Emanuele Manny Cicchiello ()
Attorneys for a 48-year-old Wethersfield man who suffered injuries that required surgery following a November 2013 car crash have agreed on a $425,000 settlement. The injured driver has also received $240,000 in workers’ compensation because he had been driving a company vehicle. The workers’ compensation claim remains open.
Christopher Bachteler’s vehicle was struck by a vehicle driven by Andrew Orvis, who was allegedly careless and negligent when backing out of his driveway, according to the eight-page amended lawsuit. The lawsuit, which was filed in Hartford Superior Court in October 2014, maintains Orvis failed to yield the right of way, backed his car out when it was not safe to do so and failed to ensure traffic was clear.
At the time of the accident, Bachteler was working for Andover-based Benjamin Franklin Plumbing in a company car.
He said he has suffered back pain, herniated discs and loss of feeling in his right leg, according to his attorney, Manny R. Cicchiello, a partner/owner with Cicchiello & Cicchiello in Hartford.
Cicchiello said Monday Bachteler’s first surgery was a fusion to the lower back. But, he said, “The fusion is not fusing properly. He now needs to get a 360 fusion, which means they will cut open from the front and back and fuse the front and back of the spine.” That surgery will take place soon, Cicchiello said.
Bachteler performed light duty for about a month following the accident but said because of the pain has not worked since, Cicchiello said.
Trial in the case was scheduled for July 25, but the two sides were able to reach an agreement in mediation with retired Judge Elaine Gordon. The settlement was finalized on June 9. Bachteler was paid via Continental Western Insurance Co., the carrier for Orvis.
Cicchiello said his client was “relieved and thrilled at the same time” when the settlement was reached. “He was emotional,” Cicchiello said. “He is a very likable guy and was very active prior to the accident. The accident pretty much made him inactive and unable to work.”
In addition to being unable to work, Cicchiello said Bachteler also started to develop depression and anxiety due to the incident. He is being treated for both, Cicchiello said.
To date, Cicchiello said, his client’s medical expenses have totaled $166,675.
Orvis and the insurance carrier were represented by Royce L. Vehslage, a partner with Vehslage & Lahr in Wethersfield. Vehslage said Monday, “I think, given the facts of the case, it was a fair settlement. Manny did a good job for his client.”