A 58-year-old Woodbury woman who suffered injuries to her spleen, liver and kidney following a two-car collision in Middlebury in April 2018 has settled her case for $1.9 million.
According to a September 2018 lawsuit filed in Waterbury Superior Court, Christina Robinson’s BMW smashed into the passenger side of a tan Toyota Corolla that plaintiff Loreta Vaichus was driving.
Robinson, who had just left the Woodbury-based Good News Cafe, where she worked as a waitress, was killed instantly. The accident occurred on Spring Road in Middlebury and both cars were totaled.
Robinson, the lawsuit said, was traveling east on Middlebury Road near the Spring Road intersection when, without warning, she entered the westbound lane and collided with Vaichus’ vehicle.
Garrett Moore Jr., Vaichus’ Middlebury-based attorney, sued the restaurant and bar, claiming negligence.
“Ms. Robinson, who worked the evening shift, stayed a while after her shift and drank. That is our understanding,” said Moore, a partner with Moore, O’Brien & Foti. “She was intoxicated when she left, and this was the negligent supervision of an employee. We assume she drank at the bar.”
Moore said the eatery should “not allow employees to drink after hours, after their shift is completed. Once they are done, they should leave the establishment.”
Police reports indicate Robinson had both traces of marijuana in her system and had a blood alcohol level of 0.16. The legal limit in Connecticut is 0.08.
The case settled June 3 after Moore negotiated with Good News Cafe attorney Alan Tobin, of Wallingford-based Meehan, Roberts, Turret & Rosenbaum.
Tobin did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday, but defense pleadings denied Robinson was provided alcohol at her place of business. It also denied Robinson was negligent.
Meanwhile, Moore said the impact of the crash caused serious injury to his client, who had her spleen removed and had damage to her kidney and liver. Also, Moore said, his client, who was wearing a seat belt and driving alone, suffered bleeding of the brain and fractures of her left arm, left wrist, ribs and pelvis.
The settlement discussions, Moore said, lasted several months. The defense’s first offer was $250,000, while Moore’s initial demand was for $2 million. The money, Moore said, will be disbursed later this month and will be paid via Liberty Mutual Group, the insurance carrier of the eatery.
“My client is very happy to put this behind her,” said Moore, who called the settlement “very fair.”
Vaichus missed several months at her job as a driving instructor, but her health has since improved, her attorney said.
Moore said, “She still has some aches and pains in the pelvic area, but otherwise has made a great recovery.”