Attorneys for a Bozrah man have secured a $350,000 settlement following a car accident that caused injuries requiring neck and nerve surgery.
Samuel Richardson’s neck was “jolted” when the car he was driving was sideswiped on the passenger side by a car driven by Deon Vogel in Norwich on Jan. 14, 2013, according to Dan Beebe, his attorney. A lawsuit was filed in New London Superior Court in December 2014.
The case was made more complicated, Beebe said, because Richardson had been involved in a car accident 11 days before the second crash, in which he was rear-ended. Neither accident was considered Richardson’s fault, and he was not cited by police in either case, said Beebe, an associate with Beebe & O’Neil in Norwich.
While Richardson hurt his neck in the Jan. 3, 2013, accident, it was the second accident that two orthopedic surgeons said was far more severe, Beebe said. Richardson settled the Jan. 3, 2013, accident for $50,000 in May 2017.
In a letter dated Sept. 18, a day before mediation, a Connecticut-based orthopedic surgeon wrote: “It is my opinion, based on reasonable medical certainty, that the second accident was the more significant of the two.” Beebe declined to identify the surgeon who wrote the letter.
Richardson, 45, underwent an unsuccessful neck fusion in August 2013 and nerve surgery in March 2016. The nerve surgery, Beebe said, involved moving around nerves in his right arm to deal with neuropathy in that arm.
Beebe said Richardson “had a failed fusion and is in poor condition. He is in constant pain and additional surgery is recommended.” Beebe said his client “does not want to go under the knife again and is bearing and living with it.”
Opposing sides were far apart when the 4½-hour mediation began Sept. 19, Beebe said. Beebe originally sought $750,000 for his client while the Liberty Mutual attorney’s first offer was $100,000. Liberty Mutual was the carrier for Franklin Street Enterprises, owner of Vogel’s vehicle. Vogel’s family owns Franklin Street Enterprises. Both sides eventually agreed on $350,000. The case was mediated before Senior Judge Robert Martin in New London Superior Court. The money was disbursed Monday.
To date, Richardson had incurred $123,563 in medical expenses, Beebe said.
Liberty Mutual was represented by Patrice Noah, an attorney with Meehan, Roberts, Turret & Rosenbaum in Wallingford. Noah declined to comment Wednesday.
Trial had been scheduled to begin Nov. 1.