Staff file photo
Alex Spanos is brought into criminal court in Rutland at the beginning of this year.A man charged with murdering a Rutland High School student when he allegedly drove into a row of parked cars last year has settled a civil lawsuit with another woman who was injured along with her children in the crash.
Alex W. Spanos, the 24-year-old Rutland man accused of second-degree murder for causing the death of 17-year-old Carly Ferro, agreed in October to settle a lawsuit brought by Jessica Norton of Rutland. The amount of the settlement hasn’t been disclosed.
Norton and her two young children were in a vehicle parked outside Rutland Discount Foods on Cleveland Avenue in Rutland on the night of Sept. 26, 2012. When a car that police say Spanos was driving struck a row of parked vehicles outside the store, Norton and her children were injured and their car was destroyed, according to a lawsuit that Norton filed in Rutland civil court earlier this year.
According to the lawsuit, the medical bills and loss of the family’s car amounted to $2,393 in expenses. The family’s attorney, John Welch, asked in the lawsuit for damages of at least $100,000 due to the family’s physical and mental trauma.
“The behavior on the part of Mr. Spanos, to say the least, was patently inexcusable,” Welch said Monday. “It was a traumatic experience for all of my clients.”
In his only response to the lawsuit filed in court, Spanos invoked his Fifth Amendment right under the Constitution to remain silent due to pending criminal charges against him.
Welch said he couldn’t say how much Norton’s family received due to a confidentiality agreement in the settlement.
“All I can say is that the settlement was satisfactory to all parties concerned,” he said.
Norton and her family weren’t the only people injured in the crash.
Ferro’s father, Ron Ferro, was hospitalized for days. No other civil claims have been filed against Spanos.
The crash was so severe and Spanos’ conduct so allegedly egregious that state prosecutors decided to increase the criminal charge against him from manslaughter to murder. Spanos has pleaded innocent to the murder charge and remains in jail pending a trial scheduled next year.
That decision to charge Spanos with murder was made after traces of difluoroethane, a gas commonly used in electronic cleaning product, was found in his blood. The gas can also be used to get high and police say two passengers in Spanos’ car told them the driver was “huffing” from an aerosol can as he drove around the city.
Spanos’ attorney, Barbara Blackman, could not be reached for comment Monday.
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