Kelly Reardon (Tom Kutz)
Attorneys for a 31-year-old Ledyard woman and the city of New London have agreed to an $880,000 settlement package in the wake of a rear-end collision that left the woman partially disfigured.
The large payout for Lisa Cantler came after she was rear-ended by New London Police Officer Eric Hulland in March 2014 and was injured. Cantler had three surgeries that included a fusion to her lower back and two related to her neck, according to her attorney, Kelly E. Reardon.
“She has neck and back pain all of the time,” Reardon told the Connecticut Law Tribune Tuesday. “She had scarring from the surgeries, including in the front of her neck.” Cantler, who is a licensed practical nurse, was working for some of the time after the incident “but she has had a hard time holding a job [because of the accident]. It’s affected her work,” said Reardon, of New London-based The Reardon Law Firm.
A 21-page lawsuit was filed in March 2015.
Jury selection in New London Superior Court began Feb. 28, but the two sides wound up settling on March 2. The attorneys at the settlement discussion were Reardon and her father, Robert I. Reardon Jr., who both represented Cantler, and Sean R. Caruthers of Branford-based Milano & Wanat. Caruthers represented New London.
“She is thrilled and very satisfied with the settlement,” Reardon said. “She is pleased to have this all behind her. It was well deserved, as she had been through tough financial times. Hopefully, she can start her life fresh and move forward.”
According to Reardon, the first offer by New London was for $250,000, but Cantler and Reardon turned it down. Reardon said she offered to settle the case for $750,000 in April 2016 but that was declined. As it turned out, the settlement ended up being for $130,000 more.
The money has been dispersed and was paid by CIRMA, the insurance carrier for New London.
Neither Caruthers nor Hulland, who is still employed by the New London Police Department, was available for comment Tuesday. Hulland, Reardon said, was given a ticket by his own department following the incident.