Attorney Kelly E. Reardon Quoted In New London Day Regarding Bus Case

Canterbury woman to sue bus company, contends she was hit in parking lot

By Jeffrey A. Johnson

Publication: The Day

Published 07/28/2011

A Canterbury woman has filed documents that she intends to sue Southeast Area Transit after she said she was hit by a SEAT bus in a crosswalk outside a Walmart in September.

According to the documents, Tina Cargene was leaving the Walmart at Lisbon Landing in Lisbon about 1:20 p.m. on Sept. 10, 2010, when she was hit by a SEAT bus driven by Thomas Poirier.

The bus allegedly spun Cargene around twice and knocked her to the ground. According to the documents, she raised her left arm to shield herself from the bus, but she sustained injuries to her arms, legs, knees and hip as well as cuts and bruises.

The driver was allegedly operating an electronic device while driving, according to the documents. Poirier also allegedly failed to sound the bus horn, was driving at an unreasonable rate of speed and failed to apply the brakes in timely manner, the documents said.

Cargene recently completed physical therapy treatments and will meet with a doctor to determine the extent of her permanent injuries, according to her attorney, Kelly Reardon, of The Reardon Law Firm, based in New London. The documents say that Cargene "has incurred, and will continue to incur, lost wages and substantial medical expenses as a result of this accident."

Reardon said Wednesday that it was too early to speculate on how much money Cargene would seek in a settlement or if she will proceed with a lawsuit against SEAT.

"Clearly, she was carefully crossing the parking lot in a crosswalk. She did nothing wrong," Reardon said. "It's unfortunate that she got hurt."

SEAT, which has served eastern Connecticut since 1980, receives funding from nine member towns: East Lyme, Griswold, Groton, Ledyard, Montville, New London, Norwich, Stonington and Waterford.

Phone messages left Wednesday for SEAT General Manager Ella Bowman were not immediately returned. Cargene declined comment through her attorney.