Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP attorneys Bryce Moses and Ashley Jacoby obtained a $6,500,000 verdict for a 51-year-old undocumented Queens man following a damages trial spanning nine days.
Our client suffered injuries when defendants’ waste removal truck struck him from behind and in a crosswalk in the Meatpacking District while he walked to work. He suffered a concussion and non-surgical tears to his right shoulder and right elbow that all resolved after one year. Additionally, he was diagnosed with multiple herniations and underwent a single-level cervical fusion and two-level lumbar fusion after conservative treatment failed.
Defendants contested every aspect of plaintiff’s case and called numerous experts in their defense. While the Court awarded summary judgment against defendants years before trial, the issue of comparative negligence was left to the jury. Defendants argued that our client should have seen the truck coming and that he was outside the crosswalk at the time he was hit. They also argued that he had not sustained a “serious injury“ under New York Insurance Law and that the spinal surgeries were necessitated by degenerative changes caused by his age and work as a carpenter in the decades before the accident. Furthermore, they argued that after only six months of physical therapy and injections, he was discharged from his physician’s care with full range of motion and normal neurological findings and was allowed to return to work without restrictions. He had worked for nearly a year before he even consulted with a spinal surgeon.
We argued that defendants refused to accept responsibility for their involvement in this incident. This was even after being found responsible by the Court, and having overlooked or ignored points of impact documented in the medical records that confirmed our version of events and produced experts who were in the business of writing reports and giving opinions that always supported defendants’ interest.
After listening to testimony from witnesses that included our client’s treating providers and a biomechanical engineer called to rebut defendants’ accident reconstruction animation, the jury agreed with us. The jury deliberated for approximately three hours. They determined that our client was not at all comparatively negligent. The jury then found our client sustained a serious injury and awarded $3,400,000 in past pain and suffering and $3,100,000 in future pain and suffering. Their verdict was unanimous and represented an award more than four times the highest settlement offer defendants made of $1,500,000, which only came in the middle of trial.