Ryan Miller, a partner in Rosenberg, Miller, Hite & Morilla in Stratford, Connecticut. (Courtesy photo)
A Long Island woman who had neck surgery after slipping on a piece of cardboard at a Starbucks inside a Connecticut casino has settled her injury case for $240,000.
In addition to a neck injury, 59-year-old Theresa Tedesco suffered a herniated disc, rotator cuff tendonitis, right arm pain, shoulder pain and had difficulty sleeping following the December 2012 incident inside the Mohegan Sun, according to her attorney, Ryan Miller.
“She described it as slipping on a banana peel,” said Miller, a partner with Rosenberg, Miller, Hite & Morilla in Stratford. “What looked like a rug at the entrance was actually a piece of cardboard upside down.”
The lawsuit was filed in New London Superior Court in September 2014.
The Starbucks was privately owned by California-based Gordon Retail Concepts, whose insurance carrier paid the settlement. If the incident occurred a few feet away — outside of the Starbucks and within the casino — Miller said tribal law would have been triggered.
The two sides agreed to the settlement following four hours of private mediation on Aug. 2. The two sides were far apart before the mediation, Miller said.
“Going into mediation, they were only at $30,000 to $50,000,” said Miller, who added “we were pushing the boundaries and we were [asking] at like $500,000 to start.”
Miller said he felt comfortable recommending $240,000 to his client. “I never recommend to my clients to settle for anything I do not think is reasonable,” he said.
The settlement was reached a couple of weeks before the start of trial, said Miller, who noted his client was “very believable at deposition” in describing how the accident occurred.
Tedesco’s neck has felt better since the surgery, but she still has shoulder pain, Miller said.
Tedesco had nearly $60,000 in medical expenses, Miller said.
Tedesco received the money this month from Selective Insurance Co. of America.
Gina Galulo, an attorney with the Law Offices of Jeffery Apuzzo in Farmington, represented Selective. Galulo wasn’t available for comment Monday.