Brooklyn Boro

SKETCHES OF COURT: High-low agreement for T-bone collision

April 28, 2014 By Alba Acevedo Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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In this courtroom sketch, Hon. David Vaughan listens as plaintiff’s attorney Michael Maiolica (standing), of the law office of Steven Wildstein, P.C, addresses the jury in the motor vehicle accident trial of James Fields v. Jean Louisma. 

At issue in this summary jury trial is the award of damages. The plaintiff’s attorney alleged that his client suffered significant limitations due to injuries to his neck, shoulder, and lower back resulting from the accident which occurred in November 2010, at the intersection of Atlantic and Classon Avenues. The defendant ran a red light, striking the plaintiff’s car on the driver’s side and spinning it around before it rested on the median. Fields was removed on a stretcher. 

The defendant, represented by Martina Schmidt (seated), of the law office of James Billello & Assoc., had earlier conceded liability, being responsible for any injuries from the accident. The defendant’s attorney sought to mitigate the extent of the plaintiff’s allegations of significant body function limitations due to the accident, suggesting that the plaintiff’s age of 72 at that time contributed to pre-existing functional limitations. 

In a high-low agreement, the damages are limited to the amount of the insurance policy. The jury returned a verdict in under two hours awarding damages of $90K in a 60/30 split for past and future pain and suffering, assuming a life expectancy of nine years. The trial concluded last week in Kings County Civil Term.

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