camera, there's no question of fact for the jury to decide.

Also as an aside, those 53 personal injury attorneys aren't just doing personal injury you realize.

@Gasbag: Not relevant. Probable cause is subjective in the mind of the officer, and it's a very very low standard. You knew that. If the officer thought the light was working, that's PC for the ticket.

Cville Eye, my wife and daughter benfited from the many awards in my various lawsuits. Do you feel this is unfair? I mean, after all, my wife and daughter were also subjected to public humility and embarrassment during my wrongful and false arrests. My daughter was actually punished due to my wrongful and false arrests, she had to leave her swim team and friends behind after being kicked off the swim team. She deserved compensation even though she wasn't listed as a plaintiff in my various lawsuits.

In Mr. Mitche's incident, it has probably affected some of his family members. They've probably had to devote much more time to Mr. Mitchell in assisting him in his attempt to recover from getting run over by a police car.

CVille Eye, the city would be liable if it can be proven any of their employees conspired to shift the blame of this accident off on an innocent party. Especially if it involves one cop shoppe rubbing the back of an adjacent cop shoppe. And it's not going to be very hard to convince a jury that this is exactly what happened. Some of the most damaging evidence against the city is the fact that the cops had their own police chief believing there were NO witnesses to this accident.

If there was a conspiracy then the staffers are criminally guilty of collusion and I doubt if the city is liable for that. Gas, did you Police chief(s)?

quote: "Gas, did you Police chief(s)?"


Did you mean police chief(s)? As you know there are two jurisdictions involved.

Judge Wood is presently handling a lot of cases. It's been my experience that retired judges end up working longer and harder than they did before retiring. It will create tremendous delays in most of his pending cases. But.... if the city, for whatever reason(s), decides to settle this case, any of the local judges can sign off on the settlement.

I whope that the city doesn't settle. I want to know why a city is liable and what a city is liable for,when a police officer writes a ticket. I don't what the city's reputation is. People will still come to UVA regardless, and that's what drives Charlottesville.

C-ville eye, the city is the one afriad to go to court hence the ask for dismissal.

The city is going to pay one way or another. I would rather have him get some money than a lawyer.

"C-ville eye, the city is the one afriad to go to court hence the ask for dismissal." Requests for dismissals are par for the course, at least on TV.
"I would rather have him get some money than a lawyer." It is my understanding he has one, a lady who just retired in the last year or so. She has a very good reputation.
@Sabbath Lily I've had enough fun toying with you. Now that you are adequately insulted, how much do you think I should give to you?

Licking my lips? Windfall? Who are these family members you're fixated on? I never stated an amount I thought he should receive. Are you insane, or on drugs? I already told you that I don't know Mr Mitchell. You don't have to know someone to have compassion for what they're going through.

The only thing I'm convinced of, Cville Eye, is that you're an incredibly rude and delusional internet troll. You have no idea what you're talking about, and most of the conclusions you jump to are half-baked at best.

Actually quite a few people wish to live in public housing. Seen any empty buildings around here lately on CRHA property?

Cville Eye-- I'm looking for an easy dollar? Who on earth do you think you're speaking to? Where does is say that Mr Mitchell is suing for medical expenses? Nowhere. Try reading it all again.

I doubt that Mr Mitchell is afraid of this going to court. He has Deb Wyatt representing him. I'm not remotely qualified to determine what amount is appropriate here. I'm not an attorney, nor have I researched what other cases have received in monetary compensation in similar cases. I'd assume his attorney did that research, wouldn't you?

You last statement is laughable. Why are you assuming he would continue living in public housing if he won a judgment? Needless to say, it wouldn't even be allowable, but who would stay there?

What's your next theory? Perhaps he shouldn't be allowed to win because of the shirt he wearing in the picture? It looks new to me, so maybe he's actually really wealthy and is just trying to scam the system. You really should see someone about your paranoia issues.

@Sabbath Lily, you are lickin your lips in anticipating a windfall you can't read straight. I never said I didn't want him to win. In fact, he can't win a court case if he settles out of court. I was letting his family members know that they may not have as much money to party with as you perhaps think. Do you really think Albemarle and Charlottesville are going to give him $850,000 to protect their reputation or that the damages will be determine on his feelings of being insulted or stress?
I am convinced that you are a relative or close friend who thinks she/he has something to gain if the suit is settled.

@Sabbath Lily, ys you are one of the ones that I am referring to. Again, how much "reparations" do you think the city should settle on Mr. Mitchell in order to do "the right thing" and change its "reputation?" Why are you so afraid of the matter going to court? It sounds to me that you are looking for the easy dollar. Since Medicaid has already paid for his medical costs relating to this accident, is he aware that he may have to reimburse the government (you can't get reimbursed twice for damages). How much money is Mr. Mitchell allowed to bank and still reside in pubic housing?


We all know you were a peeler. You don't have to bring it up every 3rd post.

One question, one fact.

I'm sure Jake is correct about the law in Virginia, but if the law is always applied as he suggests, why does Charlottesville have 53 personal injury lawyers advertising on Superpages? If the law is really applied in the cut and dried fashion that Jake lays out, what are they all doing? The poor fellows must be starving.

One of the reasons that the law may not always be applied the way Jake states: "The City will win on summary judgment if there is a video that shows the crosswalk said ââ?¬Å?Don’t walk”, because that’s per se negligence and not a disputable fact. The judge won’t have a choice." is because judges do not decide facts, they decide which laws apply to a case. Juries decide facts. As Sabbath Lily notes, a jury will sometimes do what they believe is equitable, rather than apply one particular law strictly.

Sabbath, everybody seems to forget how Mr. Mitchell was improperly manhandled. Although I haven't read the lawsuit, that in itself is a one of the major claims in it I imagine.

When I first began my career, the Albemarle County deputy sheriff I was with taught me 3 things right off the bat...

1- Drive safely and responsibly, you can't help anybody if you crash yourself before you get there.

2- Never move an injured person before a physical and verbal assessment of the person's injuries. The only exception to this rule is if the person must be moved to prevent further serious injury. For example, if a vehcile is in imminent danger of catching on fire.

3- Make a mental list of all restaurants and stores that give cops free food and beverage.

All 3 are still important! Especialy #3. :)

I bet he doesn't even respond to your drivel this time.

The case should absolutely not be settled. The City Attorney is doing his job, which is to defend the city when it's sued. If, as the reports indicate, the police cruiser has a dashcam video of the crosswalk saying "Don't walk", then soverign immunity aside it's over. Virginia is a contributory negligence state; that means if you are even 1% negligence and the other party is 99% negligence, you still cannot recover. Personal and emotional feelings aside, it's not the City Attorney's job to settle lawsuits that could potentially win, costing the City thousands of dollars. Mitchell is more than welcome to sue the officer as an individual and try to override his sovereign immunity.

Jake, you sound like a first year law student. yes, you may be accurately depicting the city attorney's written job description, but the city attorney works for the city of charlottesville. He's a bureaucrat that serves the public. The City will suffer greater damage to its reputation by fighting this case in court than it will by settling for a reasonable amount. That's where this case is headed, despite what your gung-ho, hell-bent on litigation law professors may be teaching you.

Your attitude is exemplifies nicely exactly why the public hates lawyers.

You're not even close to the mark, but have you considered the fact that for all you know the City has proposed a settlement that Mitchell rejected?

Also, I thought I posted this earlier, but I didn't wish to come across as callous. This is a pretty terrible situation that Mitchell is in, and I hope his medical expenses have been covered, but this "rush to settlement" mentality is nonsense when there's not that much info to go on.

It would be refreshing one day if people could read a thread without the minutiae of a gas bag. Now I have taken the stance to only skim, and never read gas bagger, because substance went out the window a long time ago, but just the oft repeated moniker means drivel is being excreted in copious quantities and needs no attention.

He will certainly post a response - gas bags do - and if I ever read it by next February it will certainly be too soon. And if read it at all, which is very doubtful, because minutiae is not literature or news worthy, I'm sure it will be nothing more than drivel. Which means I will probably never read a response because I just don't give a darn and rarely read after posting because children quarreling are rarely speaking with an intellectual pursuit.

Gas Bag: Disgruntled something that is a PAVALOV DOG.

@Jake, I think you're talking to Mitchell's friends and family who are expecting to benefit from his windfall. Of course they would want the city to settle. Why do they think that the city will lose if they go to court? They don't; that's why they want a settlement. As for the cityu's reputation, does any of them really and truly care? Exactly what reputation does the city stand in danger of losing? It's a bunch of nonsense. If the city is dropped from the suit, it will be only a one-liner in the news story.
Since Mr. Mitchell lived in public housing at the time of the acident and had had considerable medical bills for AIDS, I suspect he is on Medicaid and has to medical bills to pay, so you don't have to worry about that.

I still don't believe it. :)

But, even so, it has nothing to do with Mitchell's claim of malicious prosecution. If I was on the jury, I could very clearly see what was being done when they rushed to the hospital and charged him with a crime. And it wasn't pretty.

I'm glad that someone who was a former law enforcement officer chooses not to believe the actual law. That is reassuring.

Once again though, if the dashboard camera shows that the light said "Don't walk", that supports the PC for the ticket, and malicious prosecution = dismissed on summary judgment, never goes to a jury.

@Gasbag: You're having trouble with this aren't you? What you might be saying, is all well and fine, but what you are saying is NOT the established law in Virginia since it's colonial days. Contributory negligence is an ABSOLUTE DEFENSE; that means there is NO debate or argument about who was more negligent. It DOES prevent a plaintiff from prevailing. If you are 1% negligence, then you CANNOT recover except for but a few limited exceptions. That is the law in Virginia, not what you might like it to be. Many states have changed their regimes over to comparative negligence, but Virginia has not.

The City will win on summary judgment if there is a video that shows the crosswalk said "Don't walk", because that's per se negligence and not a disputable fact. The judge won't have a choice.

Jake, repeat after me............

John Zunka is NOT employed as a city attorney.

He is in private practice and has been retained by the city to represent them in this matter.

Why are you having a hard time getting this through your head?

Jake, I didn't miss the point of your reply. I simply do not agree with your 1% contributory negligence theory barring a plaintiff from prevailing in a rightful lawsuit.

If we have a cash strapped city, it's their own fault. They were living high on the hog as long as they could raise property assessments 10% to 15% EVERY year. The bubble burst in their face when they had the same budget and less income. Lack of revenue should not be an issue when liability is being discussed. If a jury decides to give Mitchell $3 milion, the city can pay interest on it until they can pay the entire judgement off. Just like everybody else does in a lawsuit. They don't seem to have any problems finding the money to pay Juhn Zunka. He's not on the city payroll, he's being paid by the city to represent them. There's a big difference.

Jake, I have said it more than once in these Mitchell threads, and I will say it again. I don't care if Mitchell had a large 20 foot by 30 foot Don't Walk signal in large red neon letters, you still don't run over a man in a wheelchair.

@Gasbag: It's not a "theory", Gasbag. It's the law in Virginia. There are two types of jurisdictions, contributory and comparative negligence. We're the latter. This wouldn't even reach a jury, a judge would rule as a matter of law on summary judgment for the City if that video exists.


former*, sorry.


You missed the entire point of my entry then. Legally, it does matter. And thank you, Boooo!, that was the point of my comment. This "jump to settle" crap is BS and detrimental to an already cash-strapped City.

Actually ugggh, Jake sounds like a well informed attorney, not just some "first year law student." Just because you may not like what he's saying doesn't mean that he needs to be condescended or diminished.

Ever hear of the phrase, "Don't shoot the messenger" ? Jake didn't write the law. He's being the messenger, relaying how it works.

Oh, Gasbag. I believed that you posted it. I just never saw it.

OK. :)

You'll find I have some pretty strong opinions in this Mitchell case. I do not for one minute believe Steve Grissom marched to the Emergency Room and issued Mr. Mitchell a summons on his own. He may not even have agreed with it. I think he was directed to do so by somebody up the food chain. And I think whoever ordered Steve Grissom to do so was rubbing the back of Albemarle County. You know the drill, "we are cops, we look out for and protect each other!" In depositions or trial, I think we'll find out who issued the orders. And the intent behind said orders.

I never saw that post.

quote: "Was ââ?¬Å?I stand corrected” somehow unclear?"

No, we were apparently composing and submitting replies on or about the same time. :)

You stood corrected the other day when I submitted the fact that Zunka is not technically a city employee in any way, shape or form.

Above, May 25th, at 2:39 p.m.

quote: They (the city) don’t seem to have any problems finding the money to pay Juhn Zunka. He’s not on the city payroll, he’s being paid by the city to represent them. There’s a big difference.

And a quick search revealed the Va Supreme Court is still using contributory negligence even as of February, 2010.

Rascher v. Friend, 689 S.E.2d 661 (2010): "Contributory negligence is an affirmative defense that must be proved according to an objective standard whether the plaintiff failed to act as a reasonable person would have acted for his own safety under the circumstances. The essential concept of contributory negligence is carelessness. ... Accordingly, when a defendant relies upon contributory negligence as a defense, he has the burden of proving by the greater weight of the evidence not only that the plaintiff was negligent, but also that his negligence was a proximate cause, a direct, efficient contributing cause of the accident."

Maybe this will help?


S. Craig Brown
City Attorney

Richard Harris
Deputy City Attorney

Allyson Manson-Davies
Deputy City Attorney

Francesca Fornari
Assistant City Attorney

Barbara Ronan

Lisa Miller

City Attorney's Office
P.O. Box 911
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Phone: (434) 970-3131
Fax: (434) 970-3022


Attorney John Zunka is a Member with Zunka, Milnor, Carter & Inigo, Ltd, a law firm in Charlottesville, VA

I stand corrected then, but I'm pretty confident he hasn't come close to billing 50,000. Where do you get your numbers from?

Oh wait, like most of your information--thin air.

Again.... I'm not saying negligence is not a factor, I am saying it does not prevent a plaintiff from prevailing in a lawsuit.

Just because Mitchell might have been somewhere he shouldn't have been... a debatable issue in itself... doesn't mean a driver running over him has no liability whatsoever.

Was "I stand corrected" somehow unclear?

This discussion here indicates that, for the public to have the truth, the case should not be settled anywhere but in court in full view of the public. Those pushing a settlement wish to hide something.

OK, Jake, you tell me.

What retainer does the City of Charlottesville pay each year to Zunka, Milnor, Carter & Inigo, Ltd to represent them in legal matters when said matters arise? After the one time retainer per year is paid, what is the additional per hour fee? Or does the firm work on an set hourly fee only?

I clearly said I suspect the city has $50,000 tied up in their defense in this case already.

@Gasbag: Here's some more sources for you, completely reiterating my point.


"Many people do not realize that Virginia keeps an ancient English law on the books for car wreck cases and other torts saying that if the injured person is 1% at fault, they shall recover nothing."

A deputy sheriff or police officer in the City of Charlottesville doesn't have anything to do with that type of case law. It's the type of law the courts and jury have to worry their pretty little heads over. :)

As far as I recall, there is some dispute about the Walk signal not being long enough for Mr. Mitchell to safely make it across the intersection. The dashcam could indeed show a red Don't Walk signal, but that doesn't mean it was red when Mr. Mitchell started across the street. There's more than one intersection in this town where the Walk signal is timed way too short to safely make it across the street.

All three Defendants are co-parties to the same claims. Malicious prosecution can't be proven if there was probable cause for arrest--a video showing a Don't Walk sign supports an officer's assertion of probable cause.

Hope this helps.

quote, The Hook: "The charges against him were dropped in January 2008 when the Commonwealth’s Attorney determined the crossing signal at the crosswalk where Mitchell was struck was excluded from then current state code because it used symbols instead of words."

By the way Jake, when discussing the probable cause of arresting Mr Mitchell, don't forget the above fact. The pedestrian signal at the intersection wasn't even in accordance with state law at the time it was suppose to relay a message to Mr. Mitchell.

Hard question, Cville Eye! I guess the city and county would have to argue the fine points of who is paying how much if a settlement is made.

The biggest problem I see in settlements is the fact the individual cops never seem to have to pay any punitive damges. If a jury awards punitive damages when sought by a plaintiff, the city or county has the option to either pay them or make the officer pay them. While the percentage of crooked cops is low, it might even be lower if a few of them had to start paying punitive damages out of their pocket.

Jake, $50,000? That's a riot! I suspect the city has spent $50,000 the city in this case so far. John Zunka, a very fine and competent attorney, does not come cheap.

I'm not on either side one way or another, I'm just being realistic about some pretty strong defenses the City is going to have if they lose the sovereign immunity issue.

Gasbag: The City Attorney probably makes about 80k a year. He's not being billed extra or hourly for this case, he's an employee of the City and the Commonwealth. He'll get the same paycheck each month no matter how this case turns out. Please don't spread misinformation.

Damages in Virginia cannot be speculative, they must be actual. He'll get his medical bills and if he's lucky a little extra for pain and suffering. Hence, 50k. There's no a foreseeable chance in hell that the City would settle for anything even close to the numbers you're suggesting.


Jake, after being a sworn deputy sheriff for almost 30 years, I was left with no choice but to sue assorted cop shoppes over the last 10 years. All of the lawsuits involved and included malicious prosecution. It happens. Cops do it to protect each other from civil liability. Cops do it on orders from above. And cops have even done it on orders from city and county attorneys. Not one lawsuit I filed was ever tossed out of court, even though the defendants went through all of the above, especially the sovereign immunity bullsheet. Every case was scheduled for trial before a jury. Once a jury trial was scheduled... each and every lawsuit settled out of court. The defendants fought tooth and naill for years while the taxpayers footed their legal fees. But when push came to shove, the defendants didn't want their dirty laundry hung out for the public to see with media reporters sitting on the front row of the courtroom. This is exactly how this Mitchell case will play out in the end, IMHO.

I have one lawsuit remaining currently. It also involves malicious prosecution in the worst degree. After five years of the defendant fighting my claims, a judge recently ruled this case WILL go to a jury trial. Now they're ready to settle. But I am hoping negotiations fail so we can hang out some of their dirty laundry as a cop fabricated facts so as to create this probable cause you speak of. :)

All of your Matlock bantering aside the city Government needs to examine its fiducuary responsibility to the taxpayers and not destroy the citys reputation by fighting this like a spoiled child who wants to blame the broken vase on his sister for leaving it on the table.

If the city spends 100k defending the case and wins, and the city spends another 2 million trying to restore the reputation of the city after their pyrric victory, they have not served the taxpayers or the city.

The city should have made a public apology for the hospital visit. disiplined the officers for conspiring , fired the person that tried to cover it up and worked out a fair deal with a decent honest man for an unfortunate accident.

If the city prevails they will pay dearly in reputation, if they lose they will pay dearly in reputation and money. If they settle, they will pay some money but their reputation will be preserved.

If they handle it correctly they may even come out with an improved reputation.

There is a reason why lawyers brag about being passionate about the law. They usually lack the ability to be compassionate about human beings.

This will have no effect on the city's reputation either way. You guys are making it out to be some huge news story.

In reference to reputation... the local cop shoppes have suffered already. This event made national news, from coast to coast. In online police forums most of the cops discussing the event threw the local cop under the bus. Others said they would have been fired if they had done such a silly thing.

And yes, some of the cops even joked and laughed about it. They're the kind you have to watch out for, just like the criminal element out here, human life has no value to them in their "us vs them" crusade against American citizens.

Jake, I didn't read your last comment before making my last one.

Regardless, Gasbag's points remain valid. Unfortunately in this case, the city probably isn't only hoping to bankrupt the plaintiff. The City of Charlottesville has most likely done a cost-benefit analysis and believes that stalling a case brought by a HIV-positive plaintiff makes good fiscal sense.

JJ, so far it isn't a huge news story, except locally. But the dashcam video has had some low-level viral success on youtube. As the case continues to move forward, it will garner more and more attention, bank on it.

Mr. Mitchell would do well to pursue a PR strategy at this point. Dave Norris most likely doesn't want to be known as the mayor of the town that tickets HIV-positive, wheelchair bound human beings that get run over in crosswalks by policemen.

uggggh, you can say it. Or heck, let me.... they are probably hoping he passes away before it ever gets to court.

While my lawsuits were pending, two of my best witnesses died. One police Lt from a heart attack, and a police detective from cancer. The departmens involved probably wished I would be next. :)

I'm not changing my name. I've been uggggh this entire thread. Pure, unadulterated UGGGGGGH.

So I guess all the police have to do is prove Mr. Mitchell was negligent when he got rear-ended in his wheelchair while crossing the street with the traffic light.

You just can't make this stuff!

In this thread, we'll throw out random monetary numbers that have absolutely no relationship whatsoever to what actually happened.

Oh, American tort law, we love you.

Let's try more like 50k.

And how much of the %500k should the city pay?

If the victim's life has been shortened due to the injuries sustained by being hit, by the way he was handled physically immediately after the crash, by the completely needless stress placed on him due to the city's unprofessional and cruel actions after the crash, and subsequent cover-up-- then yes, I maintain strongly that there should be a settlement in THIS case. THIS case is time sensitive.

All of Jake's lawyering aside, there's a point at which people need to do the right thing. That point has been bypassed already several times with Mr Mitchell.

You can quote code 'til the cows come home-- the fact is that laws are subverted, loosened, or ignored by governmental and corporate bodies all the time. Perhaps it should be loosened to help a wronged person. Or do people only object to that when it's for good?

While a jury does decide fact from fiction as they listen to the evidence, even their final decision is not the last word. An example of this was the lawsuit in Greene County when a business owner, Jesse Sheckler, sued Channel 29 news for defamation and other assorted claims. The jury recommended $10 million in damages after listening to all the evidence, then Judge Edward Hogshire reduced the award down to $1 million dollars.

So, to me, this is basically saying that the judge overrode the jury and did not view the facts the same as the jury did. But of course $10 million was way out of line to begin with. But, it just goes to show you don't know what a jury will do in a case. The jury could have awarded Sheckler $25,000 or $10 million. The same is true in the Mitchell case. I would be scared to death to see this case through a jury if I was the City of Charlottesville or Albemarle County.

It would be great if Mr. Mitchell's family members would declare themselves on this thread.

Cville Eye, if you're referring to me, I've never met Mr Mitchell in my life. We do, however, have several mutual friends. So I probably have a bit more accurate idea of what he's been through both physically and mentally since the accident than you do.

Mr Mitchell in no way, shape, or form has ever given any indication that he's a greedy man who is out to game the system. I actually feel very sorry for the cop who hit him and believe it was truly an accident. I've heard that the cop had a hard time dealing with this afterwards.

But horrible damage was done, and it was all entirely unnecessary. Therefore, reparations are due in this case. (And I'm as much against frivolous lawsuits as a person could be. Hell, this would have never become a suit in the first place if everyone had done the right thing!)

Gas, was that "public humility and embarrassment" greater or lesser than what your wife and daughter are subjected to by your posts on local blogs?

HaHaHa! Another Gasbag fan!! :)

Gas, did your daughter sue? If she did, did she win or lose? If she didn't, why didn't she? Are Mr. Mitchell's family members suing? Why or why not? Can I sue, too? Why or why not?
My comment about the family is that some (not all) of them are on the blog encouraging the city to settle because they expect to have fun helping him spend his money. Eventually he may be back on the street trying to get back into public housing. As for assisting him, I don't know know of what assistance they are providing. They ar not assisting him with housing (it may be because he likes being independent even if very ill). On previous blog, a person identified himself as a family member but I don't recall his saying that his burden of caring for his brother had increased since the accident.