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Lawsuit claims negligence in crash involving Wallingford police cruiser

Lawsuit claims negligence in crash involving Wallingford police cruiser

reporter photo

WALLINGFORD — A lawsuit involving a local police officer who allegedly caused a three-vehicle collision in 2015 is scheduled for trial later this year. 

The lawsuit was filed in February 2017, and a trial date is scheduled for the end of the year.

Ansonia-Milford Superior Court Judge Theodore R. Tyma granted a continuance in the case in November 2018 as discovery and mediation are ongoing, meaning the lawsuit could still be settled out of court.

The lawsuit alleges that on March 26, 2015, a police cruiser, driven by Officer Erik Judkins, rear-ended a vehicle that was heading south on South Colony Road (Route 5).

The driver then struck a stopped vehicle, driven by Rosemarie Rosenfeld, of Meriden, who was attempting to turn left into a parking lot at 800 S. Colony Road. 

The crash report, obtained from police Monday, states that the roadway was wet from rain and blowing snow, and that all three vehicles were in the left-most lane on the southbound side of the road. 

Judkins said, according to the crash report, that he “must have looked away from the road for a second” and that he attempted to stop, but slid and struck the car in front of him, which caused it to roll forward and strike Rosenfeld’s car.

The police cruiser and Rosenfeld's car had to be towed from the scene.

Rosenfeld died on Dec. 1, 2015, at age 58, from causes unrelated to the accident, according to her obituary. Her daughter, Sarah Rosenfeld, filed the lawsuit as her executor. 

Sarah Rosenfeld was also a passenger in the car at the time of the collision, according to court documents.

The lawsuit claims that due to the “negligence and carelessness” of Judkins, Rosemarie Rosenfeld injured her knee in the collision, and that Sarah Rosenfeld injured her back, knee and shoulder, and suffered from a concussion.

According to the crash report, the other driver and a 10-year-old passenger refused medical attention at the scene. Sarah Rosenfeld initially refused medical attention, but was transported to Midstate Medical Center in Meriden after she complained of head and neck pain.

The town’s attorneys responded in June 2017, denying that Judkins was negligent or careless.

Judkins was issued a written warning for traveling too fast for road conditions.

Rosemarie Rosenfeld was issued an infraction for operating an unregistered motor vehicle, as her registration had expired in September 2013.

A pretrial conference has been scheduled for Sept. 10, a trial management conference scheduled for Nov. 19, and a jury selection and trial for Dec. 19.


Twitter: @LCTakores