Update: Woman not pursuing lawsuit against town, first responders  


BEACON FALLS — A Stamford woman is no longer pursuing a lawsuit against the town and Beacon Hose Company No. 1.

A lawsuit was filed in superior court in Milford in August on behalf of Dawn Gallagher. The lawsuit claimed the actions of first responders were negligent and careless following a car accident on Route 8 in 2014 during which a part of Gallagher’s ear was severed.

In an email correspondence this week between Town Attorney Frederick Stanek and Attorney Stephanie Laska of the firm Harris, Harris & Schmid, which was representing Gallagher, Laska told Stanek the lawsuit isn’t going forward.

“Our client has decided not to pursue this complaint,” Laska wrote.

Below is the original story published in the Oct. 14 edition of the Citizen’s News.

BEACON FALLS — A Stamford woman is suing Beacon Hose Company No. 1 and the town claiming the actions of first responders following a car accident in 2014 were negligent and careless.

The lawsuit, which was filed in superior court in Milford in August, states Dawn Gallagher was involved in a one-car accident near Exit 24 on Route 8 south at about 6:15 p.m. on Aug. 31, 2014. According to court documents, Gallagher was a passenger in the car, which was being driven by Christian Chovit.

Chovit lost control of the car due to heavy rains, hydroplaned off the road and struck several trees, according to court documents. A part of one of Gallagher’s ears was severed by a tree branch during the accident, the lawsuit states.

Members of Beacon Hose responded to the scene and treated Gallagher, who was taken to a hospital, the documents state.

The lawsuit claims first responders were negligent “due to the delay in their efforts to locate” the part of Gallagher’s ear that was severed. Additionally, the lawsuit states, that they failed to properly search the car for the severed part of the ear, prevented Chovit from returning to the car to look it, and advised him that he could not search the car at the impound lot. According to the lawsuit, Beacon Falls members stated they would search the car at the impound lot.

Chovit found the severed part of Gallagher’s ear the following morning in the car at the impound lot, the lawsuit states. Gallagher suffered permanent scarring and disfigurement, loss of the chance to reattach her severed ear, and extreme emotional distress and anxiety as a result, the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit is seeking monetary damages in excess of $15,000 and legal fees.