Over Half a Million Paid to Massachusetts Family to Settle Lawsuit From Fatal 2013 Car Crash

Court documents reveal that a minimum of $550,000 was paid out to settle a lawsuit filed by a Cohasset, Massachusetts family over a 2013 crash in Port Clyde, Maine.

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In August 2013, Dylan Gold was killed after being hit by a sedan driven by Cheryl Torgeson of New York. The incident occurred as the Gold family waited for the ferry. Torgeson was stopped behind a line of cars waiting to get on the wharf when her sedan accelerated unexpectedly and struck a building, the Golds, and several other vehicles.

Dylan’s mother, Allison Gold, suffered a fractured pelvis and significant internal bleeding. She was hospitalized for two weeks at the Maine Medical Center and then spent two additional weeks at a rehab facility. Her son Wyatt, then age six, was also hospitalized after the accident. Howard Gold, the boys’ father, was not injured. Jonathan Coggeshall, age 70, suffered a severe hip injury. Dylan was nine years old at the time of his death.

In August 2015, the family filed suit against the ferry line, Torgeson, and the couple who owns the property where the crash occurred. The complaint alleged that Torgeson was driving negligently. Moreover, the boat line and its owners were allegedly negligent because they did not construct necessary barriers and neglected to safely handle the variety of traffic (which included pedestrians, cars, and bicycles) on the wharf where the accident occurred.

The complaint did not ask for an exact amount in damages, but it pointed to medical expenses and emotional trauma from the crash and from witnessing Dylan’s death.

The district attorney said there was not enough evidence to show that Torgeson was criminally negligent. Therefore, she was not criminally charged. However, police reports show a car resembling Torgeson’s speeding several times before the accident.

Torgeson told the police that she was behind an SUV whose driver was speaking to a ferry line worker when her car unexpectedly sped up as if the pedal was jammed. Torgeson’s car hit the SUV and then a building and pedestrians. Her memory of the event, she said, was a blur. A blood test revealed that Torgeson was not intoxicated at the time, and officers likewise noticed no signs of impairment. A crash reconstructionist found no mechanical problems with the sedan.

In early July, Judge William Stokes approved a $250,000 settlement for Wyatt. (Civil settlements are typically not public, but there is an exception when they involve a minor.)

In addition to the $250,000, the Golds’ insurance company agreed to pay $300,000 under a clause agreeing to cover the policy holder when the other motorist’s insurance policy limits damages to a certain amount.

Of the $300,000, $50,000 will be given to Wyatt, $100,000 to Howard as the representative of Dylan’s estate, $100,000 to Allison, and $50,000 to the parents. The amount to be paid by Torgeson’s insurance company or by the ferry line or its owners was not made public.

A representative for Port Clyde village indicated last week that almost all of the safety recommendations for where the crash occurred have been resolved. These include additional signage, extending the striping of the end of Route 131, and installing painted crosswalks. The owners of the ferry line have not responded to requests for comment.

If you or a loved one has been injured by another party’s negligence, you may face significant medical bills and time off work, and you may need the assistance of an assault or wrongful death lawyer to seek compensation. At the Neumann Law Group, our personal injury attorneys provide trustworthy legal representation to accident victims all over the state of Massachusetts. Contact us toll-free at 800-525-NEUMANN or use our online form to set up a free consultation.

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