Attorneys representing the Stamford man who suffered life-threatening injuries as a teenager in a 2014 head-on car crash on Silvermine Road have said in a legal filing that their client would be willing to settle for $5.5 million with the New Canaan woman they say caused it.
The “Offer of Compromise” was made to Carol Sung in a Jan. 13 filing on behalf of plaintiff Michael Bivona as part of a civil lawsuit that followed the near-fatal accident. Sung in September pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor reckless driving charge, and served two days in jail, court records show.
The civil suit, which also names Telebeam Telephone Systems as a defendant as Sung’s employer and owner of the vehicle she was driving, accuses the New Canaan woman of speeding as well as operating recklessly and under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Bivona, a Stamford resident aged 19 at the time of the crash, suffered multiple serious injuries, his car totaled.
Sung in a Dec. 5 answer to the civil suit denies all claims that put the blame for the accident on her and instead points a finger at Bivona.
“At the time of the accident complained of in the Complaint, the plaintiff, Michael Bivona, himself was negligent and such negligence was the proximate cause of any injury or damages alleged to have been sustained by him,” according to an answer filed on behalf of Sung by Hartford-based Boyle, Shaughnessy & Campo PC.
“The plaintiff was negligent in one or more of the following respects: In that he failed to keep and maintain a reasonable and proper lookout; In that he failed to make reasonable and proper use of his senses and faculties; In that he failed to take the necessary and proper precautions to observe the conditions then and there existing; In that he failed to keep his vehicle under proper and reasonable control; In that he failed to use reasonable care for his own safety commensurate with the existing circumstances and conditions.”
“If the plaintiff suffered injuries and losses as alleged herein, which the defendant denies, the defendant states that the plaintiff failed to mitigate his damages and is therefore barred from recovery.”
Sung is accused of rear-ending motorist Darryl Shaw while speeding down Silvermine Road in a BMW just after 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 30, 2014, causing the crash. A fourth motorist, Wilton resident Tanu Suneja, was driving eastbound behind Bivona when the crash occurred just beyond Little Brook Road. Police on scene had determined that Sung was intoxicated and the civil suit filed on behalf of Bivona makes the same claim. (Hospital officials apparently failed to test Sung’s blood for drugs, and the state’s attorney’s office declined to bring the more serious charge, according to an arrest warrant application and police affidavits obtained by NewCanaanite.com.)
Bivona, a teenager at the time of the crash, likely would have died if not for New Canaan’s emergency responders, officials have said. His traumatic injuries are extensive and lasting.
Shaw and Tuneja also have brought lawsuits, which now are consolidated with Bivona’s.
Tuneja’s injuries include to her head, hand and back, as well as a right foot/ankle sprain, anxiety and memory loss, according to her suit.
“As a result of the collision, the plaintiff has suffered and will continue to suffer physical, mental and emotional pain and anguish and has been and will be sick, sore and disabled for a period of time,” said the complaint filed Oct. 28 on behalf of Tuneja.
Bivona’s attorney in December filed a claim for a jury of six, and jury selection for the lawsuit is scheduled for Sept. 26.