- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - A Cumberland County judge on Wednesday dismissed parts of a lawsuit filed by a retired soldier and his wife in connection with a traffic crash that cost him his legs and part of his right hand.

The Fayetteville Observer reports (http://bit.ly/1Vo5sb2) retired Sgt. Maj. Jeremy Bruns was loading his pickup truck at his house when he was hit in November 2012. Court records showed a Ford Taurus driven by Rhonda Renee Sutton Bryant crossed the center line of a street in a west Fayetteville subdivision. Bruns was standing in his driveway, loading fishing gear into the back of his Toyota Tundra, when Bryant’s car hit him, pinning him between the car and his truck.

Bruns lost two legs above the knee as well as a thumb and a finger on his right hand. Court records showed Rhonda Bryant was drunk and high on cocaine when the car she was driving hit Bruns. She was sentenced to 16 months in prison after pleading guilty to serious injury by vehicle, a felony, and driving left of center. She was released from prison last August.

Superior Court Judge Reuben Young allowed the lawsuit filed last year against Rhonda and Dalton Bryant Sr. to stand. Young dismissed the complaint against the Bryants’ son and the state of North Carolina.

The lawsuit against Dalton Bryant Jr. claimed he vandalized a mailbox at the Bruns’ home and also broke into their home, but the Brunses said they had no evidence that the Dalton Bryant Jr. committed either act.

The Brunses sued the state, saying Rhonda Bryant did not serve enough prison time, and because they would have had to contact 100 county court offices and pay the government at least $2,500 to obtain a statewide criminal record background check of Rhonda Bryant.

Young dismissed the complaint against the state government. He said the Brunses did not show that they had a property interest in dispute and for which the court could grant them relief and that they failed to state a claim for which the court could grant relief. Further, the government has constitutional sovereign immunity from their lawsuit, Young said.

The judge has yet to rule on a request by USAA to be dropped. The Bryants had auto insurance from USAA, which offered the Brunses $60,000. The Brunses sued for more.

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Information from: The Fayetteville Observer, http://www.fayobserver.com

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