Attorneys for a South Windsor man who suffered neck and back injuries after a driver rear-ended the Ford Fusion he was driving, causing a four-car collision in Newington, have settled the case for $480,000.
His lawyers said Scott Mumley, 45, was traveling on business for an area insurance company in May 2015 when Carmela Cruz, who was driving a Dodge caravan, rear-ended his car on the Budney Road portion of the Berlin Turnpike. The impact of the crash caused Mumley’s vehicle to smash into the car in front of it, causing the chain-reaction collision, according to Trantolo & Trantolo trial lawyer Ron Etemi, Mumley’s attorney.
Cruz got a traffic ticket for following too closely. Mumley filed a lawsuit in Hartford Superior Court in November 2016.
Etemi said the litigation involved a workers’ compensation component, since Mumley was on the job during the time of the crash. Mumley’s employer, whom Etemi declined to name, paid about $174,000 in medical expenses, as well as lost wages.
Mumley had neck surgery in July 2015 and back surgery in 2016, and missed several weeks of work as a result, Etemi said. His lawyer and attorneys for Valley Forge Insurance Co. met for two hours May 29 with Hartford Superior Court Judge Susan Cobb for a trial management conference.
“After long negotiations, $480,000 was their offer,” Etemi said Thursday. “It was a great result given the policy limit reduction and the collateral source reductions.”
Mumley had an underinsured motorist policy with Valley Forge for $1 million. But because of the workers’ compensation costs and lost wages, the most he could have received from the policy was about $800,000, Etemi said. Mumley also previously received the $20,000 limit from Cruz’s carrier, Dairyland Insurance Co.
Etemi said the trial management conference was cordial and not confrontational because of the professionalism of both Cobb and Timothy Hauburger, attorney for Valley Forge. “Timothy is an exceptional lawyer and great to work with and the judge was very pragmatic. It’s important for the bar to know that.”
Hauburger, of the Glastonbury-based Law Office of Cynthia A. Jaworski, declined to comment Thursday. In court papers, the defense said it was up to the plaintiff’s team to prove that Cruz caused the injuries to Mumley.
Etemi said there were no significant obstacles in representing Mumley and said his client “has some limitations to his neck and back, but overall, has made a great recovery.”