ANNAPOLIS, NOV. 20 -- Susan Young Mattei, who is to be retried on a charge of automobile manslaughter in a case that attracted wide attention, faces a $10.1 million civil suit as a result of the fatal accident.
Mattei was convicted of manslaughter by car at a highly publicized trial after the Nov. 21, 1984, accident. She was sentenced to two years in prison three weeks after she gave birth to a daughter.
A three-judge appeals panel reduced the sentence to probation and threw out a judge's order that Mattei, 27, pay child support to the victim's young son. Another court dismissed the conviction entirely and ordered a new trial, now set to begin Dec. 6.
Lynn Valliere, widow of the accident victim, filed suit in Circuit Court this week, alleging that gross negligence and recklessness by Mattei were directly responsible for Thomas Valliere's death.
Valliere, a 28-year-old engineer who worked with hospital X-ray equipment, died instantly when his car was rammed broadside by Mattei's vehicle.
Mattei was accused of running a stop sign on Rte. 3.
Lynn Valliere, who declined to comment on the suit, was left without means of support for herself and her son, according to the suit.
Mattei also faces conspiracy charges in an alleged cocaine-running operation that Montgomery County officials say is one of the largest they have ever uncovered.
A year ago police raided a Silver Spring home, seizing seven pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $1 million plus a cache of machine guns, sidearms, explosives and cash.
Police arrested Andre Gustav Francois, 44, owner of the house and the alleged leader of the operation. Authorities have accused Mattei of being a broker for the ring.
She is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Montgomery County Circuit Court.