$1,450,000 Settlement for Passenger Injured in Bronx, NY Motor Vehicle Accident
Partner Stephen Murphy and former Associate Ameer Benno were successful in obtaining a $1,450,000 settlement for a 40-year-old woman who was hurt in a car accident. Our client was the front passenger in an SUV that was stopped in traffic on the Sheridan Parkway in the Bronx when a van struck her vehicle from behind. The defendants claimed they were not responsible for the accident, but we successfully proved that they were 100% at fault. As a result of the accident, our client suffered an exacerbation of a preexisting back injury that required two surgeries.
Court and County
Supreme Court, Bronx County
Age of Plaintiff
At the time of the accident, our client was 40-year-old, stay-at-home mother.
Description of Case
On January 1, 2015, our client, who was then 40 years old, was the front passenger in an SUV that was stopped in traffic on the Sheridan Parkway in the Bronx when a vehicle, owned and operated by the defendants, struck the SUV from behind. The impact catapulted our client forward and caused her to strike her forehead against the dashboard. The car she was in was totaled.
Liability was contested, as the defendants argued that the collision was unavoidable due to severe weather conditions. They asserted that an ice storm had begun just minutes before the accident, and that freezing rain quickly caused the roadway to become “completely iced over” and “impassable.” The defendants contended that they had been driving carefully and well-below the speed limit, and that the accident was solely due to the icy road condition, not to any negligence on their part.
After discovery was completed, we filed a motion for summary judgment against the defendants on the issue of liability, arguing that the unchallenged facts established that the defendants had been careless and negligent.
The court granted our motion and found that the defendants were 100 percent responsible for the accident and our client’s injuries.
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After the collision, our client was taken by ambulance to a hospital in the Bronx with complaints of neck and back pain. After being examined in the emergency room, she was discharged home with instructions to follow up with a physician if the pain continued.
When our client’s pain worsened, she sought treatment from a local physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist. She received months of physical therapy in an effort to alleviate the severe lower back pain she was experiencing. The pain radiated into her legs and feet, and resulted in sensations of pins and needles, numbness, tingling, and weakness.
When that treatment failed to relieve her pain, she was required to undergo lower back laminectomy surgery.
After that surgery, our client began to suffer substantially more pain in her lower back and left leg. After another regimen of extensive physical therapy failed to ease her pain, our client underwent a second surgery – a revision laminectomy with an L5-S1 spinal fusion. This surgery required bone grafts and the insertion of titanium rods and multiple screws.
About 5 years before this accident, our client had suffered a lower back injury. That injury had healed, and for at least three years before this motor vehicle accident, our client felt no lower back pain or symptoms. After the car accident, our client’s doctors were able to accurately diagnose that, among other things, the accident had caused an exacerbation of her pre-existing lower back condition.
After her second surgery, our client continued with physical therapy. Although her condition improved, she continues to experience ongoing back pain.
The matter settled for $1,450,000 after mediation.
This matter was handled by Partner Stephen Murphy and former Associate Ameer Benno.