DAYTONA BEACH — The young daughter of a 23-year-old Palm Coast man killed while riding his motorcycle has been awarded a $1 million verdict for damages.
The jury award was part of $2.8 million in total damages granted Friday to the survivors of Brian R. Heikkila, who died when a car struck his motorcycle May 30, 2007, on Clyde Morris Boulevard in Daytona Beach.
The family’s attorney, David Sweat, expressed some degree of satisfaction, even though no amount of money will bring Heikkila back.
“I am very satisfied that the jury awarded this child double what we had asked for,” Sweat said.
According to court records, Heikkila, who worked as a manager for Walmart, was riding his motorcycle near Halifax Health Medical Center. A car driven by Michael T. Hemphill collided with Heikkila, resulting in his death.
The negligence claim was based on the fact that Hemphill failed to yield the right of way while driving a Ford Mustang, the plaintiff’s lawyer said.
The suit sought damages for pain, suffering and mental anguish.
After the issue of liability was determined by Circuit Judge Richard Graham, the jury assessed how much damages should be paid to Heikkila’s survivors.
In addition to $1 million awarded to Heikkila’s 5-year-old daughter, Ryleigh, his parents will each receive $500,000 under the verdict. Another $798,000 was awarded for economic damages, including $4,200 for funeral expenses, Sweat said.
Heikkila moved to the area in 2005 from Georgia. He enjoyed skateboarding, the outdoors and was a member of Tomoka Christian Church, his family said.
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