A Connecticut woman who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) during an accident where a municipal van crashed into her car has received a $2.5 million settlement, according to the Connecticut Law Journal.
Donna Antczak, a 62-year-old Waterford resident, was driving to a BJ’s Wholesale Club the morning of Nov. 16, 201o, when her car was broadsided by a van owned by the town of Waterford, the law journal reported. The driver of the large van, Fred Lathrop, according to a witness, ran a stop sign and hit Antczak’s vehicle.
Lathrop, a surveyor for the municipality, was rushing to a meeting at Town Hall when the accident took place, the law journal reported.
EMTs took Antczak out of her car using the jaws of life, and she was transported — near death — to Yale-New Haven Hospital. Because of her TBI, her brain swelled and physicians had to put her into a medically induced coma for a time. She underwent several surgeries and was in that hospital for nearly a month before being transferred to the Gaylord Rehabilitation Center. She did physical, occupational and speech therapy there, according to the law journal.
Antczak had skull fractures from the accident, and the ones on her left side damaged the nerve that keeps the eye focused. So she developed nerve palsy, the law journal said, in that she had double vision and one of her eyes was turning inward.
Antczak, following therapy, no longer has double vision. But now she is afraid to drive and has not been able to return to work because of her injuries. She was assigned a 20 percent permanent partial disability rating for her TBI, the law journal reported.
Antczak, who has racked up $450,000 in medical bills, had filed suit against Lathrop and the town of Waterford. The lawsuit was filed in New London Superior Court.