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$50,000 Settlement In Memphis Policeman's Training Injury

Memphis (Tennessee) policeman Michael Cockerell and his wife Linda brought a federal tort action against the United States in 1999 after he fell during an obstacle course training exercise at a federal facility. The $1,500,000 suit settled for $50,000.

Cockerell was training at the Federal Correctional Center in Shelby County in 1998 when he lost his grip on a rope climb and fell approximately 20 feet, injuring his back and ribs. He brought suit under the Federal Tort Claims Act claiming negligence for failing to have a cushioning device to break his fall. He alleged current and future medical expenses and past, present and future loss of earning capacity. Cockerell claimed further negligence in failing to maintain the obstacle course, provide safety devices, warn users of the course's dangerousness, avoid a foreseeable accident; and exercise reasonable and ordinary care. His wife alleged the loss of services and society of her husband.

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee authorized the settlement with no admission of guilt. Attorney fees and court costs were to be paid by the parties individually, the attorney fees not to exceed 25 percent of the settlement amount pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2678. See: Cockerell v. United States, USDC, W.D. Tenn., Case No. 99 3019 GB (July 2, 2001).

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Related legal case

Cockerell v. United States

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