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Woman’s lawsuit over crash with Greenwich cop car may be headed to trial

December 24, 2018

GREENWICH — A lawsuit against the town of Greenwich, over a collision between a town police car and a motorist in 2017, could be headed for a trial by jury.

Lawyers for Margaret Luke, a New Haven resident, recently filed a request to take their case to trial. The lawsuit was the result of injuries Luke sustained on the evening of April 1, 2017, in a crash at Sheep Hill Road and East Putnam Avenue in Greenwich.

According to the lawsuit, Greenwich police Officer Alberto Escofferey was “attempting to pursue a car when he suddenly and without warning swerved into (Luke’s) lane of travel, causing a collision and injuries.”

The collision led to back and hip pain for Luke, as well as a knee injury that required surgery, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in state Superior Court in New Haven.

The town of Greenwich’s legal staff, in court papers, are denying that carelessness or negligence were factors in the collision.

In addition, the town’s legal papers state the officer and the town are immune from liability due to their officially authorized capacity as law-enforcement entities. The officer was “engaged in an activity that required him to exercise judgment or discretion as an official function of the authority ... granted to him by law,” the town’s legal papers state, and immunity from lawsuits is being submitted as a defense.

Greenwich typically faces several lawsuits a year involving collisions between town-owned vehicles and other drivers, like other municipalities. Most are settled before a trial.

The lawsuit was filed in September. It seeks payment for medical expenses and unspecified damages from the town.

According to the court schedule, a trial could be held in May 2019.

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