HAMILTON TWP TO PAY $1,200,000 FOR POLICE INVOLVED CRASH
An Egg Harbor City woman agreed to settle her claim against Hamilton Township for $1,200,000. Susan Cossabone was severely injured on the evening of January 19, 2009 when a police officer lost control of his cruiser and crossed into her lane of travel on Rt. 50, in Hamilton Twp, Atlantic County.
As a result of the crash, Cossabone, who owns and operates Hidden View Farms in Egg Harbor City, suffered catastrophic injuries, including multiple fractured ribs, a comminuted fracture of the right patella, fractured distal ulna, and severely fractured right ankle. Cossabone was initially treated with an internal/external fixation to repair the fractured right ankle. After a non-union and failure of the fixation was discovered, Cossabone was told that a below the knee amputation was inevitable. Only through the extraordinary efforts of Dr. Mark Myerson, Director of the Mercy Medical Center’s Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction, in Baltimore Maryland, including more than ten surgeries and the use of a new stem cell treatment known as “Allo Stem” was she able to avoid having her leg amputated.
Through discovery, plaintiff was able to establish that there were multiple weather related motor vehicle crashes on the night of the collision. The defendant officer had investigated one such crash earlier that evening, and acknowledged that he heard multiple radio transmissions prior to the crash warning that the road conditions were rapidly deteriorating and requesting that the Public Works Department deploy salt trucks to deal with the icy roadways. Plaintiff’s liability expert, Terrence Fisher (Biomechanical - Accident Reconstruction Engineer) indicated that given the officer’s training in Emergency Vehicle operation and his actual knowledge of the hazardous conditions that evening, he should have been traveling at a lower rate of speed than indicated by the data retrieved from the Event Data Recorder of the police cruiser.
The settlement was reached on May 13, 2013, while the case was scheduled for a June 3rd trial in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Atlantic County.
– Mike Mackler (Bio)