METHUEN — Sully Erna of the rock band Godsmack has reached a multimillion-dollar court settlement with the victim of a car accident he was involved in.
Lindsay Taylor, 27, and her parents, Elaine and Jeffrey, sued Erna for the April 11, 2007, three-car crash on the ramp from Interstate 93 south to Route 213 east.
Taylor rode in the back seat of a Toyota Camry driven by Eric Sargent, which was hit by the 41-year-old rock star's Hummer. Taylor suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, according to court documents.
Erna, a Lawrence native who now lives in Windham, drove a 2006 Hummer H3 owned by Godsmack Touring Inc., which was also named as a defendant. Erna was not hurt in the crash.
Lindsay Taylor claimed Erna wasn't paying attention and was therefore negligent and caused the crash. Erna claimed that part of the responsibility laid with Sargent — he argued that Sargent first rear-ended a Honda Odyssey driven by Maureen White of Londonderry — and he claimed the roadway design contributed.
Erna filed a third-party complaint against Sargent.
The Taylors' lawyer, Andrew Abraham of Boston, said all parties have agreed to the settlement, but it hasn't been approved by a judge yet.
The petition for the settlement, signed by attorneys on all sides of the case, calls for the defendants and/or their insurers to pay an immediate cash payment of $3.3 million, broken down as follows:
$1.8 million for attorneys fees
$118,886 for legal expenses
$119,023 to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
$29,628 to the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance
$2,505 to Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital
$1,126 to Radiology-HMFP at Beth Israel
$973 to the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
$1 million to Lindsay Taylor
$172,263 to Jeffrey Taylor
$72,263 to Elaine Taylor
The settlement also calls for a series of monthly payments to Lindsay Taylor for decades to come. They include:
$4,637 per month, guaranteed for five years, beginning in February and increasing at 3 percent compounding annually.
$5,492 per month, guaranteed for 14 years, beginning in 2015 and increasing at 3 percent compounding annually.
$9,659 per month for life, guaranteed for 11 years, beginning in 2029 and increasing at 3 percent compounding annually.
The settlement also calls for Elaine Taylor to collect $710 per month for life, guaranteed for 20 years, beginning in 2017.
"All such aforementioned guaranteed payments are guaranteed whether or not the payee survives the payment schedule," says the joint petition for approval of the settlement, which was filed in federal court in Boston.
Abraham said he couldn't comment about the settlement. Erna's lawyer, Jay Lee of Lowell, couldn't be reached for comment. Sargent's lawyer, Lee Stephen MacPhee of Boston, also could not be reached.
Court documents say Lindsay Taylor spent 19 days at Beth Israel before she was transferred to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital for a month. She went through several months of outpatient therapy when she returned home.
Lindsay Taylor alleged that she was left functionally deaf and suffered cognitive impairments in addition to "personality/behavioral changes," court documents said.
"The defense conceded that Ms. Taylor suffered an initial severe traumatic brain injury but also alleged that she had made a very substantial recovery and that her recovery would be ongoing," court documents said.
The settlement petition said the defense was expected to argue that Lindsay Taylor "had a low pre-morbid function."
"Before the crash, she was unemployed, got up about 10 a.m. and then hung out with her boyfriend," court documents said. "After the crash, the records contained very similar description of her activities. The defense was expected to argue that Ms. Taylor was able to pass a driving test and was driving regularly."
The main disagreement in the case revolved around Lindsay Taylor's future health care needs. The plaintiffs presented a life care plan by Dr. William Burke who estimated future costs of $8.9 million. The defense presented a life care plan by Dr. Jane Mattson, who provided values of $1 million or $1.4 million, court documents said.
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