Dutchess County ordered to pay $6.5M to accident victim for unsafe intersection
Dutchess County has now been ordered to pay $6.5 million to a victim of a serious car crash after a jury found the accident could have been prevented by officials.
A photo of the crash scene obtained by News 12 shows the car reduced to mangled metal after the crash in 2018 at the intersection of Rockefeller Lane and Route 79 in Red Hook.
“The crash was so violent, it threw the vehicle into a tree,” says attorney John Nash.
One of the passengers inside was 23-year-old Easton Gregory. He suffered 12 broken ribs, punctured lungs and lost his thumb in the crash.
“As they crossed Rockefeller Lane, a young lady, who was 17 with a junior license, blew the stop sign and said she never saw it.”
The attorney says his client spent eight weeks in the hospital and racked up more than $2 million in medical bills.
Nash says Dutchess County knew the intersection was unsafe after several other accidents and a fatality, and says county officials were alerted years before to problems that needed to be fixed.
“The elected representatives of Red Hook drew up Resolution 104 and presented it to Dutchess County, asking the county do some reasonable investigation,” says Nash.
Nash says that was never done and the victim sued the county and the driver.
Just last month, Easton, who’s now 29 years old, won a $14.5 million judgement after a trial in Dutchess County Supreme Court.
“He will never be the same. His conditions will never improve,” Nash says.
Nash says Easton suffers from chronic nerve damage that prevents him from working.
News 12 reached out to Dutchess County attorney, Caroline Blackburn who said, “The county will move swiftly to set aside the verdict as it relates to the county’s role, as we believe it contradicts the clear evidence presented during the case. Additionally, we await the opportunity to be heard on an appeal, which is pending as a result of pre-trial motion practice.”
The driver to blame for the crash was ordered to pay $8 million.