A woman who suffered a traumatic brain injury when she was struck by an ambulance in a crosswalk agreed to a $1.75 million settlement in her Essex County suit, Cole v. Atlantic Health Ambulance Corp., on Aug. 13.
Laura Cole, now 48, was in the crosswalk at Summit and Springfield avenues in Summit on April 14, 2016, when she was struck by an off-duty ambulance belonging to Atlantic Health Ambulance Corp. Cole’s forehead was struck by a large rearview mirror on the left side of the ambulance, and then her head struck the pavement, said her attorney, John “Jack” Hoyt of Hoyt & Hoyt in Morristown.
She suffered a traumatic brain injury and a torn rotator cuff. The ambulance driver said she did not see Cole, Hoyt said.
Cole underwent surgery on her rotator cuff and rehabilitation at Kessler Institute. She is left with short-term memory problems and has trouble with multi-tasking, she claimed. She previously was a project manager at Celgene Pharmaceuticals, but could not continue in that job, and now works at Home Depot, watering plants, resulting in a “huge loss of income,” Hoyt said.
The defendant stipulated to liability, but its experts said Cole’s symptoms might not have resulted from the accident, according to Hoyt.
The settlement was reached after mediation with Daniel Mecca, a former Superior Court judge now with The Mecca Law Firm in Paramus.
Lynn Hershkovits-Goldberg of Viscomi & Lyons in Morristown, who represented Atlantic Health Ambulance Corp., declined to comment.
The defendant’s insurance carrier was Liberty Mutual.
— Charles Toutant
Stetz v. Dersovitz: In a Middlesex County suit, an Iselin man is to receive $1 million as compensation for injuries he sustained when his car was struck head-on by another.
Plaintiff Daniel Stetz, now 50, agreed to the settlement on Aug. 21 with IDS Property and Casualty Insurance Co., the carrier for defendant Gil Dersovitz of Highland Park, said Stetz’s attorney, Raymond Gill.
The case settled after mediation with retired Superior Judge Nicholas Stroumtsos, who heads a mediation firm in Roseland, according to Gill, of Gill & Chamas in Woodbridge.
Stetz was injured on Feb. 15, 2016, as he was driving on Woodbridge Avenue in Edison, Gill said.
Dersovitz was traveling in the opposite direction at what the lawsuit alleged was excessive speed when he lost control of his car in snowy, icy conditions. Dersovitz’s car jumped the median and struck Stetz’s car head-on, Gill said.
As a result of the accident, Stetz sustained herniated discs, and a torn tendon in his right shoulder, Gill said. Stetz underwent a discectomy and two surgeries to his shoulder, and had epidural injections, the suit claimed.
Stetz is employed at his family business, which is an appliance sales and service company. However, Gill said, he no longer is able to able to work repairing appliances and is now largely confined to performing office work.
IDS retained Arnold Gerst of the Weiner Law Firm in Parsippany. Gerst did not return a call about the case.
The lawsuit was filed in Middlesex County. No trial date had been set, Gill said.
— Michael Booth