Fort Bend County Sues Widow of Fallen Deputy

Deputy J.D. Norsworthy died on January 4, 2011 from an on duty vehicle collision.  The pain since for his wife and now 18 year old daughter is unthinkable but what Fort Bend County (TX) is now doing in unbelievable to many.

The family is being sued by the county to recover reimbursement for the medical bill and wages of the fallen deputy.  The lawsuit comes after the deputy’s family settled a lawsuit with the party deemed liable in the crash.

According to the lawsuit, Fort Bend County claimed it “has been deprived” and “is entitled to the first monies paid by any third party.”

They list that amount at approximately $300,000.

The county states that they “have to look to the taxpayers first and protect their money if at all possible.”

Kaitlyn Norsworthy and her mother said they were stunned. Melissa Norsworthy said she and J.D. Norsworthy were to celebrate their 20th anniversary the year he was killed.

The family calls the lawsuit  “disrespectful.”

norsworthyDeputy Norsworthy’s death has inspired a local charity that awards financial assistance to area first responders. To date, more than $300,000 in financial assistance has been given to Fort Bend County Emergency First Responders. Organizers of Behind the Badge Charities also recently announced that it will be awarding academic scholarships amounting to more than $45,000 to eligible dependent children of emergency responders in Fort Bend County this upcoming year.


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  1. Tony Woody

    When a man sacrifices not only all he has, but all he would ever have, in service of community. That community owes him great consideration, and should strive for the unattainable goal of making his family whole. Deputy Norsworthy made just such a sacrifice for the citizenry of Fort Bend. However, in stead of caring for his wife and children, certain elected officials (Judge Hebert) chose to become their adversary, by initiating a law suit against them to recover roughly $300,000. in death and other benefits. Judge Hebert alleges fiscal responsibility to the Fort Bend County tax payer as the primary motivation for the law suit. If that where true? Why is he squandering tax payer resources by hiring a private law firm (PAPPAS & SUCHMA) to prosecute the Norsworthy family, whilst Fort Bend County’s highly paid, tax payer funded County Attorneys Office sits on their hands. Are they unqualified to do the job they are being payed to do? Well then, maybe Judge Hebert should direct them to look into possible artful county administrative actions regarding its self insured workman’s comp fund designed and intended to take advantage of technicalities and the lay who are unschooled in law, for the purpose of deferring or tolling the two year statutes of limitations of the counties claim (i.e. what did county officials know and when did they know it).

  2. j9

    They should sue the liable party as did the widow. NOT the widow!

  3. Susan tucker

    Couty sucks. They need to sue whoever caused accident like family instead of doing it the lazy and disrespectful way they are doing .hope they have their butts handed to them.

  4. Heather M

    That county should be ashamed and disgusted that they would ask that of a family. The fallen officer paid his dues and this is how the county he served pays respect to that service.

  5. Charlie

    Pitiful. They should hang their heads in shame. I am ashamed enough for them.

  6. RBalusek

    the county is right. it would be the same if an insurance company had paid the medical. their attorney should have made that happen up front before any money was awarded to the family.

    • Al

      I am not sure on that. The county should have already been paid by the at fault party. When I had an on duty incident, the at fault party was required to pay my employer for their loss. I could have sued him separately and possibly gotten the money. I say the county was behind the ball in not demanding money themselves and have no right to take from the family.

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