As trial was to start in New London Superior Court this week, the New London Police settled the personal injury claims of a Ledyard woman for $880,000.00 after her car was struck in the rear on March 31, 2014 by a police cruiser operated by New London Police Officer Eric Hulland. Lisa Cantler, age 31, was stopped at the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Bank Street in New London when Officer Hulland slammed into the rear of her car as she was about to turn left onto Bank Street from Ocean Avenue, causing Ms. Cantler serious spinal injuries.
Ms. Cantler had been waiting for another car on Bank Street to pass through the intersection before pulling out when Officer Hulland failed to stop his cruiser behind her. Cantler stated she was at a full stop making sure it was safe to pull out on a flashing red traffic light when her car was hit. Officer Hulland claimed Cantler stopped unexpectedly and he could not stop his cruiser in time. According to Ms. Cantler, Officer Hulland told her as the ambulance was arriving that he was looking at the Chinese restaurant on the corner and did not see she had stopped. The New London Police ticketed Officer Hulland for following too close and Ms. Cantler received no citation. A dashcam video on the police cruiser ordered produced by the Court depicted a violent crash in which the police cruiser did not stop and then, drove directly into the rear of the Cantler vehicle pushing it forward several feet.
Ms. Cantler was taken by ambulance to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital where she was operated on by Dr. Patrick Doherty who fused vertebrae in both her neck and low back. Last year she was required to undergo a second fusion surgery on her neck. She lost several months from work as a licensed practical nurse while she recuperated from her injuries and she continues to recover. Her doctors have told her she will always be limited in her ability to carry out many of her duties at home and at work and she has suffered a permanent disability of her spine.
Lisa Cantler was represented by Attorney Kelly Reardon who was assisted by Attorney Robert Reardon, both of The Reardon Law Firm, PC of New London. The City of New London was represented by Attorney Sean Caruthers of the North Haven firm of Milano & Wanat.
“Lisa is relieved that the lawsuit is finally over and she has been compensated for her losses”, according to Attorney Kelly Reardon, lead counsel on the case. “She has been experiencing chronic back and neck pain every day since this accident that will never go away. Lisa has a 10 year old daughter to support and has gone into debt while The City refused to offer her any settlement for three years, until the trial was about to start. She can now move on with recovering from her injuries and begin to put her life back in order. Lisa is so pleased that our firm persisted until The City finally offered her a fair settlement for her injuries and damages on the eve of trial.” Kelly Reardon stated. “This has been very difficult for Lisa and her daughter but eventually we got her there.”