Connecticut Appellate Court Affirms $256,000 Automobile Injury Award
In a Connecticut Appellate Court decision, the Court affirmed a $256,058 damaged award to young woman who had been injured in an automobile accident.
The AccidentOn July 16, 2007, Laura Cima's vehicle was struck by an automobile driven by Stephan Sorbo, who failed to stop at a stop sign at an intersection. This caused Sorbo to broad-side Cima's vehicle on the passenger side where she was sitting. The vehicle driven by Sorbo was owned by Nicholas Sciaretta and loaned to Sorbo by Sciaretta's son, Eric.
The InjuriesUpon impact, the air bags were deployed in Cima's vehicle, injuring her head, arm, knee, and lower back as a result. At the time of the accident, Cima was an actively involved college student and cheerleader. After the accident, however, Cima was forced to alter her lifestyle significantly as she underwent years of treatment for the injuries sustained in the accident.
The OutcomeIn trial, the defendants did not dispute that Sorbo failed to stop at the stop sign or that Cima was injured as a result. Rather, the jury affirmatively confirmed that Nicholas Sciaretta had given his son, Eric Sciaretta, authority without restrictions to use the family vehicle. The jury also confirmed that Eric Sciaretta gave permission to Stephen Sorbo to operate the vehicle. Thus, citing the family car doctrine, Stephen Sorbo's negligence was imputed to Nicholas Sciaretta, the owner of the vehicle.
The jury entered the verdict in favor of the plaintiff, Laura Cima, in the amount of $256,058.56.