Stamford personal injury car accident attorney Peter Rotatori, III of The Rotatori Law Firm recently successfully settled a drunk driving car accident and dram shop liability case for an aggregate settlement of $98,000.00 after multiple suits were filed on behalf of the injured plaintiff in the Waterbury Superior Court. The plaintiff was a Southbury, Connecticut housewife. Her automobile was forced off of Bucks Hill Road in Southbury, Connecticut by a drunk driver from Roxbury, Connecticut. The defendant operator had been drinking at a Southford, Connecticut bar and restaurant. The defendant operator and owner drove his Ford 350 pickup truck over the center line forcing the plaintiff off the roadway. The defendant then fled the seen of the accident. He was followed home to Roxbury, Connecticut by a witness to the accident who called 911. The Connecticut State Police were dispatched to the defendant's home in Roxbury. The defendant was taken into custody at his home and brought to the Southbury police department were he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. The defendant refused to take a breathalyzer test. He also flunked field sobriety tests.
The plaintiff's motor vehicle, an SUV, sustained both front air bag deployment and spider windshield fractures. The defendant's pickup truck had minor tail gate damage. The plaintiff's personal injuries included cervical strain, cervical intervetebral disc syndrome, headaches, low back strain and tinnitus.The plaintiff was assigned a five percent impairment of her cervical spine and a five percent impairment of her low back by chiropractic physician Dr. Steven Levy of Woodbury, Connecticut. The plaintiff also treated with Dr. Jan Mashman, a Danbury neurologist. Both physicians provided the plaintiff operator with excellent chiropractic and medical care. The plaintiff housewife had no significant priors.
The Rotatori Law Firm sued both the defendant operator and owner for common law negligence and DUI treble exemplary damages under Connecticut General Statute 14-295. We then sued the bar and restaurant under the Connecticut Dram Shop statute after serving all proper Dram Shop statutory notices against the liquor establishment, the backer and the permittee. In his deposition in the negligence case, the Roxbury defendant operator exercised his right under the Fifth Amendment to not incriminate himself with a pending DUI criminal case. This testimony potentially would have been admissable by way of admission in the dram shop case at trial as "pleading the fifth" can result in the drawing of an adverse inference by the fact finder in a civil case. Both cases settled after depositions.