School Bus Crash Victims Settle for $6.5 Million

Jul 27 2012

As it appeared in the Connecticut Law Tribune

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Judge’s mediation resolves claims of nine plaintiffs firms

Christian Nolan

The Connecticut Law Tribune

Pratikkumar Parikh v. Autumn Transportation et. al.: A group of Hartford area students who were passengers on a school bus that plummeted down an embankment on Interstate 84 after being struck by another vehicle have settled their legal claims for $6.5 million. . . .

All nine plaintiffs firms and three defense lawyers agreed to take the case to mediation before Superior Court Judge Jonathan E. Silbert last month.

On the first day of mediation, Groher said the judge worked late into the evening, meeting with all of the students and their families individually to get a sense of their demands. On day two, the lawyers got more involved. Before the day was out, the two sides were able to reach a settlement that all the parties could live with.

The $6.5 million settlement will be paid by three different insurance companies for the three defendants. Further details were not released. Defense attorney Philip T. Newbury Jr., of Howd & Ludorf in Hartford, who represented Toppi in the civil suits, said the parties agreed not to reveal how much of the $6.5 million each defendant paid out or what portion of the settlement each individual plaintiff received.

Newbury praised Judge Silbert’s efforts to resolve the lawsuits, calling them “fair settlements.” “The settlement was accomplished largely through the yeoman efforts of Judge Silbert,” said Newbury.

Defense attorney Robert J. Chomiak Jr., of Nuzzo & Roberts in Cheshire, represented Autumn Transportation. And attorney Robert Cassot, of Morrison Mahoney in Hartford, represented Specialty Transportation.

“He just did a great job,” Groher said of the judge. “I can’t speak for everybody but the sentiment in the courtroom, when it all got done, seemed to be very positive.”



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