In Smith v. Errera, NNHCV126031635S, 2012 WL 5447904 (Conn. Super. Ct. Oct. 12, 2012), a lawsuit before the Connecticut Superior Court, the plaintiff, a 16-year-old student at Amity Regional High School, received a judgment of $267,745 for damages sustained from an accident where the defendant’s vehicle collided with her while she was riding her horse.
On September 16, 2011, the vehicle of the defendant, Calude Errera, collided with the plaintiff, who was riding her horse, “Honey,” on Fairwood Road at its intersection with Deerfield Lane in Bethany, Connecticut. The vehicle operated by the defendant crossed the centerline of the road and struck the plaintiff’s horse, causing the plaintiff to be thrown to the road surface.
The plaintiff, who was a high school student, had plans of becoming an equine veterinarian. As a result of the collision, she suffered physical injuries to both of her hands, including a fractured wrist, as well as, a head injury causing frequent migraines and damaged vision. The damages to the plaintiff’s vision made it difficult for her to see the blackboard in her classes, requiring her to wear glasses. In addition to physical damages, the plaintiff claims emotional trauma as a result of witnessing the fatal injuries to her horse, whom she described as her best friend.
Based on the police report and the parties’ testimony the court found that the defendant was solely liable for causing the accident and no contributory negligence on the part of the plaintiff.
The court awarded her $17,745 in past economic damages, the sum of her reported medical bills, and $250,000 in non-economic damages for a total award of $267,745.
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