$4,000,000 Settlement for a Pedestrian Who Was Knocked Down
Our client was crossing the intersection of Third Avenue and East 169th Street in the Bronx when she was struck by a vehicle and knocked down. She sustained nerve injury to her right ankle which required two surgeries to her foot and ankle and prevented her from putting weight on her right foot for two years. Represented by partners Jeffrey A. Block and S. Joseph Donahue, she was able to recover $4,000,000.
Court and County
Supreme Court, Bronx County
At the time of the accident our client was unemployed due to a long-standing disability.
Description of Case
This pedestrian knockdown motor vehicle accident occurred at the intersection of Third Avenue and East 169th Street in the Bronx. At the location of the accident, Third Avenue is a two-way street with lanes of travel in the northbound and southbound directions, while East 169th Street is a one-way roadway, with lanes of travel in the westbound direction. The intersection is controlled by a traffic signal.
At the time of the accident, our client was crossing Third Avenue, in the Eastbound direction on East 169th Street, when she was struck by Defendant, who was driving a 2007 Audi in the Westbound direction on East 169th Street and attempting to make a left turn onto Third Avenue, in the southbound direction. At the time of the accident, our client had a walk signal and had the right of way but was outside the crosswalk. The Defendant had a green traffic signal but was required to yield to pedestrians crossing the roadway. The defendant struck our client with the front passenger wheel of the vehicle. Our client saw Defendant vehicle just prior to impact. Defendant did not see our client before the impact as she claimed that her vision was impaired by sun glare.
During the pendency of the case, we made a motion for summary judgment seeking the court to hold Defendant responsible for the happening of the accident. The court granted our motion, finding Defendant was negligent in the operation of her vehicle resulting in the collision and determined that the issue of whether our client had any responsibility for the accident was an issue of fact for determination by a jury.
Following the court’s decision, Defendant appealed to the Appellate Division, First Department. The appellate court upheld the trial court’s decision.
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Our client suffered an injury to her lower right extremity and was transported to a local hospital by ambulance. At the hospital, she underwent x-ray studies and was diagnosed with a comminuted displaced and fragmented fracture of the right ankle. The fracture involved all three subtalar joints. A cast was applied to her right ankle, and she was instructed to follow up with orthopedics. Surgery was initially not recommended.
Over the course of the next year, she continued to have pain in her right ankle, along with swelling, numbness, burning, and weakness. She remained non ambulatory. Her cast was removed and replaced, and she required the use of crutches. She was then fitted with a medical boot, with the continued use of crutches.
It was determined that the bones in her ankle did not heal, and she was recommended to undergo surgical repair of her ankle. The surgery consisted of a right ankle fusion. Postoperatively, she underwent physical therapy and continued under the care of her orthopedist. As time went on, she continued to suffer right ankle pain, weakness, and sensations deficits. She was unable to place her right foot flat on the ground and developed a cavus foot, whereby her foot contracted in the plantar fashion with deformed toes. It was determined that the deformity of her right foot was due to a nerve injury that occurred with the initial injury. As a result, she required an additional surgery consisting of a mid-foot dorsal osteotomy and fusion, flexor tenotomies and phalangeal joint resection to reduce the plantar flexion and release of the claw toes, along with a big toe fusion.
Due to her injuries and surgeries our client was not able to apply weight to her right foot for two years after the accident.
Following the second surgery, her condition improved, however she continued to experience pain, weakness, swelling, numbness and sensation deficits to her right foot and ankle. She requires ongoing medications to alleviate her symptoms and has difficulty ambulating long distances. She continues under the care of pain management specialists.
While our client was not working prior to the accident due to an unrelated disability, there was no claim made for loss of earnings. However, due to the permanency of her injuries, claims were made for future medical care costs, as well as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
The matter was settled at a mediation prior to trial for $4,000,000.
The case was handled by partners Jeffrey A. Block and S. Joseph Donahue