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SKETCHES OF COURT: Jury splits verdict in bicyclist-motor vehicle accident trial

September 23, 2015 By Alba Acevedo Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Court sketch by Alba Acevedo
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In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Mark Partnow listens as defendant’s attorney Martin Landa (standing), of the law firm James G. Bilello Associates, makes an opening statement to the jury in the bifurcated bicyclist-motor vehicle accident trial Rimmer v. Ralbag. 

Yaakov Rimmer, a 14-year old boy at the time, was bicycling to school as usual on a weekday in April 2013 when he entered an intersection from Avenue L in Midwood. Aryeh Ralbag, behind the wheel of his Acura, was proceeding slowly after he had stopped for the sign governing traffic on E. 28th Street. Rimmer is represented by Robert Rosenberg (seated), trial counsel for the law office of Marcel Weisman. 

Traffic was relatively heavy during the morning rush hour, though neither party disputes the fact that they were not aware of each other until the accident occurred, despite having scanned for a clear roadway. Ralbag stopped and exited his car when he heard a thud, and found Yaakov, who had suffered a fractured right leg in the impact. 

The jury deliberated on the issue of liability, asking clarity around the laws governing bicyclists. They ultimately split their verdict, finding fault 40/60 between both parties, attributing greater negligence against the plaintiff. The case was settled for $50,000 after liability but before the damages phase of the trial that took place this week in Kings County Civil Term. 

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