$8,900,000 VERDICT – MOTOR VEHICLE – FAILURE TO STOP AT RED LIGHT – T-BONES OUR CLIENT WHO WAS RIDING A MOTORCYCLE – RESULTING IN COMPOUND COMMINUTED TIBIA/FIBULA FRACTURES – 13 SURGERIES AND JAW FRACTURE
Suffolk County, NY
This was a bench trial involving a XX-year-old plaintiff motorcyclist in which the plaintiff contended that after the red light at which he was stopped turned green, he proceeded and was struck in the side of his motorcycle by the defendant driver after having entered approximately 1 /2 of the intersection. The plaintiff asserted that he sustained compound comminuted fractures to the tibia and fibula that resulted in a non-union and required some 13 surgical interventions, including irrigation and debridements, a fractured jaw and a nasal fracture.
The plaintiff related that he looked both ways before proceeding when the light turned green but was T-boned by the defendant driver who failed to stop at a red light. The defendant driver did not appear and a default was entered. The case proceeded against the owner.
The plaintiff maintained that he suffered a non-union of the leg fractures despite initial surgery, and that he underwent both the use of an external fixation device and some `13 surgical interventions before union was ultimately achieved. The plaintiff asserted that he will permanently suffer pain and a pronounced limp. The plaintiff related that he generally uses a cane to ambulate.
The plaintiff was employed as a manager for a distribution company and related that he returned to work eventually despite the fact that his duties require him to be on his feet a significant portion of the time. The plaintiff testified that he is often in great pain and experiences extensive swelling at the end of each day and generally ices down his leg after he gets home. The plaintiff further maintained that he suffered a fractured jaw which was wired shut for a number of weeks. The plaintiff asserted that he will permanently suffer pain and difficulties. The nasal fracture was non-displaced and treated conservatively.
The court found the defendant OWNER 100% negligent and awarded $8,900,000, including $7,000,000 for past pain and suffering, $1,300,000 for future pain and suffering and $600,000 for future lost income.
Docket no. 600731/15; Judge William Ford, 08-00-19.
Attorney for plaintiff : Michael S. Levine of Rappaport Glass Levine & Zullo, LLP in Islandia, NY.
This case illustrates the manner in which proceeding before the Court can be effective in a more conservative county In this regard, the plaintiff argued the damages case in a relatively low key manner, preferring to permit the severe nature of the injuries to speak for themselves. Moreover, it is felt that the detailed testimony of both the plaintiff and his wife regarding the torturous recovery process, that was offered in a very straightforward manner, was compelling.