Victim No Longer Able to Work
$3,300,000 Recovery - Defendant trucker allegedly precipitates collision with host automobile proceeding from trucks right by encroaching into host's lane and causing initial impact as evidenced by tire markings on host car. Plaintiff contends second impact occurs when truck strikes car after initial loss of control. Defendant truck driver maintains that host automobile driver causes collision by turning left in front of him from right lane. Host driver indicates she was planning on turning left at next intersection approximately one block away. Plaintiff would have presented accident reconstructionist expert who was NASA scientist working on space shuttle and lunar landing module who would have concluded markings in collision supported plaintiff's claims and depicted similar damage as testing of vehicles conducted and filmed by expert in 1990s. Plaintiff front seat passenger suffers aggravation of lumbar herniation. Rotator cuff tear - inability to continue job as home cleaner.
Richmond County, NY
This was a case brought by a 43-year-old plaintiff front seat belted passenger who had been picked up at her cleaning job by her sister. The collision occurred on Broadway in Manhattan and there were two southbound travel lanes as well as parking lanes on either side. The host, who was in the right lane, was en route to Staten Island and indicated that she would have turned left at the next intersection that was about a block away, to travel to the Brooklyn Bridge if the collision had not occurred. The plaintiff contended that the defendant truck driver in the left lane, negligently steered to the right, causing the initial contact as evidenced by rubber tire markings that were on the host automobile and absence of metal on metal gouge marks. The plaintiff maintained that the host car then traveled out of control and rotated around to become perpendicular to front of truck and was struck again by the truck that then left markings from metal on metal. The defendant trucker denied that the plaintiff's claims were accurate and contended that the host driver caused the collision by cutting him off as she was trying to move to the left lane in anticipation of the upcoming left turn. The plaintiff contended that she suffered an aggravation of a previously sustained lumbar herniation and a tear of the left, non-dominant rotator cuff tear. The plaintiff asserted that because of the pain and limitations attendant to the injuries, she will be permanently precluded from returning to cleaning work. The host driver, who had $100,000 in coverage, was also sued. The host automobile sustained rubber markings that ran from host's driver's side door back that could only have been made by the truck's tire. The plaintiff's accident reconstruction expert contended that unless the truck was steering to the right and leading edge of the right front of the tire impacted the car, the fender of the truck would have prevented truck rubber markings from being produced. The plaintiff's expert indicated that the metal indentation marks in 3 locations on the side of the car were produced by the truck, subsequently impacting with the car a 2nd time and that this physical evidence strongly supported the plaintiff's testimony of multiple impacts that commenced when the truck drifted into the right lane and struck the host automobile, causing it to spin out of control.
The plaintiff's accident reconstruction expert related that he conducted testing in the 1990s which had dynamics that were identical to that involved in the subject case. The expert indicated that filming of this testing underscored his position, and the plaintiff would have played such films if the case had proceeded to trial. The evidence disclosed that the plaintiff had sustained a lumbar herniation in a work-related incident in the late 1990s that was treated with conservative care, including physical therapy. She related that except for a short period of exacerbation approximately eight years before the subject accident, during which she also underwent conservative treatment, she had been essentially asymptomatic until the collision with the truck occurred. The plaintiff maintained that because of the severe pain caused by the aggravation, she required a lumbar fusion.
The plaintiff further contended that the subject accident caused a rotator cuff tear on the non-dominant side that required arthroscopic surgery and which will cause permanent pain and weakness.
The plaintiff asserted that the injuries suffered in the collision with the truck will permanently prevent her from working.
The case settled during jury selection for $3,300,000.
Pero vs. DiLorenzo, Index No.: 100702/10, 06-00-14.
Attorney for Plaintiff: Philip Russotti and Kenneth Halperin of Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP in New York, NY
Plaintiff's Accident Reconstructionist - Robert Swint, Houston TX
Orthopedic Surgeon - Alexandre B. de Moura, M.D.
Economist - Thomas Fitzgerald, Ph.D.
Vocational Rehabilitation Care Plan - Charles Kincaid, Ph.D., ABVE, CRC, ATP, CLCP
The defendant trucker contended that the host driver precipitated the collision by cutting him off as the host moved from the right lane to the left lane in anticipation of turning left at the next corner to reach the Brooklyn Bridge, pointing out that the host had indicated that she planned on taking the Brooklyn Bridge to Staten Island. The host driver denied moving to the left and contended that the truck steered into the right lane, struck the side of the host vehicle and causing it to spin out of control where it was struck additional times by the truck. The plaintiff, who contended that the cause of the accident was the negligence of the trucker, argued that rather than base its evaluation on testimony, which might or might not be accurate, the jury should concentrate on the physical evidence. In this regard, the plaintiff utilized an accident reconstruction expert who had been a NASA scientist with extensive experience in the Space Shuttle program, and who explained that the markings on the host vehicle could only have been made by the plaintiff's version which was similar to test crashing he had conducted in the 1990s and which would have been played before the jury if the case proceeded to trial. In this regard, the expert would have, using the video completed during the prior testing, explained to the jury the manner in which the defendant driver and passenger described the rotation of the car spinning in front of the truck was consistent with their version of the accident and his prior testing.