Estate of Illiano v. Masongo: The estate of a woman struck and killed by a motorist while she was walking to a bus stop in Hazlet was paid $500,000 to Settle a Monmouth County case on July 25.
At around 5 a.m. on Oct. 17, 2019, Maryann Illiano was walking toward a bus station on State Highway 36 in Hazlet, near the intersection with Middle Road, when a sedan driven by defendant Rice R. Masongo, then age 40, of Keyport, turned from Middle Road onto Route 36, and then turned into the Shell gas station that Illiano was walking past. Masongo struck Illiano, dragged her under the vehicle and ran her over, according to the police report and the estate’s lawyer, Craig Laughlin of Gale & Laughlin in Hazlet.
Illiano, 63, sustained numerous fractures, including to her spine and pelvis, and hematomas, among other injuries; was transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center and underwent surgeries; but ultimately died that evening of blunt force trauma to her torso, Laughlin said.
The suit claimed Masongo was driving at a high rate of speed. Police issued him seven citations, including for reckless driving and failure to yield to a pedestrian, according to Laughlin. The suit included an under-insured motorist claim against Illiano’s insurer, Allstate.
Illiano, who worked in an administrative position for Goldman Sachs, was on her way to the bus stop to go to work on the morning she was struck. She earned $109,000 per year in her job, and had $382,266 in medical expenses, Laughlin noted.
The settlement was reached on July 21 and paid on July 25, Laughlin said. Masongo agreed to pay his $25,000 policy limit with GEICO. Allstate paid $475,000; Illiano’s policy limit of $500,000 minus a credit for the $25,000 paid by GEICO according to Laughlin.
Masongo was represented by Sandra T. French of Pomeroy, Heller, Ley, DiGasbarro & Noonan in New Providence. French didn’t respond to a phone message about the case. Allstate settled without appointing counsel. An agent at Allstate who handled the claim declined to comment when reached by phone.