On February 4, 2008, Plaintiff, a twenty- nine (29) year old teachers' aide, was driving a 1997 minivan on 80th Street in Queens. At the time of the accident the Defendant, driving a 2008 Acura, pulled her vehicle out from a parked position on the right side of the roadway, and struck Plaintiff's vehicle on the front passenger side. Plaintiff alleged that Defendant was negligent in the operation of her vehicle by pulling out of a parked position, striking Plaintiff's vehicle. Defendant argued that Plaintiff was traveling at an excessive rate of speed. By decision dated December 17, 2008, the Honorable Charles Markey granted Plaintiff summary judgment on the issue of liability.
As a result of the accident, Plaintiff suffered injuries to her neck, right shoulder and lower back. Following the accident, Plaintiff refused medical attention at the scene and did not go to the hospital. The following day, Plaintiff went to a general practitioner with complaints of pain to her neck, right shoulder and lower back. Plaintiff then came under the care of various physicians and began a course of conservative treatment, including physical therapy and pain management. Plaintiff was diagnosed with impingement syndrome of the right shoulder, bulging discs of the cervical spine and a herniated disc of the lumbo-sacral spine, at the L5-S1 level. Despite ongoing conservative treatment, Plaintiff's condition failed to improve. As a result, Plaintiff underwent a right shoulder arthroscopy on April 29, 2008 and a percutaneous disc ablation procedure on June 30, 2008. Plaintiff then underwent a lumbar diskectomy and fusion, at the L5-S1 level, on May 8, 2009 at St. Vincent's Hospital. Following surgery, Plaintiff continued to undergo treatment through physical therapy and pain management. As a result of her injuries, Plaintiff sought recovery for her past and future pain and suffering, medical expenses and loss of earnings.
Defendants claimed that Plaintiff's condition was unrelated to the accident and that the surgeries were not medically necessary. Defendants further argued that Plaintiff did not require any further medical treatment and was fully capable of returning to full time employment.
Prior to trial, the parties reached a settlement in the amount of $1,065,000 out of an available $1,100,000 policy of insurance.
The case was handled by S. Joseph Donahue and Jeffrey Block of Block O'Toole & Murphy.▶ Block O'Toole & Murphy has been featured on the cable television program Insider Exclusive.