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Godsmack’s Sully Erna Reaches Settlement With Accident Suit

January 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Daily Music News

Sully Erna - Photo by: Mary Ouellette

The Eagle-Tribune reports that “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.

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.

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.

Payments guaranteed

“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.

”  For all the details you can read the full story here.

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4 Responses to “Godsmack’s Sully Erna Reaches Settlement With Accident Suit”
  1. Pamela Martin says:

    I think shit happens and while this girl is suffering, I don’t believe Sully should have to be penalized when there was someone else involved in the wreck as well. The only reason Sully was targeted is because he’s famous and wealthy. My heart goes out to the girl who was physically altered because of this nightmare, but it was an accident. I can understand a settlement but annual payments for everything is a bit far in my opinion. I’ve followed Sully for a long time and it’s safe to say he’s endured a lot of guilt over this. He’s not the kind of person who would intentionally hurt someone and he’ll be paying the price for the mistake for the remainder of his days. Why try to take him down after all he’s done to make this as easy as possible for the victim?

  2. Denise says:

    Unbelievable! I agree with Pamela. Sounds like Sully was targeted due to his fame. Think about it, if the girls family car had been hit by a normal, average, everyday citizen on a limited income, they NEVER would’ve gotten this kind of settlement! Sad, very sad how ruthless people/lawyers are. I don’t doubt that the family has endured injuries, pain & suffering. It’s sad that nobody is taking into consideration the hell that Sully has had to go through also. It’s aaaalllll about the almighty dollar! Personally, if this had happened to myself & we received a settlement like this, I would honestly have to say that I would eventually start feeling guilty for letting my lawyers take advantage of another person of an unfortunate situation. I pray for this girl & her family but my thoughts & prayers also go out to Sully. You are a good person Sully with a true & genuine heart! Stay strong! Keep doing what you’re doing, touching people deep down in their souls with your music! Love ya!! ; )


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