A New York City couple injured when their car was rear-ended on Interstate 95 in Westport in 2013 have settled in mediation for $600,000.
Jorge and Nelvy Agudelo suffered back injuries after their vehicle was hit from behind by a southbound 2009 Toyota driven by Jaromir Kohout, according to a September 2015 lawsuit filed in Stamford Superior Court. Jorge Agudelo had slowed for traffic when Kohout’s vehicle struck them, according to their attorney, Brooke Goff, of the Goff Law Group in Shelton.
Nelvy Agudelo was in the front passenger seat, said Goff, and their 12-year-old son was in the back seat. The son was not injured.
Police cited Kohout for following too closely.
Attorneys for Kohout and his insurance carrier, Amica, settled with Jorge Agudelo for $400,000 and his wife for $200,000. The mediation was resolved March 15. Nelvy Agudelo received her settlement Wednesday and her husband is expected to receive his payment any day.
Goff said Jorge Agudelo was more seriously injured and required surgery following the crash. Eight months prior to the crash, he had suffered a herniated disc in a fall in his home. The crash reportedly exacerbated Agudelo’s existing back pain.
Though he was in discomfort, Agudelo continued working for nearly two years after the crash for a condominium maintenance company in New York City, Goff said, but he was eventually laid off.
Agudelo, now 62, said he is no longer employable due to his injuries.
“We made the argument that even though he continued to work, he was not working at the same capacity,” Goff said. “The company was accommodating him because he had been there 20 years.”
For Nelvy Agudelo, an office manager in her late 50s, the crash exacerbated an existing back and neck condition, Goff added, noting surgery was not required.
Goff and attorney Stephen Murphy Jr. of Milano & Wanat in Branford, who represented Kohout and Amica, participated in mediation sessions in July 2017 and March, 2018. The sessions were overseen by mediator Richard C. Mahoney, managing partner at Kenny, Brimmer & Mahoney in Wethersfield.
Murphy, who declined to comment Friday, initially offered $50,000 to Nelvy Agudelo and $125,000 to Jorge, Goff said. Goff’s initial demand was $375,000 and $750,000, respectively. If an agreement had not been reached, trial was expected to begin May 1.