A Glastonbury public works employee who was struck by a motorist in April 2015 while directing traffic in a construction zone settled a case for $850,000.
James DeVaux, 61, of East Hartford, suffered fractured ribs, a concussion and leg injuries requiring surgery, according to his attorney, John J. Houlihan Jr of RisCassi & Davis in Hartford. A lawsuit was filed in June 2015 in Hartford Superior Court.
DeVaux was directing traffic near the intersection of Main and Hubbard streets when he was struck by a 2004 Chevrolet Impala driven by Leslie Kendall, the lawsuit stated.
Kendall claimed he had been blinded by the sun, but Houlihan challenged testimony of the defendant, who was cited for failure to exercise reasonable care.
“I think it was just a driver that was unfortunately confused,” Houlihan said. “I had some questions about him being blinded by the sun. If you are blinded by the sun, you are supposed to stop driving instead of continuing.” Houlihan added that “there was no real reason not to have seen all of the construction activity.”
The case was settled in early December following an unsuccessful mediation session in June 2016 with Windham Superior Court Judge Michael Reilly supervising. Houlihan sought about $1.2 million in the mediation, and the defense’s first settlement offer was $250,000.
Attorney Peter Barrett of Markey/Barrett in Windsor represented the defendant’s insurance carrier, National Grange Mutual Insurance. He did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
Houlihan said DeVaux underwent surgery to place a rod into his left tibia. Two additional surgical procedures followed, resulting in $179,000 in incurred medical expenses.
DeVaux has not returned to full-time work since the accident nearly three years ago, Houlihan said, but is expected to return to duty this summer.