Craig family settles with county
Fourteen-year-old Mackenzie Maneotis has to wear lifts in her shoes and is exempted from doing crunches in gym class because of medical problems she’s suffered after being broadsided by a Moffat County sheriff’s deputy almost two years ago.
The girl and her parents, Tony and Kim, and the family’s attorney, Edward Carlstead of Denver (who was present via telephone), agreed to settlement terms for her case Friday in front of Moffat County Judge Mary Lynn James. Tony Maneotis declined to reveal the amount of the settlement, but he said that it “wasn’t anything spectacular.”
“It might pay for her books for college,” he said.
Maneotis’ case accused Deputy Courtland Folks of negligence in a February 2003 accident that injured Tony and Mackenzie.
It was unclear whether the settlement is confidential, though the court took pains to keep the amount a secret from Mackenzie.
Mackenzie suffered soft tissue injury, rib sprains and permanent disability, the lawsuit stated. Mackenzie’s losses topped $75,000, according to the lawsuit. The settlement funds will be put toward a medical fund, providing she has future complications. If Mackenzie doesn’t experience further medical problems, she may use the money as a sort of savings and college fund, her parents told James.
“You know how to say, where’s my money when you need it?” James questioned Mackenzie. Mackenzie shook her head in agreement.
In the same accident, Tony suffered a broken neck, emotional distress, permanent disability and other losses, according to the lawsuit. Tony said Friday that he lost more than 40 days of work without pay. That case was settled out of court.
The county’s insurance did cover a $100,000 civil settlement the sheriff reached with Maneotis this summer.
The plaintiff originally requested $300,000 against the Sheriff’s Office.
According to a news release from the District Attorney’s Office when pressing charges against Folks, the deputy did not act with any carelessness or recklessness. But it reported the deputy “did not excise sufficient caution when approaching the intersection.”
The accident occurred the morning of Feb. 7, 2003. Folks was responding to a dispatch concerning a heart attack victim. The deputy ran a red light while north on Colorado Highway 13. As he entered the intersection of Victory Way and Colorado Highway 13, his vehicle was struck from the side by Maneotis’ vehicle.
Folks received a $56 traffic ticket in the incident for failing to obey a traffic device. Folks chose to fight the ticket with the backing of the Sheriff’s Department, which racked up $11,000 in legal fees. The county’s insurer paid $2,000, Folks paid $2,000, and the remaining was picked up by county and sheriff budgets.
Kim Maneotis said Friday she was thankful that the family “can finally get on with our their lives.”
“We paid a lot of money,” Kim said. “Unfortunately, the Moffat County commissioners didn’t pick up the tab like they did for Folks.”
Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or email@example.com.
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