Jurors were asked only to determine how much the victim's family should get.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- A jury has awarded $986,774.89 to the family of a 30-year-old man killed when a Niles police captain's cruiser crashed into his car.
The jurors returned the verdict in Mark Simpson's case Thursday afternoon after deliberating about eight hours. The jury began hearing the case Monday.
"We thank the jury," said Ken Simpson, the victim's brother. "This has been going on a long time, and I'm glad it's over."
The jurors in the wrongful death case were asked to determine how much monetary damages Simpson's family should receive.
Another jury in January found that Niles Police Chief Bruce Simeone, a captain when the crash occurred, and the city of Niles were liable. The case dealt only with civil liability issues. A grand jury previously found no criminal wrongdoing by the chief.
Simeone declined to comment. Niles officials could not be reached.
"We are delighted and very, very pleased," said Atty. Patrick Fire of Boardman, who represents the family.
The jury awarded $340,000 apiece to Simpson's parents and $45,000 each to his two brothers and sister. The jury also awarded money to pay the hospital and funeral bills. The jury, however, awarded no money for pain and suffering.
Fire said he wasn't sure how the jury arrived at its decisions.
"I think they did a good job," Fire said.
The civil case against Simeone and the city of Niles centered on an April 8, 1996, accident.
Simeone was on his way to a hostage situation at the former Ponderosa Restaurant on U.S. Route 422 when his cruiser collided with a Corvette pulling from a parking lot on U.S. Route 422 a short distance from the restaurant.
Two occupants of the car, Bronsel Cain Jr., 29, and Simpson, died of their injuries, and their families claimed negligence.
Cain's family reached an undisclosed settlement last week, Fire said. Visiting Judge Thomas Patrick Curran of Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court presided over the case.