Norwich truck driver receives settlement for 2017 crash in Colchester

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A Norwich truck driver who was injured after the tractor-trailer he was driving was forced off the road by a pickup truck with unsafe tires has received a $250,000 settlement.

Edward Johnson, 63, of Norwich, who had been a truck driver for more than 20 years, was employed by Wernicki Trucking and was driving a tractor-trailer to Hartford on July 7, 2017, according to his attorney, Dale P. Faulkner of New London.

Johnson was driving west on Route 2 when Brendan Callis, 20, of Amston, driving a Ford Ranger, tried to merge onto the highway via Exit 17. It was raining, and Callis lost control of his truck due to what state police determined were unsafe, worn tires and struck Johnson's tractor-trailer, forcing it off the road. Callis was issued a verbal warning for unsafe tires and a misdemeanor summons for reckless driving.

Johnson suffered neck and back injuries that have prevented him from returning to work. He was judged totally disabled and is receiving Social Security benefits, according to a news release issued by Faulkner.

Callis' vehicle was ensured by Liberty Mutual and had a policy limit of $250,000. The law firm of Meehan, Roberts, Turret & Rosenbaum represented Liberty Mutual in a lawsuit that was filed in New London Superior Court.  

Faulkner said he negotiated directly with a Liberty Mutual adjuster and rejected an initial settlement offer of $119,000. Once the insurer was shown that Social Security had recognized the extent of Johnson's injuries, it agreed to pay the full policy amount. Faulkner said his client had received more than $100,000 in workers compensation benefits, and the insurer agreed to waive its claim for reimbursement of the workers compensation benefits if Johnson closed out his claim. That part of the case was approved by Workers Compensation Commissioner Pedro Segarra on July 17, and Johnson received the proceeds on July 18.

Johnson also was represented by attorney Martin Rutchik.



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