Salemi v. Parker, CV095032487, 2012 WL 4747250 (Conn. Super. Ct. Sept. 6, 2012)

In a lawsuit in Superior Court, the plaintiff was awarded $444,663 in damages stemming from a collision going through an intersection. While the defendant admitted to being at fault for causing the accident, the parties hotly contested the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries.

Case Details

The traffic accident occurred in Madison on September 30, 2009, at the intersection of Boston Post Road and Mungertown Road.[1]  The defendant, Luke Parker, who had only had his license for a week before the accident, was attempting to turn left at the intersection.  The plaintiff, Ms. Salemi, testified she was driving between twenty-five and thirty-five miles per hour on Boston Post Road when the defendant suddenly pulled out in front of her, giving her no time to react.  The defendant stated that he knew it was going to be a “close call” but decided nevertheless to attempt to turn in front of the plaintiff’s vehicle which had the right of way on the Boston Post Road.[2]

The accident was a head-on collision between the front of the plaintiff’s car and the left side of the defendant’s car.  The impact of the collision was severe driving the plaintiff’s chest and abdomen into the steering wheel of the car.  The testimony clearly demonstrated that the defendant was solely responsible for the accident.  The plaintiff, who had the right of way, was found to be in no way responsible for the collision.[3]

Following the accident, the plaintiff underwent multiple surgeries including hernia surgery, repair of a rupture of her rectus diastasis, and other abdominal surgery.  On the issue of the plaintiff’s damages, the parties disagreed as to whether the September 30, 2009 accident was the proximate cause of her multiple surgeries and the complications which followed.

The Court’s Decision

While the defendant’s medical expert, Dr. Amodeo, opined that the accident was not a cause of the plaintiff’s abdominal problems and related surgeries, the plaintiff’s medical records indicated multiple complaints of abdominal pains in the weeks following the accident.[4]  Dr. Amodeo conceded on cross-examination that a head-on collision, as opposed to a side-impact, was more likely to cause a hernia.

Based on the evidence, the court found that the September 30, 2009 collision with the defendant caused the plaintiff’s injuries, including the hernia and related surgeries.  The plaintiff proved that her treatments were reasonably necessary and awarded all of the plaintiff’s medical bills in the amount of $114,663.[5]

As to noneconomic damages, the court concluded that as a result of the accident the plaintiff was forced to undergo five invasive medical procedures. Her recovery from the procedures was arduous and difficult requiring daily home assistance and for her to wear drainage bags on her body.  As a result of her severe discomfort, the court further awarded the plaintiff $330,000 in noneconomic damages for a total damage award of $444,663.

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[1] Salemi v. Parker, CV095032487, 2012 WL 4747250 (Conn. Super. Ct. Sept. 6, 2012)                                                [2] Id.

[3] Id.

[4] Id.

[5] Id.