Angela in the News

Deputy struck on roadside in 98 gets $1.25 million settlement

Waukesha Freeman
By ANNE E. SCHWARTZ Senior Staff Writer

WAUKESHA On a horrible November night in 1998, Mike Doud's doctors were talking amputation for the veteran sheriff's deputy. But nearly four years and four painful surgeries later, Doud finally has some good news -- a settlement for $1.25 million from the in insurance company of the driver who hit him as he was making an arrest alongside Interstate 94 on Nov. 24, 1998.

Doud was handcuffing a suspect between the man's vehicle and his squad car that November night when a man driving down I-94 rear-ended the squad, catapulting the deputy into the air and into a nearby ditch. Alcohol was not a factor, investigators found.
 

Those officers who responded first to the scene were sure their colleague was dead or at least doomed not to survive the night. Later, doctors told him he'd never go back to work. No one who was there can forget it. Doud won't either; the date is tattooed on his upper left arm.

It's not that he's ungrateful for the money, it's just not one of the really important things anymore.

"I don't worry about anything anymore," Doud told the Freeman. "I don't worry about money, and not because of the settlement.

"I used to stress about everything. But that night I was lying in a hospital bed and they're talking amputation of my leg and I don't know if I'm going to return to work or if anything will ever be normal. Now we can carry through on some dreams," Doud said as he held his wife Heather's hand, his voice still catching as he told the story four years later.

But the Douds are not new millionaires. There are bills to be paid, lots of them: $427,000 to the lawyers, $125,000 to the county's workers' compensation insurance carrier for reimbursement of Doud's medical expenses, and the looming dark cloud of future medical expenses, which, Doud said, are inevitable.

"I'm in pain all the time," he said. "It never goes away."

The same resolve Doud used to return to the road a year after the incident is the same one that keeps him on the job today. He's a cop's cop, not the kind of guy who retires at 42 after 11 years doing a job he loves. And he works with the other woman in his life, Molly, his black Labrador retriever and one of the county's top drug-sniffing dogs. He can't imagine it any other way.

"What is unique about this case is Mike," his attorney, M. Angela Dentice, said. "He was given the chance to take early retirement due to his extensive injury and he has chosen to stay and subject himself to further injury because of his devotion to the community."

(Anne E. Schwartz can be reached at mailto:aschwartz@conleynet.com )

 

 

 

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