$2,500,000 Jury Verdict for Woman Injured in T-Bone Collision with Cement Mixing Truck

DATE OF VERDICT

1/25/2001

COURT AND COUNTY

Supreme Court, Kings County

AGE AND OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF

Plaintiff was a 33-year-old respiratory therapist at the time of the incident.

DESCRIPTION OF CASE

A concrete-mixing truck owned by codefendant concrete company and operated by a company employee had finished pouring foundation on a Brooklyn construction site when it pulled out of the site and onto the adjacent street. Plaintiff was travelling lawfully in her car on the eastbound one-way East New York Avenue, when defendant truck driver struck plaintiff's car in a t-bone collision. The court determined that defendant truck driver had not exercised reasonable and proper care while operating the truck and failed to observe plaintiff, who in fact had the "right of way" to proceed down the street. Thereafter the defendants' cement truck pushed plaintiff's vehicle several feet across the road, causing significant property damage and severe personal injuries to the plaintiff.

Codefendants were held liable for the accident under two separate doctrines. First, the construction company was held liable for the act of one of its employees under the doctrine of respondeat superior. This legal theory imposes vicarious liability upon an employer for any tort that an employee commits while he is performing duties that are within the scope of his employment. This is generally held true as long as the defendant acts negligently or intentionally, and that it was reasonably foreseeable for the alleged tort to stem from the course of the employee's normal duties.

Codefendants had not exercised reasonable and proper care themselves in managing the construction site or adhering to any sort of safety procedure designed to control the manner by which mixing trucks, such as the one driven by defendant, could ingress and egress. The court held that the concrete company's failure to advise the general public of the oncoming truck, and, to not warn the truck driver of oncoming cars was a tortious act upon which liability could be imposed.

INJURIES/DAMAGES

As a result of the accident, plaintiff suffered severe damage to both of her knees and her back.

Both of plaintiff's knees sustained internal derangement and tears of the lateral and medial menisci. Moreover, plaintiff suffered a Grade II chondromalacia involving the lateral femoral condyle and lateral tibial plateau of the right knee. Plaintiff required bilateral arthroscopic knee surgery in both knees, however, she still experiences decreased range of motion, pain, clicking and buckling with difficulty walking and doing stairs.

Plaintiff's spine was also injured by the impact caused by the accident. In addition to reversal of the normal cervical lordosis, she had a bulging disc at C4-5, C6-C7-C-8 nerve root compression, and a herniated lumbar disc at L4-L5. Plaintiff underwent a microlaminotomy to repair the damaged lumbar discs and to relieve the pressure from the cervical section of the spine.

VERDICT AMOUNT

This case was tried and a jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff for $2.5 million.

HANDLING ATTORNEY

This case was handled by Firm Partner Jeffrey A. Block, Esq.