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$1,750,000 Settlement for Driver Rear-Ended While Stopped in Traffic


Supreme Court, Nassau County


May 4, 2017


Plaintiff was a married 40-year-old lineman for Verizon at the time of the incident


Plaintiff was stopped in traffic on the Cross Island Expressway in Queens New York when he was struck in the rear by a 2011 Mercedes Benz, owned by Ava Pork Products, Inc. The impact was significant resulting in Plaintiff’s vehicle being totaled.

Prior to the accident, Plaintiff had suffered an injury at work, resulting in a herniated disc at the L4/5 level, causing Plaintiff to miss nearly one year of work and requiring extensive conservative care, including physical therapy, chiropractic care and injections. The conservative care alleviated Plaintiff’s symptoms and he was ultimately able to return to work. Despite returning to work, Plaintiff continued to experience episodes of lower back pain.

Following the motor vehicle accident, Plaintiff returned to work for a short period of time performing light duty responsibilities. However, as Plaintiff’s condition continued to worsen, he was no longer able to perform his work duties and stopped working. He was no longer able to work and ultimately went out on disability.

Plaintiff made a motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability. Plaintiff argued that Defendant was solely responsible for the happening of the accident in striking a stopped vehicle in the rear. The court ruled in Plaintiff’s favor, finding Defendant was 100% responsible for the happening of the accident. The matter was scheduled for a trial on the issue of damages only.


Due to the rear-end collision, Plaintiff experienced a worsening of his pre-existing lower back pain. Although Plaintiff underwent additional conservative care for his pain, his condition continued to worsen. As a result, Plaintiff underwent a lumbar surgery at the L4/5 level. As a result of the impact, Plaintiff also suffered an injury to his left shoulder. Conservative care did not alleviate his left shoulder symptoms and he underwent surgical arthroscopy to the left shoulder.

As a result of the injuries, Plaintiff claimed damages for past and future pain and suffering, past and future loss of enjoyment of life, past and future loss of earnings and union benefits, as well as past and future medical care costs. Plaintiff claimed that his injuries were permanent and would require lifelong medical care.


The matter settled for $1,750,000 prior to trial.


The case was handled by partners Jeffrey A. Block and S. Joseph Donahue.

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