DATE OF SETTLEMENT
Kings Supreme, NY
On March 1, 2002, plaintiff, a 49-year-old unemployed woman, was a passenger of a public bus which was traveling on North Conduit Boulevard, near its intersection at Crescent Street, in Brooklyn. When the bus driver reached the intersection, he began to execute a right turn onto Crescent Street. During the turn, his bus collided with a truck. Plaintiff claimed that she sustained injuries of her back and neck.
Plaintiff sued the bus driver; the operator of the bus, the New York City Transit Authority; the owner of the bus, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority; and the owner of the truck. Plaintiff alleged that the bus driver and truck driver were negligent in the operation of their respective vehicles. Plaintiff further alleged that the remaining defendants were vicariously liable for the actions of the drivers of their respective vehicles.
Plaintiff's counsel claimed that the bus and truck drivers failed to maintain proper lookouts and avoid the collision.
Bus driver contended that the truck was parked along the side of North Conduit Boulevard as he began to execute the turn onto Crescent Street. He claimed that the truck driver advanced from a parked position while he was on a cellular phone and drove into the side of the bus.
The truck driver contended that his truck was stopped along the side of North Conduit Boulevard at all relevant times and was struck by the bus as it made a the right turn.
Plaintiff made clinical complaints of neck and back pain immediately following the accident. She was treated conservatively for about eight months before undergoing an MRI scan, which showed diffuse and extensive degenerative changes. She claimed that the accident activated a previously inactive spinal condition. Plaintiff's treating surgeon determined that the accident caused her asymptomatic spinal condition to become painful.
Plaintiff was treated sporadically for several years following the MRI scan and Ultimately underwent cervical and lumbar fusions, as well as a later surgical excision of a postoperative infection. Plaintiff sought recovery of $275,000 for her past medical expenses, about $950,000 for her future medical expenses, and damages for her past and future pain and Suffering.
Defense counsel contended that Plaintiff's injuries stemmed from degenerative conditions that preexisted the accident.
During the selection of a jury, the parties negotiated a $1.4 million settlement. The settlement included a $900,000 payment, and the remaining $500,000 was placed in an investment vehicle that is expected to yield more than $1.2 million, according to Plaintiff's counsel. The New York City Transit Authority agreed to contribute $750,000, and the insurer of the truck driver and AM & G Waterproofing agreed to contribute $650,000.