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Tag Archives: pain and suffering

$2.75 Million Premises Liability — Woman Suffers Broken Neck, Brain Injury From Falling Object

New York – A woman was walking along when a piece of stone facade collapsed off the side of a Brooklyn building. The collapse debris hit her in the head and neck, leaving her with a spinal fracture in her neck and a traumatic brain injury with concussion. After being hospitalized for several weeks and undergoing fusion surgery of her neck, the woman sought the legal guidance of the experts at Morrison & Wagner to file a negligent repair negligence lawsuit. They settled the case with the defendants agreeing to pay the injury victim $2,750,000.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Credit: Bruce Monroe [License]

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Woman’s neck fractured by falling piece of building’s facade (VerdictSearch by Priya Idiculla)

Settlement: $2,750,000

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Court: Kings Supreme, Kings County, New York

Injury Type(s): brain damage; cognition, impairment; compression fracture; concussion; corpectomy; discectomy; effusion; finger; fracture, C4; fracture, neck; fracture, vertebra; fusion, cervical; hand; hardware implanted; head; memory impairment; physical therapy; pneumonia; shoulder; sutures; traumatic brain injury; trigger point injection; vertigo

Case Type: Premises Liability – Negligent Repair and/or Maintenance – Falling Object

Date: November 4, 2016

Plaintiff Attorney(s):
Eric H. Morrison; Morrison & Wagner; New York, NY

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Facts & Allegations:
On Sept. 22, 2014, the plaintiff, an unemployed woman, was struck by a limestone fragment that had fallen off of the fourth-story facade of a building located in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn. The woman sustained injuries of her head and neck.

The woman sued the premises’ owner and the premises’ manager. She alleged that the defendants were negligent in their maintenance of the premises. She further alleged that the defendants’ negligence caused the accident.

The plaintiff’s counsel contended that the accident was a result of prolonged neglect of the building’s exterior. He contended that photographs depicted chips, cracks and other irregularities of the facade.

Defense counsel contended that the accident may have been a result of erosion caused by power-washing of the building, but he ultimately conceded liability.

Injuries/Damages
The injury victim’s head was struck and lacerated by the limestone fragment. She was placed in an ambulance, and she was transported to Lutheran Medical Center, in Brooklyn. Doctors determined that she sustained a concussion and a compression fracture of her C4 vertebra. Her scalp’s laceration was closed via application of sutures. After four days had passed, she underwent surgery that included a corpectomy, which involved excision of her C4 vertebra; a discectomy, which involved excision of the anterior portion of her C3-4 and C4-5 intervertebral discs; fusion of the anterior region of her spine’s C3-4 and C4-5 levels; and implantation of a stabilizing cage. During her convalescence, she developed pneumonia and pleural effusion. Her hospitalization lasted about two weeks. She subsequently underwent physical therapy and a pain-management regimen, which included administration of painkilling trigger-point injections.

The accident victim claimed that her head’s injury caused damage of her brain, with residual effects that included confusion, disorientation, vertigo, and impairment of her memory and other elements of her cognition. She also claimed that her neck remains painful, that the pain radiates to her shoulders, and that her fingers and hands experience occasional tingling sensations. She undergoes periodic physical therapy.

The plaintiff sought recovery of past medical expenses, future medical expenses, damages for past pain and suffering, and damages for future pain and suffering.

Defense counsel contended that the woman did not sustain an injury of the brain.

Result
After selection of a jury, but prior to the scheduled start of the trial, the parties negotiated a settlement. The defendant’s primary insurer tendered its policy, which provided $1 Million of coverage, and the defendant’s excess insurer agreed to pay $1.75 Million. Thus, the settlement totaled $2.75 Million. Defense counsel claimed that, had a trial occurred, a discovery issue may have prevented the plaintiff’s counsel’s presentation of a safety expert who had been retained.

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Judge: Judge Donald Kurtz

Editor’s Note: This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s counsel and defense counsel. Additional information was gleaned from court documents.

$450,000 Settlement — Senior Citizen Injured in Trip and Fall While Exiting Bus

New York – This 70-year-old man suffered a trip and fall accident while stepping out of a city transit bus in Manhattan. The bus accident victim and a witness explained that the bus stopped in an unsafe location, causing him to fall and injure his shoulder and elbow, including fractured bones. The injury victim sought compensation for his injuries as well as his significant pain and suffering. Together with the accident attorneys at Morrison & Wagner the man sued for negligence and received a settlement of $450,000 from the bus company defendants.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Credit: Chris Sampson [License]

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Bus’s rider claimed he was discharged in a dangerous spot (VerdictSearch.com by Priya Idiculla)

Settlement: $450,000

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Court: New York Supreme, New York County, NY

Injury Type(s): arthroplasty; decreased range of motion; fracture, elbow; fracture, humerus; fracture, radial head; fracture, shoulder; internal fixation; open reduction; physical therapy

Case Type: Transportation — Bus — Slips, Trips & Falls — Trip and Fall — Government

Date: December 12, 2016

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

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Facts & Allegations:
On April 1, 2013, the plaintiff, 70, was a passenger of a transit bus that was traveling on East 60th Street, near its intersection at Second Avenue, in Manhattan. Moments after the bus had cleared the intersection, it driver stopped at a designated stop. While the plaintiff was exiting the bus, he tripped on a tree well’s surrounding brick wall. He fell onto a sidewalk, and he sustained injuries of an elbow and a shoulder.

The plaintiff sued the employers of the bus’s driver, the New York City Transit Authority and the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority. The lawsuit alleged that that bus’s driver was negligent in his operation of the bus. The lawsuit further alleged that the New York City Transit Authority and Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority were vicariously liable for the driver’s actions.

The plaintiff claimed that the bus’s driver stopped in a location that aligned the tree well and the bus’s rear door. He acknowledged that the bus’s front door was not obstructed, but he claimed that the bus’s passengers were advised to exit via the rear door, so entering passengers could utilize the front door. He claimed that he asked the driver to move the bus, but that the driver refused. The plaintiff claimed that he was traveling with a companion who had exited at the same stop, and, thus, he contended that he had to exit at that time and place. A witness, who claimed that he also exited at the same stop, agreed that the tree well blocked the bus’s rear door. The witness claimed that passengers would not have exited without stepping into the well or onto the surrounding wall.

Plaintiff’s counsel claimed that the brick wall’s height measured 8 to 10 inches, and he noted that the plaintiff was utilizing a cane at the time of the accident. He argued that, given the plaintiff’s disability, the bus’s driver owed him a special duty of care and should have moved the bus to a safer location.

The bus’s driver claimed that he was not asked to relocate the bus. The defense’s expert biomechanical engineer submitted a report in which he opined that, given the door’s elevation relative to the sidewalk and the presence of handrails, passengers were provided a safe means of exiting the bus. The expert also noted that the plaintiff’s companion had safely exited the bus.

Injuries/Damages
The plaintiff sustained a fracture of his right, dominant shoulder’s humeral component. He also sustained a fracture of his left radius’s head, which is a component of the left elbow.

The plaintiff was placed in an ambulance, and he was transported to a hospital. He was referred for further treatment.

After 23 days had passed, the plaintiff underwent open reduction and internal fixation of his right shoulder’s fracture. After four additional days had passed, he underwent an arthroplasty, which involved replacement of his left elbow. His surgeries were performed during a hospitalization that lasted a week. The hospitalization was immediately followed by a course of inpatient rehabilitation, which lasted 16 days. The plaintiff subsequently underwent two weeks of physical therapy.

The plaintiff claimed that he experiences residual pain during certain changes of weather. He also claimed that his left elbow and right shoulder remain weakened, that he cannot flex or elevate the elbow, that his right arm cannot be elevated above the level of his right shoulder, and that his residual effects hinder his ability to carry or lift objects.

The plaintiff sought recovery of damages for past and future pain and suffering.

Result
After the plaintiff’s fact witness had testified, and immediately prior to the scheduled start of the plaintiff’s testimony, the parties negotiated a settlement. The defendants, which were self-insured, agreed to pay a total of $450,000.

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Judge: Judge Peter Moulton

Editor’s Note: This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s counsel and defense counsel. Additional information was gleaned from court documents.

Elevator accident leaves injured worker with arm amputation

New York – An elevator repairman was working on a recently installed elevator when a terrible accident occurred, injuring the worker. According to witnesses, the technician was in the middle of repairing the broken down elevator when something came loose. The man began screaming for help and a bystander called 911. Police, fire rescue and emergency medical services units raced to the scene and rescued the injury victim, treating him for an amputated arm and a leg injury. The wounded man was taken in to surgery in an attempt to reattach the severed limb. Trauma specialists explain that many times an amputation can be reattached but the victim can still be left with severe pain and suffering as well as a permanent disability.

An investigation into this case is underway, with building code and work safety officials looking into the cause of the accident. They will need to look at the training and safety equipment provided as well as the protocols being followed to determine if any negligence took place. In addition, they will need to see if any equipment failure or negligent maintenance of both the elevator and tools could have led to this horrific work injury. See this article for more details.

Illustrative Photo Credit: Aaron [License]

$350,000 Settlement :: Woman Suffers Burns From Apartment Bath Tub

New York — This 63-year-old woman suffered severe burns when she was scalded by burning hot water in the bathtub of her Manhattan apartment. She was upset with the building’s manager and owner for keeping the water in the boiler so dangerously hot. After consulting with an personal injury lawyer expert at Morrison & Wagner, the woman decided to sue the building’s owner and manager for damages. They recovered $350,000 in a successful settlement.

Illustrative Photo Credit: Laurel Kate Sittig [License]

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Apartment’s tenant scalded in tub, claimed boiler was defective (VerdictSearch)

Settlement Amount: $350,000

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Court: New York Supreme, New York County, New York

Injury Type(s): leg; burns – third degree; surgeries/treatment – skin graft

Case Type: Premises Liability – Apartment, Tenant’s Injury, Negligent Repair and/or Maintenance

Date: January 24, 2011

Plaintiff Attorney(s):
Eric H. Morrison; Morrison & Wagner; New York, NY

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Facts:

On Jan. 31, 2008, the plaintiff, a 63-year-old unemployed woman, was scalded while she was bathing in her residence, an apartment building that was located in the Hamilton Heights section of Manhattan.

The woman sued the building’s owner and the building’s manager. She alleged that the defendants were negligent in their maintenance of the premises.

The injured woman claimed that she entered her bathtub while the water was running at a comfortable temperature, but that the water’s temperature quickly reached a scalding level. The plaintiff’s counsel retained a boiler-safety expert, who examined the building’s water heater and claimed that its thermostat was set to 180 degrees Fahrenheit — 55 degrees greater than the temperature that had been recommended by the boiler’s manufacturer. The burn victim’s counsel also suggested that the thermostat may have been defective.

Defense counsel contended that the New York City Administrative Code specified that the thermostat’s setting had to exceed 120 degrees. She also contended that the building’s tenants had been told that they were not to bathe without first filling the tub and checking the water’s temperature. She claimed that the building’s staff had not received any written complaints of scalding water.

Injury:

The plaintiff claimed that she sustained third-degree burns of her legs. She underwent the application of grafts of skin, and her treating surgeon opined that the legs have healed without any scars or residual effects.

The injury victim sought recovery of damages for her past pain and suffering.

Result:

Defense counsel moved for summary judgment. She contended that New York law specifies that an apartment building’s tenant retains a duty to temper hot water prior to use. In response, plaintiff’s counsel contended that a jury would have to consider the possibility that the boiler’s thermostat was defective. During pendency of the motion, the parties negotiated a settlement. The defendants’ insurer agreed to pay $350,000, from a policy that provided $1 million of coverage.

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Judge: Richard F. Braun

Editor’s Comment: This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s and defense counsel.

$ 450,000 Compensation -- Van Hits Child Pedestrian Crossing the Street

New York — A speeding van struck a young girl who was crossing the street. She sustained an ankle fracture and other personal injuries from the motor vehicle accident. The girl’s family sued the driver and recovered $450,000 in damages, thanks to the specialist accident lawyers of Morrison & Wagner.

Illustrative Photo by Eyone [Licensing cc-by-sa-2.5]

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Driver ignored red light, struck girl, suit alleged (VerdictSearch)

Settlement Amount: $450,000

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Court: Bronx Supreme, Bronx County, New York

Injury Type(s):
ankle-fracture (pilon fracture); ankle-fracture (fracture, bimalleolar); other-swelling; other-physical therapy; other-comminuted fracture; surgeries/treatment-open reduction; surgeries/treatment-internal fixation

Case Type: Motor Vehicle – Speeding, Red Light, Pedestrian

Date: September 3, 2008

Plaintiff Attorney(s):
Eric H. Morrison; Morrison & Wagner; New York, NY, for the plaintiff

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Facts:

On May 13, 2006, the 9-year-old plaintiff was struck by a van. The incident occurred on Jerome Avenue, near its intersection at East Fordham Road, in the Fordham section of the Bronx. She sustained injuries of an ankle and a leg.

The girl’s mother, acting as her daughter’s parent and natural guardian, sued the van’s driver and the van’s owner. The mother alleged that the driver was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. She further alleged that the van’s owner was vicariously liable for the driver’s actions.

The pedestrian accident victim claimed that the driver ignored a red traffic signal, that he was speeding and that he failed to yield the right of way.

The van driver contended that the young pedestrian abruptly walked onto the street and initiated contact with the side of his van. He also contended that she ignored a red pedestrian-traffic signal that should have prevented her entrance to the intersection.

Deposed witnesses did not provide conclusive accounts of the manner in which the accident occurred.

Injury:

The girl sustained a bimalleolar fracture — a fracture of both sides of the ankle’s malleolus, which is the ankle’s bony protuberance. The injury affected her left ankle. She also sustained a pilon fracture of her left leg. A pilon fracture is a comminuted fracture of the lowest portion of a leg’s tibia. Her fractures were treated via open reduction, and she also underwent the internal fixation of a rod that was attached to her left leg’s fibula. The surgeon noted that the girl was suffering some disruption of the associated growth plate, but persistent swelling was the only complication of the healing process. However, the surgeon also noted that swelling may be a precursor to arthritis. The accident victim also underwent about two months of physical therapy.

The girl’s mother sought recovery of damages for her past and future pain and suffering.

Result:

The parties negotiated a $450,000 pretrial settlement.

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Judge: Wilma Guzman

Editor’s Comment: This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s and defense counsel.

Award: $1.05 Million -- Pedestrians in Crosswalk Struck by Car in Brooklyn, New York

New York — A man and his daughter were crossing a Brooklyn street when they were struck by a car. The accident victims suffered multiple injuries and underwent extensive treatment. They sought the assistance of the experienced injury attorneys at Morrison & Wagner, who helped them win a total of $1,050,000 in compensation for their injuries, pain and suffering.

Illustrative Photo Credit: Benjamin Bousquet [License]

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Father, daughter claimed motorist struck them in crosswalk (VerdictSearch)

Actual Award: $1,050,000

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Court: Kings Supreme, Kings County, New York

Injury Type(s): hip-fracture; leg-scar and/or disfigurement; head; head-headaches; head-concussion; knee-fracture; tibial plateau-fracture; brain-subdural hematoma; chest-fracture; rib; other-sutures; other-laceration; other-physical therapy; pelvis-fracture (fracture, pubic ramus); shoulder-fracture (fracture, clavicle); foot/heel-fracture; toe; mental/psychological-cognition (memory, impairment)

Case Type: Motor Vehicle – Pedestrian

Date: May 14, 2015

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

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Facts:

On Jan. 10, 2010, the plaintiff, 62, an attorney, and his daughter, a minor, were struck by, or collided with, a motor vehicle. The incident occurred on Elm Avenue, alongside its intersection at East 14th Street, in the Manhattan Terrace section of Brooklyn. The plaintiff sustained injuries of his head, his knees, a rib, a shoulder and a toe. His daughter sustained injuries of her hips and a thigh.

The injured man, acting individually and as his daughter’s parent and natural guardian, sued the vehicle’s driver and co-owner and the vehicle’s other co-owner. The plaintiffs alleged that the driver was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. The plaintiffs further alleged that co-owner was vicariously liable for the driver’s actions.

Plaintiffs’ counsel claimed that the impact occurred in a crosswalk of Elm Avenue. They further claimed that the daughter and her father were struck by the front end of the vehicle. The driver acknowledged that he later noticed a dent of his vehicle’s front end and that the dent did not predate the accident.

The daughter claimed that the vehicle struck her right hip. Her father claimed that he sustained an injury that prevents his recollection of the impact or any other part of the accident, but Justice Richard Velasquez invoked the Noseworthy doctrine, which specifies that certain impairments permit a reduction of a plaintiff’s burden of proof.

The driver claimed that the daughter and her father entered the roadway and initiated contact with one side of his vehicle. Defense counsel noted that the father sustained a fracture of a toe. He suggested that the injury was a result of the toe having been crushed by one of the vehicle’s tires, and he argued that such a scenario could only have occurred if the plaintiff had approached from one side of the vehicle and stepped in front of one of its tires.

The driver claimed that he had scanned a distance of about 10 car lengths and did not notice pedestrians or oncoming traffic. He acknowledged having told a responding police officer that the sun’s glare hindered his view of the roadway, but he claimed that the statement was a result of nervousness during the moments that followed the accident.

Injury:

The injured father sustained a concussion, a laceration of his head, a fracture of his right leg’s tibial plateau, which is a component of the knee, a fracture of his left knee, a fracture of his left shoulder’s clavicle, a fracture of his right foot’s first toe and a fracture of a rib. His head’s injury also produced a subdural hematoma.

The accident victim was placed in an ambulance, and he was transported to Lutheran Medical Center, in Brooklyn. His hospitalization lasted four days.

The plaintiff’s treatment comprised a few weeks of physical therapy. He claimed that his concussion has produced lasting effects that include headaches, impairment of his ability to concentrate and impairment of his short-term memory. He further claimed that his residual effects prevented proper performance of his job’s duties and necessitated an early retirement.

The plaintiff sought recovery of damages for past and future pain and suffering.

The daughter sustained a fracture of her pelvis’s left superior public ramus, which is a component of the left hip, a fracture of her pelvis’s right superior pubic ramus, which is a component of the right hip, and a laceration of her right thigh.

She was placed in an ambulance, and she was transported to Lutheran Medical Center. Her right thigh’s laceration was closed via application of sutures. A doctor determined that she was too young to undergo surgical repair of her fractures, so the fractures were allowed to heal naturally.

The daughter retains a scar of her right thigh, but she does not suffer residual pain or limitations. Her father sought recovery of damages for his daughter’s past and future pain and suffering.

Defense counsel contended that the daughter’s injuries healed within a few weeks.

Defense counsel also contended that the injury victim did not sustain a lasting injury of the brain. The defense’s expert neuropsychiatrist opined that a post-accident psychiatric test produced normal results. Defense counsel contended that the plaintiff can resume his job.

Result:

During the trial, the parties negotiated a settlement of the daughter’s claim. The defendants’ insurer agreed to pay $150,000.

The jury found that the defendants were liable for the accident. It determined that the injured man’s damages totaled $900,000. That amount, plus the amount recovered via the settlement, totaled $1.05 million.

Father: $400,000 Personal Injury: Past Pain And Suffering; $500,000 Personal Injury: Future Pain And Suffering

Actual Award: $1,050,000

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Judge: Richard Velasquez

Editor’s Comment: This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiffs’ and defense counsel.

Pedestrian accident leaves child with traumatic brain injury

New York – The driver of a car in Nassau County, Long Island apparently hit a pedestrian as she was crossing the street over the weekend. The victim, only 10 years old, was struck by a car and suffered a severe head injury. She was rushed to the emergency room of a hospital and listed in critical condition according to doctors. The accident victim was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury but it is unclear how much brain function was affected. The car accident in under investigation, with investigators looking into the mechanical functioning of the car as well as the actions of the driver.

Trauma specialists explain that a head injury can cause a concussion, loss of consciousness and intracranial hemorrhage. Each of these may be classified as a traumatic brain injury and further investigation and treatment is crucial. A simple concussion may lead to post-concussional syndrome that can leave the victim disabled and unable to function. In addition, intracranial bleeding can lead to a person needing emergency surgery and a coma. Recent research on the topic of traumatic brain injuries in children suggests that treatment can be improved using nutrition. However, the victims and their families can be left with lifelong medical bills, pain and suffering. If you or someone you know suffered a head injury, you have the right to discuss the details of your case with an injury attorney.

Illustrative Image by U.S. Navy photo by Tom Watanabe. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

$ 425,000 Mediated Settlement – Pedestrian Struck by Car While on Sidewalk

A car jumped the curb while exiting a parking lot, hitting a 61-year-old woman who was standing on a sidewalk in Queens, New York. The injuries that she sustained during the crash included a hip injury and pelvic fracture that required surgery to implant a metal pin to repair the broken bone. She was hospitalized for in-patient rehabilitation with physical and occupational therapy for 3 months. The pedestrian accident victim was left with chronic pain, decreased range-of-motion and will likely develop post-traumatic arthritis in those areas, according to her treating doctor. The woman filed a lawsuit against the driver for negligent operation of a vehicle, claiming that this negligence is what caused the accident and her permanent injuries. The driver of the car claimed that he had lost consciousness just prior to the car crash and should not be held responsible for the accident. However, the car accident victim secured the services of Morrison & Wagner LLP, who helped mediate a pre-trial settlement of $425,000 for her injuries as well as her residual pain and suffering. For more of our success cases please check out this link.

Illustrative photo by Nevit Dilmen © [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

$250,000 Payment to Passenger Injured in Truck Accident

Ruth Pianka, a 57-year-old bookkeeper, was a passenger in a truck when it was rear ended in a motor vehicle crash in the Washington Heights section of New York City. She sustained multiple injuries during the truck accident and was treated in the emergency room and then by several specialist doctors. The doctors diagnosed injuries of her shoulder, hip and knee. The crash victim also had neck and back injuries with significant pain. She underwent a shoulder surgery and endured therapy as well. The pain and injuries persisted and she developed emotional injuries in addition to the physical injuries.

Soon after the accident, Ms. Pianka spoke to friends in the neighborhood who recommended she contact the experienced car accident lawyers at Morrison & Wagner, LLP. They assisted the truck accident victim and filed a personal injury lawsuit in Kings County Supreme Court. The case named both the owner of the truck and the driver of the car that hit them as defendants. After negotiation, the defendants agreed to settle the case, paying Ms. Pianka $250,000 for her injuries, pain and suffering from the rear-end accident.

Photo by Werner Vermaak (originally posted to Flickr as Immobilized Patient) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

$225,000 Jury Verdict – Queens Car Crash Causes Neck, Back and Shoulder Injuries

Queens County – John Doe was the driver of a car that was involved in a car collision with another vehicle in the Fall of 2010. The other vehicle made a left turn and slammed into the driver’s side of Doe’s car, causing damage to both vehicles as well as personal injuries. The car accident occurred only steps away from his house, so Mr. Doe went home, hoping that the pain would get better on its own.

Unfortunately, Doe’s accident injuries didn’t go away so he began treatment and regular visits with a doctor. His injuries included neck and back pain as well as a torn rotator cuff shoulder injury. Conservative treatment with physical therapy did not solve his pain and suffering, leading to the need for an arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder. Despite all of his medical care, the car crash victim was left with significant pain and unable to function normally at work.

Mr. Doe turned to a team of expert accident lawyers http://morrisonwagner.com/about-us/ who reviewed the case and helped Doe file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver of the other vehicle. They claimed that the defendant’s negligent driving caused the motor vehicle collision and Doe’s injuries. Following a jury verdict, Doe was awarded $225,000 for pain and suffering from the injuries. For more details on this case, read the expanded article below.

Illustrative photo by W. Robert Howell from Charlotte, NC, United States (still here.) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Car Crash Caused Shoulder Woes, Restaurateur Claimed (VerdictSearch.com, by Priya Idiculla)

Verdict: $225,000
Net: $100,000

Facts & Allegations:
In September of 2010, plaintiff John Doe, 43, a restaurant’s owner, was driving in the Briarwood section of Queens. While Doe was proceeding through the intersection, his vehicle’s left side was struck by a vehicle that was being driven by Mr. Jack Smith, who was executing a left turn. Doe’s vehicle was propelled across the intersection. Doe claimed that he sustained injuries of his back, his neck and a shoulder. Doe sued Smith. Doe alleged that Smith was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Liability was decided via summary judgment. The matter proceeded to a summary jury trial that addressed damages.

Injuries/Damages:
neck; derangement, shoulder; rotator cuff, injury (tear); arthroscopy; physical therapy; soft tissue; back; massage therapy

Doe refused immediate medical attention, and he returned to his home, which was located some 50 feet from the scene of the accident. After some two hours had passed, he presented to a medical clinic. He claimed that he was suffering pain that stemmed from his back, his left, non-dominant arm’s shoulder and his neck. He underwent minor treatment.

Doe ultimately claimed that he sustained derangement of his left shoulder, two small tears of the same shoulder’s rotator cuff, and injuries of soft tissue of his back and neck. Photographs of his vehicle depicted damage in the area in which his left shoulder would have been situated. Doe immediately commenced a course of conservative treatment that included massages, physical therapy, and the application of cold and hot packs. The treatment lasted about six months. On Nov. 4, 2010, he underwent arthroscopic surgery that addressed his left shoulder.
Doe claimed that his injuries prevented his performance of about six months of work. He also claimed that his left shoulder remains painful, that the pain is permanent and that it limits his performance of his work duties. His restaurant is located in South Carolina. He claimed that he alternately spends 10 days in New York and 20 days working in South Carolina. He further claimed that he previously drove to and from work, but that his residual effects necessitate his use of air transportation, at a greater cost.

Doe sought recovery of $100,000 for past pain and suffering and $125,000 for future pain and suffering.

The defense’s expert orthopedist submitted a report in which he opined that Doe’s injuries were degenerative conditions that predated the accident. The expert reviewed the results of a post-accident MRI scan of Doe’s left shoulder, and he opined that the test revealed minor bursitis and minor tenosynovitis, which involves restrictive inflammation of the sheath of a tendon. The defense’s expert radiologist submitted a report in which he opined that the test did not reveal an abnormality. Defense counsel noted that Doe refused immediate medical treatment, did not present to a hospital and immediately resumed work.
The defense’s expert orthopedist also opined that Doe’s surgery was unnecessary. He contended that an additional month of physical therapy could have averted the need for surgery.

The parties stipulated that Doe’s damages could not exceed $100,000.

Result:
The jury found that Doe’s damages totaled $225,000, but Doe recovered the stipulated limit: $100,000.

Editor’s Note:
This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s counsel. Additional information was gleaned from court documents. Defense counsel did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls.