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Genesee County Jury Awards $4.375 Million Verdict in Demolition-Injury Lawsuit

FLINT, MI — A Genesee County jury has awarded a $4.375 million verdict to a Milford man who was injured while helping demolish a burned store at an Otter Lake campground.

Jurors ordered Genesee Otter Lake Campground on Friday, Dec. 12, to pay $4.375 million to Raymond Rieck after Rieck was seriously injured while attempting to help the campground’s owner demolish a building, according to Rieck’s attorney, John Hone.

Jurors initially returned a $5 million verdict, but Hone said it was reduced by 12 percent to compensate for Rieck’s own negligence in the incident.

Hone said his client was injured when the campground’s owner asked him to help demolish a store on the property that was damaged during a fire.

Rieck was on the roof of the structure helping to remove sections of the building when the owner of the campground struck him with the bucket of a backhoe, according to Hone.

Hone said the blow knocked Rieck off the building, causing him to injure his wrist and fracture a vertebrae. Hone added that his client is still disabled because of his injuries.

The verdict was returned following a two-week trial that began Dec. 2. The lawsuit was filed in January 2013.

Hone, of Birmingham-based Hone Law, said the jury’s verdict was one of the largest of his 35-year career.

“It’s a big one for these facts,” Hone said of the verdict.

Farmington Hills-based attorney Valerie Mock, who represented the campground, could not be immediately reached for comment on the verdict.

In 2013, 62 verdicts were returned in Michigan that were $1 million or greater, according to a report by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

A Genesee County jury returned the largest verdict of any state court in 2013 when it awarded a Flint woman $12.9 million in her lawsuit against Genesys Regional Medical Center after she claimed medical mistakes during childbirth left her daughter disfigured and without the full use of her right arm.


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