New director of Maryland health care exchange subject of $1 million lawsuit

The woman picked to take over Maryland's health care exchange is the subject of $1 million lawsuit after she allegedly hit a man as he was crossing an Annapolis street last year.
Carolyn Quattrocki, named interim director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange on Friday, is being sued by Charles Steadman of Annapolis.
Steadman says he suffered multiple injuries and had to undergo two surgeries following the incident in January 2012, according to a lawsuit filed in August in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court.
Quattrocki is replacing Rebecca Pearce, who resigned last week.
Pearce's departure came soon after The Baltimore Sun reported she took a weeklong vacation in the Caribbean while her subordinates were scrambling to fix problems that have plagued the exchange since open enrollment began Oct. 1.
Quattrocki will not have to appear in court until June, according to court records.
"People get sued all the time," said House Minority Leader Nic Kipke, R-Pasadena. "I'm sure this will be a distracting factor, as it would be for anyone."
According to the lawsuit, which was filed Aug. 23, Quattrocki struck Steadman with her vehicle at the intersection of Rowe Boulevard and Calvert Street in Annapolis on Jan. 25, 2012, around 6:45 p.m.
No charges were filed in the case. But a year-and-a-half later, Steadman is seeking a jury trial.
He was crossing a marked and lighted crosswalk and had a green traffic light in his favor, the lawsuit says.
Steadman is claiming negligence, saying that Quattrocki, among other things, failed to observe the road in front of her, failed to yield to the right of way of a pedestrian in a crosswalk and failed to control her vehicle in order to avoid striking him.
He is seeking $1 million, plus interest from the date of judgment.
Steadman claims that injuries to his "knee and foot/ankle" in particular hurt his ability to get a job, required two procedures and are permanent, according to the lawsuit.
He sustained "serious and painful injuries to his knee, foot, ankle and the remainder of his body" and surgery to his knee and ankle cost him $24,300, the lawsuit says.
A Maryland State Police accident report says Steadman suffered no visible injury in the incident.
He was transported to Anne Arundel Medical Center by Annapolis paramedics for precautionary measures, the police report says.
Frederick Collins, Quattrocki's attorney, filed a response to the suit in October and called for the case to be dismissed. The response says Steadman's complaint "fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted."
But Ronald Baradel, the attorney representing Steadman, said his client was diagnosed with multiple injuries after he was released from AAMC and sought diagnosis from a private doctor.
Baradel dismissed the response filed by Quattrocki's attorney as a "stock response" and said Steadman should be compensated for his injuries.
"My client was clearly crossing on a green light in a lighted, marked crosswalk," Baradel said.
Quattrocki and Collins could not be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for Gov. Martin O'Malley's office would not comment, calling the lawsuit a "private matter."
Quattrocki has been the executive director of the Governor's Office of Health Care Reform since May 2011.
The office was formed to lead and coordinate Maryland's implementation of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.
Prior to her appointment, Quattrocki was a deputy legislative officer and health policy adviser in the Governor's Legislative Office, focusing on labor, insurance and health care issues.
She also worked as a special assistant to Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr.
Steadman is the widower of the late Marion Francis, who was administrator for Anne Arundel County Public Libraries from 2002 to 2010.