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City of Rock Hill agrees to pay $750K

 

According to her attorney, Randi Sisk was severely injured when she collided with a city sanitation truck that attempted to pass her moped in a no-passing zone.

The Aug. 8, 2013, crash led to the amputation of one of Sisk’s legs, said James F. Thompson of Spartanburg. Sisk reached a $750,000 mediated settlement with the city of Rock Hill.

“As the City of Rock Hill is a governmental entity, the plaintiff faced a $300,000 cap on damages pursuant to the South Carolina Tort Claims Act,” Thompson said. The cap also places a $600,000 cap on each occurrence.

Thompson

Thompson

But pursuant to 2011’s Boiter v. S.C. Department of Transportation and the S.C. Department of Public Safety, Sisk argued that there were separate acts of negligence which constituted separate occurrences. In Boiter, another case in which Thompson represented the plaintiffs, the court found that two government entities were negligent and that there were two occurrences under the Tort Claims Act.

Here, Sisk contended that not only was the city driver negligent in causing the crash, but that the city of Rock Hill committed two separate negligent acts: The negligent entrustment/hiring and the negligent retention of the driver.

According to Thompson, the driver had 13 violations, accidents, or incidents noted in his personnel file, and had taken and failed portions of the commercial driver’s license test five times. A CDL was required for the vehicle he was driving.

The plaintiff further alleged that on the day of the crash, provided sanitation services outside of its territorial limits.

According to Thompson, the city is limited to performing functions within the its corporate limits unless a contract for services outside the city is in place.

Because no contract existed, the plaintiff alleged that the driver’s conduct was within the course and scope of his duties, but was not within the official business of the city,” Thompson said. “Thus, the plaintiff alleged that the city could not take refuge in the Tort Claims Act, as the driver’s activities were ultra vires, or proprietary.”

 

Follow Heath Hamacher on Twitter @SCLWHamacher

 

SETTLEMENT REPORT — PERSONAL INJURY

Amount: $750,000

Injuries alleged: Loss of leg

Case name: Randi Sisk v. City of Rock Hill

Court: York County Court of Common Pleas

Case No.: 2015-CP-46-2286

Date of settlement: Nov. 22, 2017

Mediator: Lee Alford

Attorneys for plaintiff: James Fletcher Thompson of Spartanburg

Attorneys for defendants: Robert Cooper of the Morrison Law Firm in Columbia

 

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