$3,000,000 Settlement for Driver Hurt in Collision with a Tractor Trailer at Brooklyn Intersection

DATE OF VERDICT/SETTLEMENT

July 6, 1998

COURT AND COUNTY

Supreme Court, Kings County

AGE AND OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF

At the time of the accident, Plaintiff was a 39-year-old doorman.

DESCRIPTION OF CASE

This accident occurred on 11/27/95 at 11 p.m. at the intersection of Flatbush Ave. and Dean St. in Brooklyn. Plaintiff was traveling north on Flatbush Ave., made a left turn from Flatbush Ave. onto Dean St. where his car soon crashed into the rear set of tires of a tractor-trailer.

Plaintiff contended that Defendant made his left turn unexpectedly and failed to use his left turn directional. Defendant testified that he used his turn signal and argued that Plaintiff was traveling at an excessive rate of speed, as evidenced by 150-foot-long skid marks. Defendant further contended that Plaintiff was at fault, because impact was to the rear set of tires on his trailer.

Plaintiff returned to work from May 1996 until January 1998, at which time he underwent a bilateral decompressive laminectomy/facetectomy at L4-5. Plaintiff did not return to work thereafter, and claimed that he is permanently disabled. Defendants disputed the severity of Plaintiff's injuries, and argued that Plaintiff's failure to wear a seatbelt contributed to his injuries. Defendant's expert neurologist testified that Plaintiff's back surgery was necessary. He admitted on cross-examination, however, that he was not a surgeon, that he did not examine Plaintiff prior to surgery, and that he did not review the EMG tracings or the MRI or CAT scans.

INJURIES/DAMAGES

Plaintiff suffered a herniated lumbar disc at L4-5; torn medial meniscus of the right knee. Plaintiff underwent a medial and lateral meniscectomy in April 1996.

Demonstrative evidence included interoperative photographs and an anatomical model of the knee; model of the spine; enlargements of EMG tests; photographs of Plaintiff's vehicle and of a prototype tractor-trailer; site diagram with working magnetic models and turning radius overlays; aerial photographs of the accident site; biothesiometry machine.

SETTLEMENT AMOUNT

The case settled for $3,000,000 after the damages trial, before the jury was charged.

ATTORNEYS

This matter was handled by Jeffrey A. Block, Esq. and Daniel P. O'Toole, Esq.