The young daughter of a 23-year-old Palm Coast man who was killed while riding his motorcycle has been awarded a $1 million verdict by a jury in Florida. The jury award was part of $2.8 million in total damages returned to the survivors of Brian Heikkila, who died when a car struck his motorcycle on May 30, 2007, on a city street in Daytona Beach. Heikkila, who worked as a manager for Walmart, was riding his motorcycle near Halifax Health Medical Center. A Ford Mustang driven by Michael Hemphill, who failed to yield the right of way, collided with Heikkila, resulting in his death. The suit sought damages for pain, suffering and mental anguish.
In addition to $1 million awarded to Heikkila’s five-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. Heikkila, who was from Georgia, moved to the area in 2005. He enjoyed skateboarding, the outdoors and was a member of Tomoka Christian Church, his family said. David Sweat, a lawyer from Athens, Ga., represented the Plaintiffs and did a very good job.
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