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$40,000 Settlement After BOP Employee Causes Automobile Accident

West Virginia resident Lillian Poindexter brought a federal tort action in 1997 against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and federal agent Mari Higgins after being struck by Higgins' vehicle. The $139,000 suit settled for $40,000.

Poindexter was involved in an automobile accident in 1993 when Higgins's car collided with her car, allegedly causing fibromyalgia and injuries to her hip, ribs, legs and neck. Poindexter brought the claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act after an administrative tort claim was denied, alleging present and future "great pain of body and mind, loss of enjoyment of life, lost wages, impairment of earning capacity" and various other impairments and disabilities. She claimed that the DOJ and the BOP failed to train and supervise Higgins, and that Higgins' actions were the proximate cause of her "permanent" injuries.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia approved the settlement in 1998, which also required defendants to pay State Farm Mutual Insurance Company $10,000 to cover their "compromised" administrative claim. The defendants did not admit guilt or liability, and the parties agreed to pay their own costs and fees. See: Poindexter v. United States, USDC, S.D. W. Va., Case No. 5:97 0408 (Feb. 17, 1998).

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Poindexter v. United States

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