Attorney Stephen D. Wagner III obtained a settlement of $1,100,000.00 after selecting a jury and immediately before opening statements in Kings County on behalf of our client from a policy of insurance with limit of $1.25 million. Attorney Ashley Jacoby was the handling attorney and prepared the file for trial.
Our client suffered a back herniation with impingement after the defendant hit our client’s vehicle in the rear on the entrance ramp of a highway. As a result, our client underwent an endoscopic discectomy and a one-level fusion surgery. The defense argued that our 63-year-old client’s pain was pre-existing and from a degenerative condition as he had injured the same part of his back seven years earlier. They also argued that due to the minimal damage to the rear of the car, the Plaintiff could not have sustained these injuries, let alone needed surgery. We countered this argument by retaining a bio-mechanical expert who would have testified that the forces involved in the impact could have caused the injuries and need for surgery.
During the course of the litigation, our aggressive actions led to the issuance of a preclusion order against the defendants who failed to appear for depositions. During evidentiary motion practice at trial, Mr. Wagner argued that because of this order, an order that the defense thought applied only to testimony from their witnesses, the defendants must be precluded from offering any evidence at trial, including expert witness testimony on the nature of the impact. The court, over strenuous objection, granted Mr. Wagner’s application. The case settled the following morning for more than double what had been offered the day before.