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$3,375,000 Settlement for Truck Driver Rear-Ended While Stopped at Intersection

Court and County
Supreme, Kings

Plaintiff Description
Our client, 31, was working as a delivery driver and sales person for Poland Springs at the time of his accident. He is married with two kids.

Description of Case
Our client was stopped at a red light on 34th Street where it intersects with 3rd Avenue in Sunset Park, Brooklyn when he was struck in the rear by the Defendant, who was operating a poultry truck owned by his employer.

Our client came to a complete stop at the light, and as soon as it changed to green he was hit by the Defendant vehicle. The impact was heavy enough to push the vehicle forward. Our client was wearing a seatbelt, and his body was whipped back and forth a few times in the manner which is typical of rear-end motor vehicle accidents.

The Defendant stated that he attempted to slow down while approaching the light but claimed that his foot slipped off the brake. He said that his foot was wet due to walking in snow earlier.

After the accident occurred, our client was in a state of shock and didn’t immediately notice any pain. He soon started experiencing pain in his neck and lower back, however, and by the next morning his back felt like it was on fire, particularly in the Cervical region of his spine (upper back and neck). Within two days of the accident he was feeling radicular symptoms (such as pain, numbness, tingling or muscle weakness) in his upper extremities and lower extremities.

Because he was injured while driving a company car, our client’s employer him required him to see their physician before any other, which our client did 2 hours after the accident. The doctor had him put on a course of physical therapy three times a week. An MRI of his Lumbar and Cervical spine later revealed herniated discs at the L4/5 and C5/6 segments. An EMG study of the upper extremities also revealed evidence of radiculopathy of the C5/6 nerve. When conservative treatment of physical therapy and injections failed to relieve his pain, our client underwent spinal fusion surgeries at the L4/5 and C5/6 segments.

The Defendants argued that the impact was not forceful enough to cause the injuries that our client required surgery for. They also claimed that the herniated discs and cervical radiculopathy revealed by the MRI and EMG studies were pre-existing, degenerative conditions, rather than a result of the trauma of the accident. The Defendants finally argued that the cervical and lumbar fusion surgeries which our client received were not necessary, and that he should have been able to participate in his normal daily activities without any restrictions resulting from his pain or injuries.

Settlement Amount

Handling Attorneys
This case was handled by Michael J. Hurwitz and Partner Stephen J. Murphy.

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