COURT AND COUNTY
Supreme Court, Kings County
AGE AND OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF
Plaintiff was 50 years old at the time of settlement. Both prior to and after the accident, Plaintiff operated a day care center out of her Brooklyn home.
DESCRIPTION OF CASE
Plaintiff was driving her car and came to a stop for a red traffic light at the intersection of Ditmas Avenue and East 94th Street in Brooklyn. A pick-up truck owned and operated by the Defendants struck Plaintiff's vehicle in the rear. Plaintiff moved for summary judgment on the issue of liability against the Defendants and won. Had the case not settled, a trial would have commenced on the issue of Plaintiff's damages only.
Plaintiff suffered spine injuries in two motor vehicle accidents that occurred prior to the subject accident. In fact, shortly before this accident, Plaintiff injured her neck and underwent significant treatment as well as an MRI study, which revealed a herniated disc at the C4/C5 level that contacted her spinal cord. Only weeks before the subject accident, Plaintiff was visiting doctors and complaining of severe neck pain that radiated to her arms. During her deposition, Plaintiff admitted that she was feeling neck pain on the very morning of the accident, just before the accident occurred.
After the subject accident, Plaintiff refused medical attention at the scene and went home. Shortly thereafter, she began a course of treatment for neck and back pain. Ultimately, Plaintiff underwent a neck surgery, consisting of an anterior cervical discectomy with fusion at the C4/C5 level. MRI studies taken after the subject accident revealed that the C4/C5 disc in Plaintiff's neck was in the exact same condition before the accident as it was after the accident.
Plaintiff argued that the subject car accident worsened and aggravated her prior neck injury, and caused the need for the neck surgery. The defense, and their expert doctors, argued that Plaintiff's neck problems all pre-dated the accident. Plaintiff returned to her employment of running a day care center immediately after the accident. Plaintiff's claimed damages were for pain and suffering, and past and future medical costs.
The case settled before a trial date was scheduled, and after a private mediation between the parties.
This case was handled by Stephen J. Murphy and David L. Scher.