(MOBILE, Ala.) - One and a half years after a Mobile Police car slammed into his truck, Anthony Croomes is still without settlement money, facing foreclosure, and unable to work.
“I’m dead in the water,” Croomes said. “They haven’t given me nothin’. They haven’t even said sorry, or sent a card.”
An internal investigation found the police officer to be negligent, according to documents obtained by Local 15, but it’s still unclear when, how much, and even if Croomes will be compensated.
“[The officer] lied,” Croomes said. “Said he was on call and all this. He was doin’ sixty in a forty.”
Croomes broke both hips, ruptured his spleen, suffered serious head trauma, and was in a coma after the May 2011 wreck. The hospital bill alone was $122,000, according to Croomes. On top of that, a $16,000 charge for a medical helicopter ride and regular doctor visits that amount to $410 a month.
A construction worker by trade, Croomes still needs crutches to walk and has not been able to work.
“I ain’t never gonna work again,” Croomes said. “I got plates, pins, and screws in my body. Ain’t nobody gonna hire me because of the medication I’m on, and I’m still limpin’ around.”
An attorney for the city said this case could drag on for a long time. A third driver was involved in the wreck, and the attorney told Local 15 there are contradicting stories of what color the light was when the officer plowed into Croomes’ vehicle.
The attorney also said there’s a “cap” on how much settlement money the city can pay out, and the maximum Croomes could possibly get is $100,000, which is much less than his medical bills. Under Alabama law, the attorney said an individual cannot sue for punitive damages.
Croomes said he’s desperate and at the end of his line, and will start seeking donations on the street this weekend.
“Beggin’ like a bum,” Croomes said. “You don’t think that don’t do nothin’ to a man who worked 35 years?”