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Judge awards crash victim half a million dollar settlement

By Walter Geiger A Forsyth couple was awarded a settlement of $504,656 in damages, court costs and fees August 23 in Lamar superior court as a result of a motorcycle crash caused by the defendant’s dog. Laurie Lynn Tallaksen and Jeffrey A. Tallaksen were westbound on Hwy. 36 on motorcycles when a brown dog belonging to Ricky Viars of 1908 Hwy. 36 came out of Viars’ driveway and collided with Mrs. Tallaksen’s bike. The dog was killed. Mrs. Tallaksen, who was traveling from High Falls to Barnesville, was thrown to the pavement. Her motorcycle was destroyed and she was lifeflighted to the Medical Center of Middle Georgia in Macon. She suffered a broken shoulder blade, three broken ribs, a broken collarbone and punctured a lung along with various other injuries. She alleged permanent scars and injuries and claimed to suffer substantial mental and physical pain. Mr. Tallaksen was also party to the suit. He claimed to suffer the ‘loss of spousal services including society and companionship’. In her action, the Tallaksens’ attorney, Linley Jones, alleged Viars had ‘acted in bad faith, been stubbornly litigious’ and put the couple to unnecessary trouble and expense. Viars did not appear in court. Judge Bill Fears awarded the Tallaksens $500,000 in damages, $281 in court fees and $4375 in attorney’s fees. ’Good luck in collecting it,’ Judge Fears concluded.

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