SKETCHES OF COURT: Jury awards plaintiff $170,000 in motor vehicle accident case
In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Karen Rothenberg listens during witness testimony as the plaintiff’s operative surgeon uses a visual aid to explain a shoulder injury that is relevant to the damages-only motor vehicle accident trial of Bilqis Rao v. Neal Masry. Court reporter Dawn Boone (seated, right) transcribes the proceedings that took place this week in Kings County Civil Term.
The plaintiff, a 45-year-old housewife and mother of six, was a front-seat passenger in an accident that occurred in January 2012 at an intersection of Avenue N in Flatlands. Rao was wearing a seat restraint but impacted the windshield, suffering lumbar and cervical disc herniations. She was removed from the site by ambulance and taken to the hospital, where she was seen and released.
The head bump that resulted when her head cracked the windshield was resolved, but Rao underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery three months later, alleging that the accident made the procedure necessary. She is seeking compensation and is represented by Robert Rosenberg (standing, left) of the law firm Hill Rosenberg & Thurston.
The defendant, represented by Malvina Herschkowitz (seated, left) of the law firm James G Bilello Associates, maintained that plaintiff’s shoulder injuries were not caused by tearing but by fraying — consistent with degeneration, as were the neck and back injuries, rather than trauma.
The jury decided in favor of the plaintiff, awarding $70,000 for past pain and suffering and $100,000 over 20 years for future pain and suffering.
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