Sarah Cormier’s car after it was struck by a car driven by Sheikh Ilyas. Cormier recently settled with Ilyas and another driver involved in the accident for $200,000. (Courtesy photo)
A 62-year-old Danbury woman injured in a car accident on her way to the post office in July 2014 has received a $200,000 settlement.
Sarah Cormier’s Pontiac was struck by an Acura driven by Sheikh Ilyas after she parked her car and unbuckled her seat belt, according to her attorney, Mark Kochanowicz, an associate with Trantolo & Trantolo in Waterbury.
“Before she even had a chance to open her door, she heard a bang and felt the impact,” Kochanowicz said.
The impact caused contusions to Cormier’s face and injured her right knee, which required a procedure to repair the meniscus, Kochanowicz said. Cormier currently has a 6 percent disability to her right knee.
The 10-page lawsuit, filed in Danbury Superior Court in September 2016, states Ilyas’ vehicle collided with a 2003 Dodge driven by Anthony Cardone. The impact propelled Ilyas’ vehicle into Cormier’s car, which was in a parallel parking spot on Main Street.
According to Kochanowicz, Cardone and Ilyas blamed each other for the accident.
“Cardone was heading southbound on Main Street attempting to turn left on Keeler Street,” Kochanowicz said. “Meanwhile, Ilyas was proceeding northbound on Main Street through the intersection with Keeler. Cardone claims he had the green arrow and proceeded to turn left while Ilyas claimed he had the green light and was proceeding through the intersection. That is when the two cars collided, with Ilyas’ vehicle veering off to the right and striking the rear of Cormier’s vehicle.”
Kochanowicz called the incident “a he said-he said” case and neither Cardone nor Ilyas were cited by police.
Cormier’s $200,000 settlement will be split by each drivers’ insurance provider.
Kochanowicz settled with Ilyas and Nationwide Insurance June 21 and with Cardone and Travelers Insurance July 18.
Kochanowicz said his client spent about $28,000 on medical bills and missed some time off from work. Cormier is self-employed and owns a flooring and installation company in Danbury.
“She did allege that her profitability of the business was negatively affected by the accident,” Kochanowicz said. It’s not clear how much money Cormier’s business lost.
“It [the settlement] was a compromise and, I think, if Mr. Ilyas did not accept the offer in late June, then we would probably have tried it and let a jury determine the damages,” Kochanowicz said. The trial was set to begin Aug. 29 in Danbury Superior Court.
Ilyas was represented by Rene Martineau, an associate with the Law Office of John P. Calabrese in Rocky Hill. Martineau declined to comment Friday.
Cardone was represented by Talaiya Buffaloe, an attorney with the Law Office of Cynthia Garraty in Hamden. Buffaloe also declined to comment.