On Oct. 3, the Nassau County legislature’s Rules Committee approved a $25 million legal settlement with the family of an Oceanside woman who was severely injured in a car accident in 2007, when she was 17.
The suit, brought on by the family of Nicollette Iacone, claimed that the county was liable because hedges, signage and an electrical box obstructed the view of the roadway and intersection where the crash occurred.
Iacone, who was a senior at Oceanside High School at the time of the crash, was driving her 2007 Toyota and pulled onto Oceanside Road from Erwin Place, in Oceanside, when Salvatore Passanisi collided with her while driving his 2003 Dodge Dakota northbound on Oceanside Road on Sept. 8, 2007. As a result of the crash, Iacone suffered a fractured skull and traumatic brain injuries.
In addition to the obstructed view, the suit against the county also claimed that there was improper control of traffic at the site of the accident, and that the county was negligent in maintaining the Oceanside Road and Erwin Place intersection.
According to court documents, before the settlement, the county argued “the electrical enclosure traffic box, speed sign and/or the shrubs and hedges were not the proximate cause of the accident and resulting injuries to the plaintiff,” and that Iacone’s injury happened because of “causes outside the control of the county.”
The Iacone family also sued Passanisi, an Oceanside resident, for his role in the crash. Passanisi pleaded guilty to vehicular assault and driving while intoxicated during the accident, and received a sentence of six months in jail and five years’ probation in 2008.
Reached by phone before the settlement was approved, attorney John A. Meringolo, of Commack, who is representing the Iacones, declined to comment. After the settlement was decided, he was not able to be reached as of press time.