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  4.  » $2,500,000 Settlement for Man With Herniated Discs at C5/C6 After Rear-End Collision

$2,500,000 Settlement for Man With Herniated Discs at C5/C6 After Rear-End Collision

Court and County

Supreme Court, Kings County

Plaintiff Age and Occupation

Plaintiff is 50 years old. He was employed as a passenger service agent at JFK Airport, a warehouse worker, and a food delivery person.

Description of Case

This matter arose out of a motor vehicle accident that occurred on a winter day at the intersection of Gates Avenue and Broadway in Brooklyn, New York. Plaintiff was driving on Gates Avenue when the defendant hit Plaintiff in the rear of his vehicle. The defendant was driving his vehicle while in the course of his employment with Videojet Technologies, Inc.

Injuries and Damages

Plaintiff suffered two cervical disc herniations and two cervical disc bulges as a result of the accident. He underwent conservative treatment in the form of physical therapy and an epidural steroid injection. After failure of conservative treatment, the plaintiff underwent cervical fusion surgery at the C5-6 level.  He also suffered one lumbar herniation and two lumbar disc bulges for which he underwent conservative treatment.

Plaintiff alleged economic damages for future lost wages and future cost of healthcare. He also alleged that as a result of his injuries and the continuing symptoms he was experiencing, he would no longer be able to maintain any form of employment. Plaintiff also alleged that he would need future medical treatment, including visits with medical specialists, physical therapy, medication, diagnostic studies, and possible future lumbar surgery. Plaintiff submitted reports from experts and treating physicians to substantiate these claims.

The defendants’ expert spine surgeon examined the Plaintiff and opined that Plaintiff had evidence of existing degenerative changes in his lumbar and cervical spine, and that he had a very good prognosis with the ability to return to a high level of work and labor.

Defendants’ expert radiologist reviewed the plaintiff’s cervical MRI film and concluded that the film showed no evidence of traumatic injury; chronic, pre-existing disc degeneration with disc desiccation at multiple levels extending from C3 through C7, mild bone spurs (osteophytes and uncovertebral spurring); non-acute disc bulges and ligamentous thickening/buckling; diffuse and chronic degenerative disc disease indicative of normal wear and tear, an age-related condition not associated with trauma.

Defendants’ expert radiologist also reviewed the Plaintiff’s lumbar MRI film and concluded that the film showed no evidence of traumatic injury; chronic, pre-existing disc degeneration with disc desiccation at L2 through S1; non-acute disc bulges, osteophytes and disc space narrowing at L5-S1; diffuse and chronic degenerative disc disease indicative of normal wear and tear, an age-related condition not associated with trauma.

Defendants’ expert vocational rehabilitation specialist would have testified at trial that the plaintiff was capable of returning to the workforce, as he had extensive experience in the United States working with others in a customer service and administrative capacity, which demonstrates skills that are transferable to alternate work. Additionally, the defendants’ expert vocational rehabilitation specialist would have testified that there are several occupations the plaintiff could obtain in which he could earn the same or greater salary than he did pre-accident.

Settlement Amount

This case settled for $2,500,000 prior to trial.

Handling Attorneys

Partners Daniel P. O’Toole and Frederick Aranki handled this case.

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