Franklin County May Face Financial Liability For Recent Incidents
Posted February 4, 2005 5:32 a.m. EST
FRANKLIN COUNTY, N.C. — When
Larry Donnell Green
was pronounced dead on the road, but later found to be alive at the morgue, Franklin County was caught in a web of potential liability. It was the latest in a series of events that could strain the county's liability insurance.
"It can't be good for the county," county Commissioner Harry Foy said. "I know from past experience that insurance companies will drop you in a heartbeat when you have just one claim."
in August 2003 left a young mother dead. Her daughter was hurt, along with two others. The track owner operated the event without proper permits even though the county told him to stop.
In May, a deputy was killed in a
-- a helicopter the sheriff had secretly leased. The county paid workers' compensation to the deputy's widow and the pilot.
Some question whether the events are a string of bad luck or bad management.
"It couldn't help but make you wonder about that," Foy said. "Maybe we need to take a look at all the departments and all the county functions and make sure that everything is being done as safely as can be."
If the insurance carrier drops the county, the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners can serve as a back-up provider.
"We're there as either a first choice for counties. In some cases, we are there as a backup," said Susan Klakoff, of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners.
"Clearly, the county is covered in terms of its insurance policy," Franklin County Manager Chris Coudriet said.
Two EMS workers were fired and lost their licenses after Green was mistakenly declared dead. Green's family and families in the mudsling case have not said if they will take legal action.