Insurance picks up tab for settlement

By David Fleet
Goodrich- On Monday night the village council president Shannon McCafferty responded to the settlement with former village administrator Jakki Sidge.
Last month, the case was settled with one former and two current village council members after several alleged violations when her annual contract with the village was not renewed in 2018. The issue was settled through court ordered mediation by Genesee County Circuit Court Judge F. Kay Behm.

The case was dismissed, there were no claims against the defendants or cost of attorney fees in the case. The settlement for the plaintiff was for $250,000, covered by the village insurance company.
The settlement, first reported in The Citizen on Aug. 31, was discussed during the Sept. 9 village council meeting.
Robert Bucko, president of Stevenson Company was on Monday’s council meeting agenda for a summery of the insurance coverage. He did not attend.
“What was in the newspapers was put out by our former administrator’s attorney,” said Shannon McCafferty, village president. “At that point I was contacted by the newspaper and was asked for comment. I was advised to not comment since the case had not been formally closed and not accepted by the judge. It was still potentially pending litigation.”
“It is true our former administrator received a settlement of $250,000,” said McCafferty. “Vick, Barraco, and Light had no say so in the outcome of what that settlement was going to be, it was solely based on the insurance company. They informed the defendants of what was happening. The decisions were made by the insurance company since they were the one with the checkbook.”
“Let’s all rejoice in the fact the village had insurance,” she said. “At $250,000 the number is shocking and alarming. It was surprising to me. But thank God for insurance we only had to pay a deductible. Theoretically, the cost to the village was only $1,000, it was not $250,000. What was put in the paper although true, was completely misleading. The plaintiff’s attorney wants to embellish, but I can’t speak for him. It made it seem the village was putting out $250,000. Not true. The insurance the village carries is for these purposes, people can say things in an act of standing up for something they believe in, (in) a representative capacity. It’s like a notary republic, you have insurance that protects you against a whole litany of things.”
“The work these people do is difficult,” she said. “It’s tough making these decision. We are open in discussing, I’m grateful to be part of this group.”