In a front-page story, The Buffalo News reported on a $12 million settlement obtained by attorney Michael P. Stuermer on behalf of his client, who was injured in a distracted driving accident involving a New York State Trooper.
As reported by The Buffalo News, George Cole, along with 4 coworkers, were traveling in a minivan on the New York State Thruway. While slowing down for road construction, the rear of the minivan was struck by a New York State Trooper’s Dodge Charger, which was traveling at 73 mph at the time of impact. Mr. Cole, who was a passenger in the minivan, was severely injured as a result of the accident.
An investigation revealed that the New York State Trooper who caused the accident had sent or received text messages an average of once every 83 seconds during his shift and had opened a Facebook page just seconds before impact. The Trooper was not enroute to an emergency at the time of the accident. In addition, the accident occurred on a clear July day at approximately 1:00 PM.
A New York State Court of Claims judge found the State Trooper negligent in the car crash. The judge noted that lawyers for New York State “did not come forward with any nonnegligent explanation for the crash.”
As a result of the accident, Mr. Cole was left paralyzed from the waist down. Attorney Michael Stuermer filed suit against New York State on behalf of Mr. Cole for the catastrophic damages caused by the negligence of the New York State Trooper whose distracted driving caused this accident. Less than 48 hours prior to the scheduled start of the trial in this matter, a $12 million settlement agreement was reached for Mr. Cole.
Commenting on his client, attorney Michael Stuermer stated to The Buffalo News that the settlement has provided Mr. Cole with “some well-needed peace of mind, and relief, and a little bit of closure with respect to the litigation part of the case.”