Pedestrian Accident Victim Awarded $2,750,000 for Neck Injuries
COURT AND COUNTY
AGE AND OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF
Plaintiff was 57 years old at the time of settlement, and had worked as an administrative assistant.
DESCRIPTION OF CASE
Plaintiff, a Bronx resident and mother of two, was walking across a street in Manhattan after leaving her job when she was struck by a van. The van driver testified that Plaintiff was walking outside of the designated crosswalk and against a red pedestrian signal.
Plaintiff alleged that neck injuries were caused by the accident, which resulted in two surgeries. The first was an anterior cervical discectomy and three-level fusion. The second neck surgery involved a removal of the plate that had been inserted during the first surgery, removal of spinous processes and a four-level bone graft fusion. Plaintiff also suffered a non-displaced fifth metatarsal fracture in her right foot, and a left wrist injury characterized by a triangular fibrocartilage tear and radioulnar joint dislocation.
The Defense disputed Plaintiff’s damages claims, pointing to evidence that Plaintiff’s neck problems were degenerative in nature and had nothing to do with the accident. This included such evidence as Plaintiff’s failure to complain about neck pain at the scene of the accident or in the Emergency Room, and radiographic studies showing degenerative, rather than traumatic findings in her cervical spine. Defendants also argued that Plaintiff made a good recovery and was able to continue working, as she actually did for two years after the accident. Finally, Defendants argued that any future damages alleged by Plaintiff should be reduced because Plaintiff has a shortened life expectancy due to her pre-existing congestive heart failure and diabetes.
The case settled over one month before the scheduled trial date for $2,750,000.
This matter was handled by Stephen J. Murphy and David L. Scher.