Garien H. "Gary" Wycoff, the contractor known for his highly publicized legal battle with Joseph D. Morrissey, has died at age 52.

Wycoff was in poor health and died Feb. 13, about a week after he underwent orthopedic surgery, said his attorney, Thomas H. Roberts.

"Gary was very much dedicated to his family -- his wife, mother, sister and brother," Roberts said. "It was fortunate [that] prior to his death, he had gone on a cruise with his family and enjoyed some quality time with them."

Wycoff, who worked many years with Hughes Aircraft and more recently as a general contractor, became known locally after a highly publicized fight with Morrissey, a former Richmond commonwealth's attorney who was elected to the House of Delegates in 2007.

During an altercation with Morrissey in 1999 over contracting work, Wycoff suffered a broken nose and a deep cut over his left eye. He sued Morrissey for assault and battery, and a jury awarded Wycoff more than $1 million. A court reduced it to $390,000 in 2002, but with interest and costs, the amount grew to $544,000 by June 2007.

After collecting little of the money, Wycoff sued Morrissey again in 2005. The case was finally resolved in August 2007, with Wycoff collecting at least $390,000, according to a certificate of satisfaction filed in Henrico County Circuit Court.

After nearly a decade of litigation, the dispute formally ended with a dismissal order dated Jan. 11, 2008.

A funeral was held yesterday at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Bon Air. Burial followed at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Richmond.

Contact Mark Bowes at (804) 649-6450 or

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