$2,700,000 Settlement for Serious Leg Injuries, Including Fractured Patella, After Auto Accident
Date of Settlement:
Court and County:
Age and Occupation of Plaintiff:
Plaintiff was a 23-year-old construction worker when the accident occurred.
Fact and Allegations:
This matter stems from a motor vehicle accident that occurred on October 7, 2014 at 11:45am on Wellwood Avenue in Babylon, Long Island. Defendant Howard Bonner was driving a commercial truck on Wellwood Avenue, in the course of his employment for his employer EcoLab Inc. Plaintiff was driving in the opposite direction on the same roadway with his girlfriend in the front passenger seat. There were two lanes of travel in each direction. Defendant Bonner’s view of oncoming traffic was partially obstructed by a line of cars waiting to left turn. Despite not being able to see if there was oncoming through traffic in the opposite direction, Defendant Bonner made a left turn directly in front of Plaintiff and Plaintiff was unable to stop the vehicle prior to impact. The front of Plaintiff’s vehicle crashed into the front passenger side of Defendant’s vehicle at approximately 40mph. Both vehicles were extensively damaged and ultimately declared a total loss.
Plaintiff made a motion for summary judgment, claiming that the sworn testimony of the drivers demonstrated that the accident was 100% Defendant Bonner’s fault, as a matter of law. Defendants argued that Plaintiff was partly to blame because the line of cars waiting to turn left should have indicated to Plaintiff that he should reduce his speed at the subject intersection. Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment was granted, with the Court finding that the Defendant driver was 100% at fault in that he made a left hand turn into oncoming traffic at a time when it was not safe to do so.
Plaintiff was removed from the scene via ambulance and brought to Good Samaritan Hospital. He was diagnosed with a comminuted fracture of the patella and underwent an emergent partial patellectomy – surgical removal of the portions of the patella that were broken free in the impact. Plaintiff also sustained traumatic injury to the ankle involving traumatic loss of cartilage and bone contusion, as well as traumatic herniation of the L5/S1 lumbar disc. He underwent surgical repair of the ankle and a percutaneous discectomy at the L5/S1 level. Plaintiff has received numerous recommendations for further surgical procedures to address ongoing pain and limitation in his lumbar spine.
Plaintiff’s claims included the need for future medical care related to the injury sites. The anticipated future treatment included a total knee replacement with necessary revision surgery every 10-15 years, possible ankle fusion surgery and possible lumbar fusion surgery at the L5/S1 disc level. Defendants’ experts claimed that Plaintiff’s injuries resolved without lasting sequel and that no further surgical intervention would be necessary. Defendants also argued that Plaintiff’s ankle surgery was necessitated by a prior injury Plaintiff suffered playing soccer.
The parties negotiated a $2,700,000 pretrial settlement.
This case was handled by Scott Occhiogrosso, Esq.