We hope this week’s newsletter finds you well. Last week we saw the oldest person sworn in as President of the United States and the oldest quarterback win a NFL Conference Championship. (That same quarterback is already the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl.) Maybe 80 is the new 40? Let’s take a look at our cases for the week.
ANNA STEFANDIDIS V. MITCHELL R. GOLDENBERG (601619/18)
VENUE: Supreme Nassau
TYPE OF CASE: Automobile Liability
FACTS: A 61-year-old legally blind part time clerk was walking in a crosswalk when she was hit by the defendant’s vehicle. As a result of the force of the accident, the plaintiff was propelled into the road.
- The plaintiff suffered a displaced, intra-articular fracture of the right tibia’s distal region, including the medial malleolus (the body protuberance that extends towards the left leg) and the posterior malleolus (the rear tip of the tibia) of her right ankle.
- The plaintiff suffered dental avulsion, including the displacement of several teeth, including the upper jaw’s center two teeth and a fracture of an incisor.
- The plaintiff experienced also a complex full-thickness laceration of her lower lip and a partial-thickness laceration of a lip.
- The plaintiff had abrasions of her neck and nose as well as road rash abrasions of her back and buttocks.
- Immediately after the accident, the plaintiff received a cast on her right ankle.
- Four days after the accident, the plaintiff underwent an open reduction and the internal fixation of a plate and three screws.
- The plaintiff received stiches for her lip wounds.
- The plaintiff stayed in the hospital for 17 days after the accident.
- The plaintiff developed residual cellulitis of her right ankle (inflammation of skin’s connective tissue). This was treated with antibiotics over a week-long hospital stay.
- Three weeks after the accident, the plaintiff underwent a dental procedure including the implantation of a bridge and application of a wire that immobilized her jaw. The bridge was adjusted twice a few months after the accident.
- The plaintiff underwent replacement of her upper jaw’s central incisors.
- Seven months after the accident, the plaintiff underwent surgery to remove the ankle’s fixation hardware and debride damaged tissue.
- Following surgery, the plaintiff received physical therapy.
- The plaintiff claimed that she continued to experience pain and loss of range of motion in her right ankle.
- The plaintiff has permanent scars on her right ankle and lower lip.
- The plaintiff claimed that she suffers looseness of teeth which has caused her to avoid many types of food and will require further dental treatment.
SETTLEMENT: The parties reached a mediated settlement for $900,000: $500,000 from the defendant’s primary policy and $400,000 from a $1,000,000 excess policy.
ALKAYAN KHAN V. CLINSTO, AMSTRONNG, TAMESHWAR ,BASDEO (712576/17)
VENUE: Supreme Queens
TYPE OF CASE: Automobile Liability
FACTS: A 29-year-old barber was the passenger of a car executing a left turn when it struck the corner of the defendant’s vehicle.
- The plaintiff underwent x-rays and minor treatment for back pain immediately following the accident.
- The plaintiff claimed to suffer a tear of the quadriceps tendon of his right knee.
- The plaintiff claimed to suffer herniations of his C4-C5, C5-C6, C6-C7, and L5-S1 intervertebral discs.
- The plaintiff claimed to suffer from trauma induced bulges of his L3-L4 and L4-L5 discs.
- The plaintiff claimed that his L5-S1 herniation resulted in the impingement of a spinal nerve and resultant radiculopathy.
- The plaintiff received physical therapy, the injection of steroid-based pain killers for his back, and the injection of another steroid-cased medication for his right knee.
- The plaintiff claimed his injuries prevented him from returning to work for nine months following the accident.
- The plaintiff claimed to have continued pain and limitations preventing him from being able to run, sit, or stand for prolonged periods of time.
- The defense counsel argued that the plaintiff did not suffer a serious injury as defined by Insurance Law §5102(d), that he suffered nothing more than soft tissue damage.
SETTLEMENT: Prior to the damages portion of the trial the parties negotiated a settlement for $50,000 for past and future pain and suffering.
JOEL GONZALEZ V. JOSUE ROMERO, JOSHUA ROMERO, JAMES NEWELL, BLACK CREEK FARM (880/7)
VENUE: Supreme Cayuga
TYPE OF CASE: Workplace Liability
FACTS: A 52-year-old painter was washing the exterior of a barn when he fell off a ladder, falling 20 feet, landed on the sub-roof of the barn, and then fell another 6 feet down to the ground.
- The plaintiff suffered a small fracture of his T3 vertebra.
- The plaintiff also experienced pneumothorax, partial collapse of his left lung.
- Immediately after the accident, the plaintiff suffered from a swollen right ankle.
- The plaintiff only missed two days of work as a result of the accident.
- The plaintiff claimed that he wanted to undergo physical therapy, however he could not afford the treatment.
- The plaintiff claimed that his pain was made worse when he coughed, laughed, sneezed, or breathed deeply.
- Less than a month later, the plaintiff returned to the hospital, where he received a painkiller.
- The plaintiff claimed that the injury caused irritability which resulted in a strain in his familial relations, for which he had to undergo counseling.
- The plaintiff claimed that his back, neck and right ankle remain painful, hindering his ability to sleep. He claimed to also experience residual weakness, diminution of his left arm’s range of motion, and continued deformity of his T3 vertebra.
- According to the plaintiff, he is not able to work as quickly as he could before the accident, and he is scared of ladders therefore he does not perform work which requires the use of a ladder.
VERDICT: The presiding justice awarded the plaintiff $148,840.91 in damages.