$3,000,000 Settlement for Driver Rear Ended by a Government Vehicle
A 36-year-old driver was rear-ended by a snow plow owned by the City of New York at an intersection in Brooklyn. He suffered serious injuries requiring surgery. Represented by Partner Jeffrey Block, he received a $3,000,000 settlement from the City of New York.
Court and County
Our client was 36 years old and working as a truck driver at the time of the accident.
Description of Case
Our client was driving southbound in the left turning lane on Pennsylvania Avenue when he came to a red light at the intersection of Penn and Cozine Avenue. The time was 4:30 a.m., and though it had recently snowed, the roads were clear and visibility was good.
The light turned green, but before our client could make his turn he was struck from behind by the Defendant vehicle, an NYC snow plow. He was able to see the vehicle a split second before impact and noticed that there were no flashing yellow turret lights indicating the plow was down. He also did not hear any noise which would indicate that the truck was plowing the street. Pictures taken by our client in the immediate aftermath of the accident show the roads as being clear of snow.
The plow was going at least 40 mph when the collision occurred. The force was so great that our client’s vehicle was pushed off its rear axle and sent across 3 northbound lanes, eventually striking two poles located on the far southeast corner of the intersection.
The Defendant later confirmed that he was not plowing the streets at the time of the accident, but was on his way to the salt fields, where he would leave the plow and go home.
Our client suffered multiple knee and back injuries in this accident. An MRI of his right knee revealed a partial meniscal tear and a suprapatellar effusion, and he soon received surgery on this knee. An MRI of his cervical spine revealed extensive damage, including:
- Disc herniations at C2/3, C3/4, C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7
- Disc space narrowing at C5/6 disc space
- Fracture to the C5 vertebral body
- Reversal of the normal cervical curvature
In addition to these injuries and the surgeries required to treat them, our client was told he would require spinal fusion surgery at a later date. The prognosis on his knee was also poor based on the impact to articular weight bearing surfaces and anticipation of progressive traumatic arthritis. Doctors believed that a total knee replacement would be necessary.
Our client was also told that he would have to undergo physical therapy anywhere from 12 to 36 times per year for the rest of his life. He would also need to see a neurosurgeon and orthopedist once per year for the rest of his life to check up on his knee and back.
Despite the fact that our client wanted to return to work, he was told that he would have difficulty returning to any type of job that required long periods of sitting, standing or walking or that required him to lift more than 10 pounds.
This case settled during trial for $3,000,000.
This matter was handled by Jeffery A. Block.