A Belgrade man who lost two relatives in an icy crash in Gardiner in 2011 is suing for damages and reimbursement for medical bills, saying he continues to suffer physical and mental injuries as a result of the accident.

Thomas G. Bourque, formerly of Randolph and now of Belgrade, was the lone survivor of the New Year’s Eve crash that killed Dennis Kay, 62, of Gardiner, and Kay’s grandson, Carlton Norwood, 25, of Pittston. One of Bourque’s attorneys, Philip Mancini, said Bourque has not received anything for his medical bills or injuries.

The lawsuit in Kennebec County Superior Court says Kay was driving the Budget rental van that crashed Dec. 31, 2011, on icy Brunswick Avenue in Gardiner. Relatives said the three were couriers for a local rental company, Option Rentals, of Farmingdale. The lawsuit says Norwood was in the passenger seat, and Bourque, then 29, “was traveling in the rear cargo area of the Budget van, seated in an unrestrained folding chair.” At the time, Option Rentals was owned by Doug Wiggins, who died May 5, 2013.

At the time of the crash, the Maine secretary of state’s office said both Kay and Bourque had suspended driver’s licenses.

Bourque’s lawsuit, filed by attorneys Philip Mancini and Andrew Pierce, names the defendants as Tressa Springmann, of Glenwood, Md., personal representatives of Wiggins’ estate; Joshua Henderson, of Pittston, and Stacey Henderson, of Augusta, personal representatives of Kay’s estate; Budget Truck Rental LLC, Avis Budget Car Rental LLC and Avis Budget Group, Inc., all of Parsippany, N.J.; and Centre Point Funding LLC, formerly known as Budget Truck Funding LLC., of Virginia Beach, Va. The lawsuit refers to all of the vehicle and funding companies as “the Budget defendants.”

Mancini said Bourque has received nothing for his injuries.


“It has been going all this time without any compensation, not even medical bills,” Mancini said last week.

He also said Bourque still is suffering from the emotional effects of losing his relatives. Norwood and Bourque were cousins.

“He has good days and bad days,” Mancini said.

In the crash, Bourque suffered injuries to his hand, face and the left side of his body as well as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The lawsuit says Wiggins, doing business as Option Rental, did various services for Budget, occasionally “coordinating the movement of Budget vehicles among other business locations throughout New England”; and part of that involved moving several drivers in one vehicle to locations through Maine and elsewhere in the Northeast.

It accuses Wiggins’ business of disregarding safety.


“Douglas Wiggins would often instruct his drivers to operate vehicles of the Budget defendants with an insufficient number of seats to safely seat each occupant … and knew those occupants without proper seating would sit unrestrained, unsafely and illegally in the cargo area of the vans — including in lawn chairs or on blankets — while traveling in the vehicles.”

The lawsuit says Wiggins hired and paid Kay to do work for Option Rentals and the Budget defendants, and that Kay regularly would enlist others to help.

It also says Kay, Bourque and Norwood transported vehicles for Budget on behalf of Option Rentals on Dec. 28-29, 2011, and Wiggins “refused to pay the men until and unless they immediately made a second trip,” the lawsuit says. It says he ordered them to make a trip Dec. 30-31, 2011, “despite the dangerous weather.” The crash occurred between 8 and 9 a.m. Dec. 31, 2011.

The lawsuit seeks damages for negligence from all the defendants as well as punitive damages. The lawsuit does not list a specific amount of money.

A response by attorney Michael E. Saucier on behalf of the Budget defendants denies most of the allegations and says the lawsuit lacks sufficient information on others. Those defendants also asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed and for costs as well as attorneys’ fees.

Attorney Elizabeth Germani filed a response on behalf of Springmann, saying no punitive damages are recoverable from the estate.


Attorney John Wall III, who represents the Hendersons, said he will file an answer to the lawsuit before the deadline in early September.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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