One day in Suffolk County, a 40-year-old mother of three was driving home from work. She believed a safe arrival to her husband and children was imminent. After completing a left-hand turn and proceeding across a highway onto another street, a truck operator struck the rear passenger side of her vehicle. As a result of the accident, she would later undergo a 1-level cervical spine fusion at C5-6 and a left shoulder surgery.
This was a heavily contested liability case. The Defense argued that the Plaintiff—the 40 year-old mother of three—who was in the process of making a left-hand turn, should have yielded to the defendant’s truck, who was in the right-turn lane. Despite the Defense’s arguments, Partner Stephen J. Murphy and Associate Aaron R. Fishkin recovered $1,500,000 for the Plaintiff days before jury selection was scheduled to commence in Suffolk County.
Court and County
Supreme Court, Suffolk County
Description of Case
The case arose out of an accident which occurred On October 26, 2020, at approximately 2:00 pm, when Plaintiff was doing what she has done countless times: finished her day working at a high school, entered her vehicle, and proceeded driving toward her home—toward her husband and children. While Plaintiff was driving, the defendant’s truck, without warning, drove through a “no-drive zone” and struck the rear passenger side of Plaintiff’s vehicle. It was Plaintiff’s contention that she had no opportunity to avoid the collision.
Defense contended that Plaintiff, as the driver of the vehicle turning left at an intersection, should have yielded the right-of-way to the Defendant’s truck, which was in the right turn lane. Defense further argued that Plaintiff’s driving actions violated the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law, which states that, “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection… Shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.” (NYS VTL section 1141).
Despite this heavily contested liability case, the matter was settled a couple of days before the parties were scheduled to start trial in favor of the Plaintiff, our client.
Immediately after the collision, Plaintiff didn’t initially feel pain, but later that night, she began to experience pain in her lower back and shoulders. The day after the accident, Plaintiff presented to a medical office where she complained of pain in her neck, upper and lower back, and arms and legs. This initial visit commenced a year-long course of conservative treatment, which included physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, pain management, and injections. When conservative treatment failed, Plaintiff underwent a cervical spine fusion and left shoulder surgery. Plaintiff continued to work after this accident and is working full-time to this day.
The parties resolved this case after depositions of all parties concluded for $1,500,000.