$2,760,000 Settlement for Front Seat Passenger Injured in Rear-End Collision Involving UPS Truck

DATE OF SETTLEMENT

April 9, 2015

COURT AND COUNTY

Supreme Court, Kings County

AGE AND OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF

At the time of the accident, the Plaintiff was a 60-year-old male who had recently retired from his job as a financial analyst.

DESCRIPTION OF CASE

On July 19, 2011 at approximately 10 a.m., Plaintiff was the front seat passenger in a vehicle owned by his cousin, Third Party Defendant (TPD). Earlier in the day, Plaintiff had gone to TPD's business to pick up something for his mother (TPD's aunt) and TPD asked him to take a ride. TPD drove to a lumber supply yard on Avenue D in Brooklyn, double-parking the vehicle to go inside and buy material. Plaintiff took off his seatbelt and remained inside the car, reading. With TPD's double-parked car blocking one lane of the two-way road, the only viable way to continue along the avenue was to veer into the lane for oncoming traffic, steering around the stopped car.

Defendant UPS driver was driving his truck along Avenue D, following another UPS truck. The lead UPS truck went into the lane of travel for oncoming vehicles to pass TPD's vehicle and Defendant truck driver followed. When the lead UPS vehicle went back into his lane of travel, Defendant observed vehicles coming at him and swerved back into his lane to avoid colliding, striking the rear TPD's vehicle.

Plaintiff's photos documenting the damage to each vehicle involved showed extensive damage to the front of Defendant's UPS truck, as well as damage to the rear and rear quarter panel of driver's side of host car.

In New York State, the driver of a car that collides with a stopped vehicle from behind (i.e., "rear end") is automatically held to be negligent. If it weren't for the negligence of his cousin and of the UPS driver, Plaintiff would not have sustained serious injuries which he continues to suffer from.

On August 9, 2012, the Honorable Lawrence Knipel granted plaintiff summary judgment on the issue of liability against TPD and D, leaving open the question of percentage of liability between co-Defendants.

INJURIES/DAMAGES

As a result of Defendants' negligent driving, Plaintiff suffered multiple severe injuries to his neck and back, including disc herniation. Plaintiff's neck pain is worse than his lower back pain and is constant, however, both significantly inhibit his daily function. Plaintiff required an anterior cervical discectomy and cervical fusion at C5/6 and a Lumbar Fusion surgery at L3-S1. Plaintiff's pain radiates to right upper extremities and right lower extremities and experiences numbness/tingling in his right hand and foot.

Plaintiff deals with extensive pain and takes Tramadol 3-4x per week, 2-3 tablets each day, does PT once per week, takes BP meds, and is able to exercise daily with light weights and stretching at home.

SETTLEMENT AMOUNT

This matter was settled during trial, prior to summations, in the amount of $2,760,000.

ATTORNEYS

This matter was handled by partners Jeffrey A. Block, Esq. and S. Joseph Donahue, Esq.