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Waterford settles woman's crash lawsuit for $2.5 million

By Johanna Somers

Publication: theday.com

Published July 22. 2013 2:00PM   Updated July 23. 2013 12:00AM

Waterford — The town on Friday settled a lawsuit for $2.5 million with a Waterford woman who survived a vehicle collision with a town employee nearly three years ago.

On Nov. 16, 2010, Waterford Utility Commission employee Fred Lathrop drove a town van through a red light at the intersection of Waterford Parkway North and Cross Road and collided with Donna Antczak, according to a press release from Antczak’s attorney.

Antczak had to be removed from her vehicle and taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where she spent 25 days being treated for multiple injuries including skull, pelvic and spinal fractures, according to the release.

“She sustained several fractures to her skull, basically causing mild traumatic brain injury,” said attorney Joseph M. Barnes, of The Reardon Law Firm in New London.

She resigned from her position at the Lawrence Memorial Credit Union after the accident, and it will be three to four more years before Antczak, 62, might be able to work again, Barnes said on Monday.

A large portion of the $2.5 million settlement will go to medical bills, which he said were $450,000 to $500,000.

Both Lathrop and the town were defendants in the lawsuit.

The case was originally filed in New London Superior Court. After depositions from Lathrop, Antczak and town personnel, an agreement was made to enter into mediation with Hartford Superior Court Judge Antonio Robaina, according to the release. After two mediation sessions, the town’s insurance company, Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency, agreed to pay the settlement.

“It was pretty clear from police and witnesses that he ran the red light and she did nothing wrong,” Barnes said. “And given the nature and severity of injuries and the difficult fact that she lost her job, they just realized the case needed to be settled.”

First Selectman Dan Steward said he had no comment on the case.

j.somers@theday.com

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