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Woman Sues Town After Horrific Accident

Complaint alleges town employee driving a town vehicle hit a woman’s car, leaving her with life-threatening injuries.

A local woman is suing the Town of Waterford after a town employee driving a town vehicle allegedly ran a red light in 2010 and hit her car, sending the woman into the hospital for over a month and leaving her with lifelong injuries.

On Nov. 16, 2010, Waterford Utility Commission employee Fred Lathrop was driving a town vehicle when he allegedly ran a red light at the intersection of Cross Road and Parkway North and hit Donna Antczak in her vehicle, according to a legal complaint written by lawyer Joseph Barnes of the Reardon Law Firm. Antczak suffered life-threatening injuries, which will affect her for life, according to the complaint.

Antczak later sued the town for "fair, just and reasonable money damages,” punitive and exemplary damages and attorney’s fees, according to the complaint. The town offered a compromise to Antczak in May, and in August the case was referred to a court-annexed mediation program.

The Story

On Nov. 16, 2010, Lathrop allegedly ran a red light on Cross Road and hit Antczak’s car, according to the complaint. Antczak was left with lacerations to her scalp, a left temporal lobe fracture to her skull, cranial nerve palsy in her left eye, a collapsed lung, a left-side plural effusion, a traumatic brain injury, an intracranial hemorrhage, a fractured pelvis, an acetabula fracture, a fractured sacrum, a fractured vertebrae, deep vein thrombosis, memory loss, difficulty speaking and bruises throughout her body, the complaint said.

After spending time in the emergency room, she spent one month at the Gaylord Rehabilitation Hospital, according to the complaint. Antczak lost her job because of her injuries, which were described as permanent, as she still suffers from mental and physical pain, according to the complaint.

First Selectman Dan Steward said the town’s insurance company would be responsible for any settlement. He said the accident was unfortunate and Lathrop feels terrible about it.

A Friday morning phone call to Barnes was not returned.

R Lee Balderdash September 17, 2012 at 05:31 PM
If Mr. Lathrop ran a red light, he would have payed a fine or been found guilty in traffic court- in which case Mr. Petrone would have not have had to write the word "alleged" several times. According to the story, neither has been found guilty of any traffic infraction, so both insurance companies will contribute equally up to the maximum bodily injury/property damage that state mandated policy requires. That's the way no-fault insurance works. If medical bills exceed the policy limits then she'll have to rely on charity to make up the difference- because the Town of Waterford taxpayers are NOT GUILTY.
Ron September 17, 2012 at 06:26 PM
It doesn't matter who was right or wrong. She has the Readon law firm representing her. Waterford will hire a law firm inferior to the Reardon firm. If my memory is correct i believe the Readon law firm represented the multiple urination and defecation events in the elevators of the Winthrop Apartments in NL and won money against the NL Housing Authority for people slipping in it. Thus Waterford, right or wrong, will be paying big time and/or settle out of court.
Laura Battista September 17, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Does anyone else feel, as I do, that the intersection in question is somewhat hazardous? It is a very long intersection, meaning that even if you're traveling at the speed limit, if the light turns yellow you might be halfway through it when it turns red for you and if the person who gets the green jumps on the gas you might hit them, even if driving responsibly. I'm not sure what can be done but the length of the intersection is quite long, it turns from yellow to red before you can get through.
Just sayin' September 19, 2012 at 01:38 AM
A malicous act - no. Mr. Lanthrop did not have the intention of ruining someone's quality of life that day when he woke up in the morning. An irresponsible act - yes. Mr. Lanthrop is a representative/agent of the town while he is on Town time. Mr. Lanthrop's actions are the Town's responsibility during this period. A driver is to have control of their vehicle at all times. Anyone approaching an intersection should do so with caution. Mr. Lanthrop, as a Town employee, I am certain is very familiar with the intersection and its history. Clearly he was not showing responsibility in his actions if he hit Mrs. Antzcak's vehicle with such force causing extreme injuries. Mr. Lanthrop walks about this earth with his physical quality of life Mrs. Antczak never will regain this to a 100% capacity. Yeah, Mr.Lanthrop deserves a good beating.
Alphata September 20, 2012 at 10:20 AM
Calm down people. Mitt Romney is going to make all your pain go away

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