Attorneys for a 63-year-old East Berlin woman with pre-existing conditions exacerbated in a head-on collision in 2014 have settled the case for $250,000.
Sebastiana Marchese’s 2004 Mercedes-Benz was totaled after she was struck head-on by a 2000 Chevrolet that was trying to make a left-hand turn, according to Manny Cicchiello, Marchese’s attorney. Both drivers, who were wearing seat belts, were rushed to the hospital.
A lawsuit was filed in May 2016 in New Britain Superior Court.
The incident occurred at the four-way intersection with Middletown Road and Berlin Street. According to Cicchiello, a partner with Cicchiello & Cicchiello in Hartford, his client had a green light and was going westbound through the intersection when she was struck by Ann Sencio, who was going eastbound. Sencio attempted to make a left turn onto Berlin Street but struck Marchese’s vehicle, Cicchiello said. Sencio had a green light, but not the green arrow for a protected left turn.
Sencio was cited for failure to grant the right-of-way at an intersection, Cicchiello said.
Marchese had successful surgery on her left elbow and right knee surgery, but still has lingering back pain, Cicchiello said.
The two parties settled the case Jan. 29 after mediation with Lawrence Connelli, managing partner with Regnier, Taylor, Curran & Eddy in Hartford. Initially, Harold St. Juste, with the Law Offices of Cynthia Garraty, who represented Traveler’s Insurance, made an offer of $75,000. Cicchiello said he originally sought $300,000, the policy limit on Sencio’s vehicle.
After a few hours of going back and forth, the attorneys agreed on $250,000, Cicchiello said.
The initial defense argument was that Marchese had pre-existing wrist and arm injuries.
“She was on disability since the 1990s due to those injuries,” Cicchiello said of her pre-existing conditions. “They argued the injuries were pre-existing and I maintained she was doing well prior to the accident and that the injuries were exacerbated because of the accident.”
Marchese spent about $119,000 on medical care, all of which was paid by insurance.
“My client is thrilled with the settlement,” Cicchiello said. “A trial would have been stressful for her and she was not excited about the prospect of telling her story in an open courtroom.”
St. Juste did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.