$1,500,000 Settlement Awarded to Women Injured in Queens Auto Accident

COURT AND COUNTY
Supreme Court, Queens County

AGE AND OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF
Plaintiff was 55 years old at the time of this accident and 57 years old at the time of settlement. Both prior to and after the accident, Plaintiff worked as a counselor helping clients overcome their disabilities.

DESCRIPTION OF CASE
Plaintiff, who was walking across the street on her way to a subway station, was struck by a reversing NYPD vehicle that backed into her and caused her to fall to the street. Plaintiff was granted summary judgment on the issue of liability, with the Court finding that the Defendant vehicle was 100% responsible for causing the accident. Had the case not settled, a trial would have commenced on the issue of Plaintiff's damages only.

INJURIES/DAMAGES
Plaintiff sustained injuries to her right ankle, knees and neck in this accident. MRI studies revealed damage in Plaintiff's cervical spine and knees, as well as small chip fractures in her right ankle. After a course of conservative treatment failed to adequately alleviate her neck and knee pain, Plaintiff underwent arthroscopic surgeries of both knees, and a neck surgery consisting of a one-level anterior discectomy with fusion at the C5/C6 level. Plaintiff returned to her counseling work for some time after the accident, but ultimately was unable to continue working because of her injuries. Plaintiff sought damages for her pain and suffering, past and future lost earnings, as well as past and future medical expenses.

The defense's medical expert examined Plaintiff, reviewed her medical chart and concluded that Plaintiff's neck and knee injuries were not caused by this accident and in fact pre-dated this accident. The defense pointed to a prior motor vehicle accident in which Plaintiff was involved where she also injured her neck and made claims for compensation. Notably, MRI films of Plaintiff's neck that were taken following the prior accident, but before this subject accident, revealed damage to the very same disc (C5/C6) that Plaintiff claimed was injured in this accident. Plaintiff conceded that her neck was injured before the accident, but contended that the subject accident worsened her pre-existing neck injury.

The case settled prior to the scheduled trial date.

VERDICT/SETTLEMENT AMOUNT
$1,500,000

NOTE
This case was handled by Stephen J. Murphy and David L. Scher.