Law firm representing Melquan Robinson's family speaks out after settlement with the city

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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

A lawyer is speaking out about a settlement in the Melquan Robinson case. (Source: WRDW)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The law firm representing Melquan Robinson's family released a statement following the $1.5 million settlement with the city of Augusta.

Family lawyer Rob Register says, in most cases, payment is made by large corporations of insurance companies. However, in Robinson's case, there was no insurance for the loss. Now, the city has agreed to settle for $1.5 million in settlements, which was paid by taxpayers.

Another piece of the settlement is that Augusta parks are fixed to prevent what happened in Robinson's case from happening again. His family has said multiple times they do not want his death to be in vain.

The law firm released the following statement late Wednesday:

“While we firmly believe that employees of Augusta-Richmond County had a ministerial duty to maintain the wiring at Fleming Park in compliance with the National Electric Code, there was a substantial chance that a court could find the decisions as to how and when to do the work were discretionary in nature. If the court found the employees’ actions discretionary, the Robinsons’ lawsuit would be dismissed and they would have recovered nothing for the death of their son.”

“In most cases that we handle, payment is made by large corporations or insurance companies. There was no insurance for this loss. We were mindful that this payment would come from taxpayer dollars. We believe the settlement indicates that Augusta recognizes the need to take responsibility for what went wrong and to continue working diligently to resolve it so that this tragedy never happens again. As Melquan’s family has said all along, no amount of money will bring him back or reverse the tragic circumstances. Yet, by raising awareness about their son’s needless death, the tragedy has served as a catalyst for change.”

To read the entire statement, click here.

The city says they need more information before making changes. Last week, the recreation director told the commission he's still waiting on final recommendations to improve the parks. Now commissioners are hoping a presentation from him can help them make those decisions in the next few weeks.

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