Driver Hit by Con Edison Van on Staten Island Expressway
WRSH partner Bryce Moses obtained a verdict in the amount of $5,500,000 for our client who was exiting the Staten Island Expressway when her motor vehicle was struck by a Con Edison van. As a result of the impact, the left side of her face hit the steering wheel, her neck twisted, and she felt immediate pain in her neck. Through the efforts of WRSH partner Ken Halperin, our firm was successful in obtaining summary judgment on the issue of liability, convincing the Court that the accident was 100% the fault of Con Edison.
Despite being found responsible for the accident, Con Edison refused to settle the case and took a "no pay" position at trial. Con Edison had two lawyers to handle the damages trial and three Con Edison investigators to assist their lawyers throughout the trial. WRSH partner, Bryce Moses conducted the trial for our client.
Con Edison argued at trial that despite her neck pain, our client neither went to the hospital nor saw any doctors on the day of her accident. Con Edison argued rather than see a doctor, our client left for Jamaica the next day on a family vacation for two weeks. Although she testified that her neck was in pain the entire time she was away, saw a nurse at her hotel, and had an x-ray at a local medical facility, none of these records could be located. Con Edison also argued our client was not injured as a result of this accident but a prior car accident.
In 2008, our client was involved in a car accident where her car spun around and was totaled. As a result of that 2008 crash, our client lost consciousness and was making complaints of neck pain at the hospital where they recommended that she have a CT Scan of her cervical spine. She came under the care of a doctor in 2008 who noted that our client had neck pain and diagnosed her with acute traumatic cervical radiculitis. Con Edison argued that the 2010 accident had nothing to do with her neck pain and that she had been complaining about her neck since 2008.
Mr. Moses was able to demonstrate through his use of our client’s 2008 medical records, MRI films, and her medical treatment from the 2010 accident, that Con Edison was responsible for our client’s C5-6 disc herniation and the fusion surgery necessary to repair it. Bryce showed the jury that our client’s neck complaints in 2008 involved only her neck with no radiating pain down into her arms. Bryce further demonstrated through the expert testimony of our client’s spinal surgeon, that a complaint of radiating pain would indicate that the C5-6 disc was herniated and compressing the spinal nerve root. Without any complaint of radiating pain in 2008, our client’s spinal surgeon was able to state that our client did not suffer a herniated disc that compressed her spinal nerves in 2008. Bryce then showed the jury our client’s medical records from a doctor she saw in 2010 in which our client complained of neck pain radiating into both arms. This was one of the most compelling pieces of medical evidence that convinced the jury it was the Con Ed accident that was responsible for our client’s injuries.
Bryce was also able to discredit the expert witness produced by Con Edison. Despite stating that he was an orthopedic surgeon familiar with spinal injuries, Bryce got the doctor to admit that he never performed a spinal surgery himself in his entire medical career. The doctor was also forced to acknowledge that he earns 1.4 million dollars each year running a company that conducts medical evaluations for defendants, such as Con Edison in this case. The jury deliberated for only 20 minutes. The jury unanimously awarded our client $1,500,000 for her past pain and suffering and $4,000,000 for her future pain and suffering.