Father of boy with severed hand settles court claim
Rockland — The father of the 5-year-old Rockland boy, whose hand was severed in June, has dropped a lawsuit against the boy's grandmother.
Anthony Pignone, parent of Noah Keene and his twin brother Patrick Keene, has agreed to a dismissal against Sharon Setz of Rockland, grandmother of the two boys.
"The case is dismissed, and the insurance company has agreed to pay the full policy," attorney Daniel Kagan of the Lewiston law firm Berman and Simmons, representing Pignone, said Sept. 19.
The stipulation of dismissal issued in Knox County Superior Court states that the claims are dismissed with prejudice and without costs to any party.
Kagan said the phrase "with prejudice" means the case is settled permanently, and "without costs" means there is no cost to the plaintiff or the defendant.
"It was never our intent to get money from Sharon Setz, defendant in the case," Kagan said.
Noah's grandmother Sharon Setz was driving the boys in her vehicle when Noah dangled a jump rope wrapped around his wrist out the car window. The rope became entangled with a wheel outside the defendant's vehicle, and severed Noah's hand, said the complaint.
Physicians were able to reattach the hand so that he could use it. Noah and his brother have entered kindergarten this fall.
Pignone was concerned about Noah and his brother Patrick, who might suffer from emotional and psychological trauma.
Kagan said he filed suit against Setz to get her automobile insurance company to pay medical costs and damages.
"In Maine, the insurance amount is $50,000 per occupant, or in this case, $100,000," Kagan said.
"When you go through this process, the court will say how much will be spent to negotiate with health insurance providers to recover medical bills," Kagan said.
"This law protects children and even their parents," Kagan said. "Sometimes, a good health insurer will cut a deal."
The attorney said his law firm took the case at no cost.
Kagan said Pignone and the boys' mother are estranged. The father lives in Dennis, Mass. and the mother in Rockland.
"Pignone has been painted as a deadbeat," Kagan said. "That is not true. The father is very responsible and concerned with both boys."
Courier Publications reporter George Chappell can be reached at 207-594-4401, ext. 117, or at email@example.com.