Woman Settles For $225,000 After ATV Accident

, The Connecticut Law Tribune

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Lawrence Sgrignari
Lawrence Sgrignari

Leanne Hellyar v. James Crowley, et al.: A woman who broke her foot and collarbone after getting hit by an all-terrain vehicle at a party has settled her lawsuit for $225,000.

On September 4, 2010, Leanne Hellyar, 34, of New Haven, attended a large Labor Day party at a private residence owned by KMR Holding Company LLC, which is located in the Quaker Farms section of Oxford. The sole members of KMR Holding Company, Marc and Kimberly Reynolds, live on the property and also maintain a veterinary practice there.

The party, which had become an annual tradition, included an admission charge to cover the cost of food, drinks and entertainment.

Hellyar's lawyer, Lawrence C. Sgrignari, of Gesmonde, Pietrosimone & Sgrignari in Hamden, said there were about 100 people at the 2010 party. Sgrignari said the Labor Day party had started years earlier as a small get-together for friends and family and became a bigger and bigger event as time passed.

Sgrignari said the guests parked in a large field in the rear of the property and could camp out there overnight if they did not want to drive home after the festivities. "Food, music and games, it was your normal party fare," said Sgrignari.

Sgrignari said some guests brought ATVs to ride in the field.

A friend invited Hellyar to the party and she arrived at approximately 6:30 p.m. Roughly an hour later, according to Sgrignari, Hellyar was standing in the open field next to some parked vehicles when she was struck by an ATV owned by the Reynolds and driven by another guest, James Crowley.

Crowley was operating the ATV at an excessive speed and lost control of the vehicle, Sgrignari said. The lawyer noted that although Crowley had consumed alcohol, his blood-alcohol content was well below the legal limit of intoxication at the time of the incident.

Hellyar suffered a right clavicle (or collarbone) fracture, a broken left foot and a laceration to her left calf. The latter required 16 stitches, Sgrignari said.

As a result of her injuries, Hellyar incurred $25,000 in medical expenses. It was also estimated that she would have a future expense of $7,500 to address the scar on her left calf. Hellyar, who was employed as a social worker at the time of the accident, did not incur any lost wages. "Her physical injuries healed pretty well," said Sgrignari. "The only ongoing difficulty is that she had a rather unsightly scar on her calf that the surgeon said she would benefit from some scar revision. Beyond that, she's doing very well."

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