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Tag Archives: herniated disc

$ 1,270,000 Jury Verdict For Nurse Whose Vehicle Was Broadsided

New York – Ms. E. H., a nurse, suffered injuries to her left shoulder and knee as well as her neck and back in a motor vehicle crash. The car accident occurred when another car broadsided the victim’s car on Strickland Avenue in Brooklyn, NY. Ms. H. consulted with expert car accident attorney Stuart Wagner and filed a personal injury lawsuit against the driver of the other vehicle. After going to trial, the jury awarded the plaintiff a verdict of $1,270,000 to compensate her for pain and suffering as well as loss of earnings.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Photo Credit: History in Photos [License]

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JURY RETURNS verdict $1,270,000 for Plaintiff (as reported in the New York Jury Verdict Reporter)

Jury Verdict: $1,270,000

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Court: Kings Civil, Kings County, New York

Injury Type(s): rotator cuff, injury (tear); shoulder; epidural injections; physical therapy; medial meniscus, tear; lateral meniscus, tear; herniated disc, cervical; herniated disc, lumbar; lower back; back and neck; neck; back; numbness; percutaneous discectomy; radicular pain / radiculitis; decreased range of motion

Case Type: Left Turn — Motor Vehicle Accident — Broadside — Motor Vehicle Crash — Verbal Threshold

Date: 10/20/2017

Plaintiff Attorney(s):
Stuart Wagner; Morrison & Wagner, LLP; New York, NY

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Facts & Allegations:
Around 7:15 a.m. on Aug 15, 2013, plaintiff E. H., 40, a licensed practical nurse, was operating her vehicle on Strickland Avenue in Brooklyn, when her vehicle was broadsided by a vehicle that was operated by J. L., the defendant, who made a left turn from East 59th Place. As a result of the impact, The plaintiff’s vehicle continued on and struck two parked vehicles on the side of the road.

The plaintiff claimed injuries to her left non-dominant shoulder, left knee, neck and back. The plaintiff sued the defendant. The plaintiff contended that the defendant was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. This was a summary jury trial.

Just prior to jury selection, defense conceded liability. The parameters of the case were $25,000 to the $300,000 insurance policy limits.

Injuries/Damages
The plaintiff drove herself from the scene of the accident to Kings County Hospital. She complained of pain to her chest, neck and back. X-rays were taken of her chest, neck and back, which were negative. She was given painkillers and ibuprofen and was told to follow up with her primary care physician before she was discharged home. The plaintiff claimed she sustained a rotator cuff tear to her left shoulder, a partial thickness surface tear of the infraspinatus muscle, tears of the medial and lateral menisci of her left knee and several herniations at the cervical and lumbar levels.

For treatment, the plaintiff began physical therapy on Aug. 19, 2013 through January 15, 2014, with 46 visits over five months. She later consulted with an orthopedic surgeon. She then went to a pain management physician and had painkillers prescribed, as well as injections to her knee on Sept. 6, 2016. She again had epidural injections to her left knee on Nov. 5, 2016. On Dec. 14, 2016, the plaintiff had bilateral L4-5 epidural injections to her lower back. She still complained of lower back pain and numbness and tingling radiating into both her legs. She then had a percutaneous discectomy at L4-5 with steroid injections, as well as nerve blocks at C5-6 and C6-7. She did not have any shoulder surgery. The plaintiff claims she still has weakness in her shoulder and her knees, a limited range of motion for her shoulder and knees, and that she has difficulty bending, lifting, climbing stairs and tending to her patients. The plaintiff had two part-time jobs. She was an LPN at a private group, a senior living center, where she would supervise other nurses who made house calls. Her other job was at a home health care service. She was not able to work at the senior center from the date of the accident until Dec. 1, 2013. For her other job, she was out on disability from the date of the accident until Nov. 8, 2013. The plaintiff claimed she was unable to do the physical labor involved as a home health nurse, and that accordingly, her position was replaced by someone else. The plaintiff sought recovery for her past and future loss of earnings and her past and future pain and suffering.

Defense contended that the plaintiff alleged injuries were not related to the subject accident. Defense contended that just prior to the subject accident, on July 31, 2016, she presented to Kingsbrook General Hospital when she missed a step and fell, injuring her left knee. Defense contended that her complaints were attributable to that previous fall and not the subject accident. Defense contended that the plaintiff’s injuries were pre-existing, and age and job related, due to the physical nature of working with patients as a home health nurse. Defense contended that if she sustained any injury from the subject accident, that they had resolved and the plaintiff could go back to her regular activities, including working. Defense’s orthopedic surgeon’s records indicated that there was no evidence of orthopedic disability after he examined her shoulder and both her knees.

Result
The jury found that the plaintiff sustained a significant limitation of use of a body function or system, that she sustained a permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system and that she sustained a permanent consequential limitation of a body organ or member for 90 out of 180 days. The jury awarded the plaintiff $1.27 million. In accordance with the parties’ parameters on the policy limits, the plaintiff will receive the $300,000 from the insurance company.

$270,000 past lost earnings
$100,000 past pain and suffering
$100,000 future pain & suffering (over 10 years)
$800,000 future lost earnings (over 20 years)
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$1,270,000 plaintiff’s total award

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Judge: Judge Michael Gerstein

New York-bound train accident leads to massive derailment

Officials from New Jersey Transit reported that a CSX freight train derailed on its way toward New York this past week. The train was 141 cars long and travelling an unknown speed when the crash occurred, derailing some 21 of the train cars. If the train was speeding or there was an equipment failure it may explain why it derailed. Emergency responders rushed to the accident scene expecting countless injuries. However, responders explain that the train was luckily empty. The only accident victims were the train engineer and conductor, both of which did not require emergency treatment according to reports. Accident specialists note that some accident injuries don’t appear immediately and the two workers are advised to be evaluated by their doctors. They explain that some wounds, such as neck and back injuries due to bulging or herniated disc, may show themselves over the days following this type of crash.

An unrelated train accident in Valhalla, Westchester left a teenager dead, according to police. The 15-year-old girl was hit by the train while she was walking on the train tracks. That accident is thought to be a suicide but investigators are continuing to look into how she was able to get onto the tracks. In addition, they are investigating whether all safety precautions were being followed on the train as well as in the area of the dangerous railroad crossing. You can see more about that deadly accident here.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Photo Credit: Dale Stewart [License]

Brooklyn Bridge motor vehicle crash leaves multiple injured victims

New York – A 3 car pile-up car accident on the Brooklyn Bridge reportedly began when a broken down car was rear-ended by a second vehicle. The disabled car had been parked in the right lane of the roadway when it was struck by the second vehicle. However, a third car then slammed into the second, causing that second vehicle to roll over. The roll-over accident then caused a passenger to be ejected from the car. Police believe that the driver of the car that flipped over was drunk driving, possibly causing the first collision. The suspected drunk driver was arrested and brought in for further investigation according to officials. By the end of the triple vehicle car crash, there were at least seven injury victims who required emergency evaluation and treatment. Several of the victims suffered with neck and back pain, which may indicate spinal damage, according to medical specialists. They explain that the spinal injury could be simple muscle aches but could also be indicative of fractured vertebrae, herniated discs, disc bulges or even spinal cord damage.

This accident was reminiscent of a recent ambulance accident where the ambulance also rolled over. That collision also occurred in Brooklyn, very close to the exit for the Brooklyn Bridge. The accident involved an SUV truck that was hit by the ambulance, that was travelling with emergency lights and sirens as it was responding to the scene of an unrelated crash. There were four people with injuries in the accident, including the two EMTs working on the ambulance. See details about the multi-vehicle Brooklyn Bridge accident here.

Illustrative photo by: Alex Proimos from Sydney, Australia [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Actor suffers injuries during an accident at work

New York – A Broadway show actor was injured at work when his leg was trapped in a piece of stage equipment. The trap door machine mechanism closed on the victim’s foot prematurely and caused the accident. The injured man was rescued from the device when workers cut through the stage set and called for an ambulance. Reports from the ambulance crew show that the accident victim suffered a severe leg injury including broken bones. He was rushed to a nearby trauma center in midtown New York City for evaluation and treatment of his injuries. Co-workers and bystanders expressed concern regarding the safety of the equipment and machines being used on the show. Some pointed out several previous accidents with injuries on the same set since they began work on the show. Previous accidents on the set have included one worker suffering rib fractures, another man sustaining herniated discs and other spinal injuries, a woman who suffered a head injury with concussion and yet another actress who fractured bones in both wrists. The management who run the show insist that human error caused this most recent accident but others believe that equipment malfunction is to blame. Work safety advocates and union members have asked for further investigation into this accident since they believe that more safety precautions need to be set in place. They worry that more accidents and injuries or even deaths are just around the corner if safe practices are not demanded of the employer producer of the show. Proper inspections and maintenance is necessary to keep the machinery in proper working order and to prevent malfunctions. Workplace safety activists warn that this specific show has been the scene of too many accidents and it has come time for the bosses in charge to take safety more seriously. While some may not think of this type of work setting as being a place with dangers and injuries, advocates say that the hazards are real and need to be addressed. More about the injuries and problems with this show can be found here.

Photo by Youngking11 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons