Attorney Stephen Wagner obtained a settlement of $2,250,000 from the New York City Transit Authority following six days of jury selection and two weeks of trial for our client, who suffered injuries to her neck, lower back, left shoulder, and left knee as a result of a rear-end motor vehicle collision. The Transit Authority’s initial offer leading into the trial was only $200,000.
Through our diligent efforts earlier in the case, we obtained summary judgment on the issue of liability. The trial was limited to the issues of whether the incident caused our client’s pain and, if so, the amount of money that would be reasonable compensation for her injuries. The Transit Authority argued that her pain was degenerative in nature, as shown by the fact that there was minimal property damage to the plaintiff’s vehicle and no damage to the defendant’s vehicle. The defendants’ expert witnesses also claimed that her spine problems were a result of her underlying scoliosis. Furthermore, approximately five years had passed between the time of the incident and the client’s first spinal surgery. Additionally, the Transit Authority defendant driver testified that he was traveling at only five mph at the time of the incident.
Our client had undergone a one-level cervical spine anterior discectomy and fusion, one-level lumbar spine posterior decompression and fusion, left shoulder arthroscopy, and left knee arthroscopy. The client’s treating spinal surgeon testified that she would require a revision cervical spine fusion surgery. The client’s sports medicine orthopedic surgeon concluded that the client would require a revision left-knee arthroscopy as well. Besides pain and suffering damages, the plaintiff also claimed future medical expenses supported by the testimony of both a life care planner and economist.