Brooklyn Boro

SKETCHES OF COURT: Jury finds negligence in New Year’s Eve crash but awards no damages

March 16, 2015 By Alba Acevedo Special to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Court sketch by Alba Acevedo

In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Gloria Dabiri listens as Manuel A. Romero conducts a direct examination in the motor vehicle accident trial Tarik Frelow v. Danny Leung, Carrie S. Jones, & Mahmoud T. Sadr. The summary jury trial took place last week in Kings County Civil Term. 

Frelow was at the wheel of the first car in a three-vehicle collision that occurred the morning of New Year’s Eve in 2007 on the Belt Parkway near 77th Street in Bay Ridge. The second car in the chain was driven by defendant Sadr, represented by Adam D. Levine (seated, right) of the law firm James G. Bilello & Assoc. The third car was owned by defendant Leung and driven by defendant Jones, represented by John T. Morale (seated, center) of the law firm Richard T. Lau & Assoc. 

There was a question of fact for the jury in the determination of liability, whether the plaintiff’s vehicle was impacted by the third car in the chain which struck and pushed the second car into the plaintiff’s car, or if the second car initially impacted the plaintiff’s car and was then struck by the third. The jury found 100 percent negligence against defendants Leung and Jones, of the third car in the chain. 

The plaintiff, who was 31 years of age at the time of the accident, allegedly sustained injuries to the cervical and lumbar spine and was suing for pain and suffering. Defendants claimed that the plaintiff was not seriously hurt and that the MRI films only illustrated degenerative pre-accident bulging discs not caused by the accident. The plaintiff did not seek hospital treatment and saw a chiropractor three weeks post-accident and received three months of chiropractic care and physical therapy. Plaintiff did not lose any time from work as a track worker for the NYCTA. The jury apparently agreed with the defense and did not award damages.

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