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$1,500,000 Settlement for Client Hurt in Collision in Flatbush, Brooklyn

Our client, a 55-year-old father of four, was sitting in a legally parked car on Church Avenue, near the intersection of Nostrand Avenue, when he was suddenly struck by a public bus. Prior to the crash, the bus collided with another vehicle. The impact of the first collision pushed the bus forward into our client’s parked vehicle. As a result of the incident, our client sustained cervical spine and knee injuries. He ultimately underwent ACDF at the C5-6 and C6-7 levels. Represented by attorneys Stephen Murphy and Michael Hurwitz, he received a $1.5 million settlement.

Court and County
Supreme Court, Kings County

Age and Occupation of Plaintiff
At the time of the accident, our client was a 55-year-old father of four children. He served as a Superintendent for the NYCTA (New York City Transit Authority).

Description of Case
This matter stems from an auto accident which occurred on Church Avenue, near the intersection of Nostrand Avenue, in Brooklyn, New York. Plaintiff was a passenger in a legally parked vehicle when he was struck by a bus owned by Defendant The New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) and operated by Defendant Bus Driver. The bus had just been involved in a collision with another vehicle while the bus was attempting to exit a bus stop on Church Avenue.

As the bus was leaving the bus stop, it collided with the other vehicle, operated by Co-defendant Driver. The bus propelled forward into Plaintiff’s parked vehicle where Plaintiff was sitting. Plaintiff made a motion for summary judgement against all defendants which was granted.

As a result of the subject accident Plaintiff claimed to have injured his cervical spine, lumbar spine and knees bilaterally.

Plaintiff was removed from the scene of the accident by EMS to the Emergency Department at Kings County Hospital with immediate complaints of pain to the neck, lower back and his knees. A CT scan of the cervical spine take at the hospital was negative for any fractures or subluxations. After discharge Plaintiff promptly started a course of physical therapy and pain management. When conservative treatment was not providing relief, plaintiff was referred for diagnostic studies including an MRI exam of the cervical spine on July 17, 2018 which revealed herniations at the C5-6 and C6-7 segments. On March 27, 2019 plaintiff underwent surgery consisting of a anterior cervical discectomy and fusion at the C5-6 and C6-7 levels.

Plaintiff also claimed to have sustained lumbar herniations and tears to the knees bilaterally that required physical therapy. Plaintiff continues to have pain to his spine and knees bilaterally.

The Defendants argued that the impact was minimal and did not cause any of the claimed injuries. Defendant’s experts also argued Plaintiff’s spinal and knee injuries were degenerative in nature and not causally related to the subject accident and that all diagnostic studies failed to illustrate any traumatically induced injury. More specifically, defendants argued that the CT scan taken in the ER on the date of the accident failed to show any traumatic findings but rather illustrated degenerative findings of longstanding disc disease. The defendant’s experts also opined that Plaintiff is back to pre-injury functional level and is able to work without restrictions. Defendants argued that no further treatment is necessary, and plaintiff can engage in all activities of daily living without any restrictions.

The matter settled for $1,500,000. Defendant NYCTA and NYCTA Bus Driver are self-insured and paid $1,400,000. The other vehicle driver had a $100,000 policy with Hereford Insurance which was tendered.

The case was handled by partners Stephen J. Murphy and Michael J. Hurwitz.

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