$3,250,000 Settlement for Driver with Back and Shoulder Injuries After Head-On Collision with NYCTA Bus
Our client, a 32-year-old Brooklyn resident on the date of the accident, was driving straight along Avenue U in Brooklyn when she was involved in a head-on collision with a New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) bus at the intersection of Avenue U and East 70th Street. While attempting to make a left turn, the NYCTA bus driver entered our client’s path, causing an unavoidable collision. As a result of the accident, our client suffered injuries to her cervical spine and right shoulder. Represented by BOM Partners Fred Aranki, Scott Occhiogrosso, and Daniel O’Toole, she received a $3,250,000 settlement.
Court and County
Supreme Court, Kings County
At the time of the accident, Plaintiff was a 32-year-old Brooklyn resident employed as a hotel concierge at a 5-star hotel in New York City.
Description of Case
This case arose out of a motor vehicle accident that occurred in January 2020, at the intersection of Avenue U and East 70th Street, Brooklyn, New York. Plaintiff was driving straight on Avenue U when she was involved in a head-on collision with a bus owned by the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) and being operated by a NYCTA bus operator in the course of his employment.
Just prior to the collision the bus operator attempted to make a left turn into the pathway of the Plaintiff who was not able to avoid the collision. The bus operator claimed that the Plaintiff was traveling at a high rate of speed, especially under the snowy and wet roadway conditions. Defendants’ accident reconstruction expert would have testified that the Plaintiff was traveling too fast and could have avoided the accident if she was driving more slowly in the prevailing weather conditions.
We argued that the Plaintiff had the right-of-way since she was traveling straight, that the Defendant bus operator’s conduct of making a left turn in the pathway of the Plaintiff’s travel made the accident unavoidable for the Plaintiff. Plaintiff also retained an accident reconstruction expert who would have testified at trial that that the bus operator was driving improperly and unsafely by turning and stopping in Plaintiff’s lane of travel while also causing the collision because of his improper and unsafe driving.
As a result of the accident, the Plaintiff suffered injuries to her cervical spine and right shoulder. Prior to the accident, when she was a teenager, the Plaintiff underwent a significant surgery to her spine to address congenital scoliosis which included the implantation of surgical hardware into a large part of her spine. Also, prior to the accident the Plaintiff was diagnosed with a cervical spine herniation at C5-C6 for which she was undergoing treatment and taking medication.
The subject accident aggravated the pre-existing herniation to the C5-C6 level of her cervical spine, causing compression on her spinal cord which increased her pain and radiculopathy. After the failure of conservative treatment, she required a cervical spine fusion surgery to the C5-C6 level. Plaintiff also developed right shoulder pain and symptoms and was diagnosed with scapular winging syndrome for which she was treating with a neurologist. The subject accident also caused the Plaintiff to have major depression and anxiety for which she was treating with a psychologist.
At the time of the accident, the Plaintiff had been employed full-time as a Hotel Guest Service Agent. As a result of the accident, she was disabled from employment in this or any other capacity.
Plaintiff was examined by a specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation who opined that she is expected to have progression of post-traumatic arthritis in her cervical spine and right shoulder as a result of her injuries. This doctor also opined that Plaintiff’s injuries resulted from the subject accident. In addition to the results of his examination, this doctor gave an opinion regarding the anticipated future medical needs of the Plaintiff and the costs associated with this treatment.
This matter proceeded to trial and settled after jury selection for $3,250,000.
The case was handled by firm Partners Fred Aranki, Scott Occhiogrosso, and Daniel O’Toole.