Executive Gets $1.2 Million In Workers' Comp Settlement

, The Connecticut Law Tribune

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Amy Thornton v. Pitney Bowes Inc. & Indemnity Insurance Company of North America: A woman who suffered a fractured skull in an accident on her way to the airport for a business trip has recovered $1.2 million in a workers' compensation settlement with her employer.

Amy Thornton, 45, of Fairfield, was heading south on the Merritt Parkway in Norwalk at 4:30 a.m. on Jan. 15, 2008, when she lost control of her vehicle on the icy road and hit a guardrail. According to Thornton's lawyer, Lawrence "Larry" Sgrignari of Gesmonde, Pietrosimone & Sgrignari in Hamden, Thornton got out of her car and called for roadside assistance.

That's when another driver, William Dohme Jr. of Westport, slid on the same patch of ice, lost control of his vehicle and smashed into Thornton. Thornton was first taken to Norwalk Hospital and later transferred to Bridgeport Hospital due to the severity of her injuries, according to Sgrignari.

Thornton was ultimately diagnosed with a fractured skull that resulted in a traumatic brain injury, a badly broken pelvis, a punctured lung, broken vertebrae in her lower back and other internal injuries. Sgrignari said the pelvic injury was significant and required extensive surgery.

"She's done relatively well with the orthopedic injuries," he said. "The real significant problem has remained the cognitive impairments as a result of the traumatic brain injury."

Sgrignari explained that Thornton has a difficult time focusing and has trouble controlling her emotions. Further, he said she does not have the physical stamina to work a full day.

At the time of the accident, Thornton was director of vendor services for Pitney Bowes in Norwalk. Because she was on her way to catch a flight for business, her injuries resulted in a workers' compensation claim.

Thornton received the maximum weekly temporary total disability benefits of $1,077. Then, in January 2010, her treating physicians said she was fit to resume light-duty employment.

So Thornton began to conduct a job search while continuing to receive temporary partial disability benefits. Ultimately, her job search efforts were not successful and she later applied for and was awarded Social Security disability benefits.

Following her failed attempts at finding employment, her doctors ultimately decided she was permanently disabled.

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