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$1,300,000 Jury Verdict for Car Accident Related to Roadway Maintenance


SUITS & DEALS – March 29, 1990

Cerreto v. Cook, et al: A 35 year-old Edison supermarket worker will receive more than $1.3 million in a settlement of an automobile negligence case against the Standard Paper Co. of Somerset.

In January 1987, Giacomo Cerreto was driving on Route 9 in Howell Township when a Standard Paper truck driven by its employee, Stanley Cook, hit the back of Cerreto’s car, pushing it forward and into a garbage truck. Cerreto suffered compound fractures in both legs, which required attaching metal plates to the tibia bones. The plates caused the development of osteomyelitis, an infectious inflammatory bone disease. The disease, once contracted, can recur.

The March 20, settlement follows a ruling by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge James Kennedy granting summary judgment on the issue of liability. Cerreto will receive $260,000 in a lump sum and $850 a month for life under an annuity contract, with a 4 percent increase every year.

Barry Eichen represented the plaintiff. Morristown’s Colquhoun & Colquhoun, attorneys for PMA Insurance Services, represented defendants.