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Family settles with Franklin County in mistaken death case

Posted September 30, 2009

Larry Donnell Green

— More than four years after a Franklin County man was mistakenly declared dead in a traffic accident and sent to the morgue in a body bag, his family has reached a $1 million legal settlement against the county and two paramedics.

Larry Donnell Green was walking along U.S. Highway 401 north of Louisburg when he was hit by a car on Jan. 24, 2005. Paramedics responding to the accident declared Green dead, although they didn't thoroughly examine him.

Green was zipped into a body bag and sent to the Franklin County morgue, where the coroner later saw him breathing. He has spent most of his time since then in a rehabilitation facility in Wilson. He's bed-ridden, can barely talk and will likely be that way for the rest of his life, family members have said.

Green's parents, Larry Alston and Ruby Kelly, sued the county, three emergency rescue squads, several paramedics and medical examiner Dr. J.B. Perdue in December 2007, alleging they were negligent and were responsible for his permanent injuries and the family's emotional distress.

Franklin County's insurance carrier recently reached a settlement with the family, which was approved by Superior Court Judge Ripley Rand. The bulk of the $1 million settlement will be placed in a trust to pay for Green's medical care, attorneys said.

"The matter has been resolved on the county's behalf by our insurance carrier. The county takes comfort in this matter being settled and understands the monies will go toward the continued care of Mr. Green," Franklin County Attorney Darnell Batton said in a statement.

The settlement covers the county, Franklin County EMS and paramedics Katherine Lamell and Paul Kilmer. The suit is still pending against Perdue, paramedics Wade Kearney and Pamela Hayes, emergency medical technician Ronnie Wood, first responder Phillip Grissom Jr., Louisburg Rescue and EMS and Epsom Fire and Rescue Association.

Kearney and Kilmer lost their state credentials after the incident, but they were later given the opportunity to regain some of them.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • clwms3856 Oct 1, 2009

    It really saddens me to think there is so many ignorant people in the world today, but after reading some of the comments made about this story just goes to prove that there is still ignorance among us.Whether this man was drunk or not is not the issue, he is still a human being and should be treated as such. Ask yourselves the question what if this was one of my love ones then how would you feel? Don't be so quick to judge people, that's whats wrong with world today.

  • MillerB Sep 30, 2009

    Ok...I have to agree with UNC83. Someone please show me...specifically...where it says ANYwhere, that he was intoxicated even the slightest bit.
    Regardless of whether or not he was, these so-called trained, competent EMT's declared him dead when there were signs he was not.

  • unc83 Sep 30, 2009

    Where in the story does it say the guy was intoxicated? I have read a few posts that say he was, but I don't see it.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Sep 30, 2009

    Big Brother 1: "And why wasn't the person that hit him sued?"

    To validate your entire post even further, the person that hit him probably wasn't at fault as it probably happened at night and didn't see the drunk in the road. The fault of the original accident lies with the drunk. But yet the state can be sued because they took good care of the drunk when they thought he was dead, and when they realized he was alive. The state was wrong somehow. I don't know how. But the courts said the state was wrong. So I guess we have to go with that. LOL

  • Big Brother1 Sep 30, 2009

    Let me get this straight...........He is walking down the street. Intoxicated. Gets hit by a car and busted up so bad, coupled with the EXTREME intoxication making him appear to be dead. There are no apparent injuries from being put in a body bag yet his family receives a $1 million dollar settlement? WTH is going on here? And why wasn't the person that hit him sued?

  • mrduright Sep 30, 2009

    @ kclark3

    The only low life here is you, to blame a victim for others incompetence is deplorable and if you had any self respect you should be ashamed of yourself.

  • whatever02 Sep 30, 2009

    40 or 50 percent will go to attorneys as fee. Expenses will also have to be paid - some run into the tens of thousands of dollars. Medicaid will have to be reimbursed but will be limited as to how much. The family will probbaly end up with a quarter million.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Sep 30, 2009

    Would like to hear from someone with financial experience in these kind of lawsuits. They settled for $1 million. But out of that $1 million, how much would the family likely wind up receiving after legal fees, taxes(if applicable), and various associated expenses? What is the Net Gain for the family. I'm sure most people see $1 million and figure the family is set. But I don't personally believe that to be the case. Am I mistaken?

  • gregg45 Sep 30, 2009

    i was ran over by a car aug 25 2000,, i was on a scooter , so, i can be partly blamed, it was on bragg blvd..and i was clean and sober. i am very thankful i did not end up like this person,, but it was close.. i recieved 00.00$ i have always wondered if it was because i was on a scooter,,

  • brwnigrl Sep 30, 2009

    This is a sad case. I'm glad the money is tucked away for the young man's care.
    Amvaugha Is Still Immaculate

    Are you kidding me? We are paying for this guy's so called care. Had he not been stoned off his __ there wouldn't have been a mistake and he wouldn't have been in the road. I feel for the poor person who has to live each day knowing they hit this low life loser!