Brooklyn Boro

SKETCHES OF COURT: Plaintiff gets $1.7 million in car accident trial

January 21, 2016 By Alba Acevedo Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Court sketch by Alba Acevedo
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In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Peter Sweeney listens as the defendant’s attorney, Trina Moore (standing), of the New York City Transit law department, questions the plaintiff in the motor vehicle accident trial Vidal v. Rodriguez. Court reporter Angela Spinelli (seated, center) records the proceedings. At issue was the determination of damages.

Kelda Vidal was 26 years old and driving to her job in October of 2011 when she stopped for an emergency vehicle near the intersection of Bedford and Willoughby avenues. Seconds later, her car was rear-ended by Louis Rodriguez who was behind the wheel of a Transit Authority vehicle. He was represented by Arthur Leslie Salmon (at right), trial counsel to Dinkes & Schwitzer.

Vidal claimed that as a result of the accident she underwent a neck discectomy and fusion surgery, replacing a disc with a metal plate, and remains in constant pain despite medication and therapy. Salmon elicited testimony from her pain management physician that her symptoms of neck and head pain are permanent. Vidal alleged that she could not resume her former duties as a hospital security officer.

Moore sought to dispute the extent of Vidal’s claims, refuting her allegations of impeded movement through reports citing her range of motion as within normal limits.

The jury returned a verdict of damages for past and future pain and suffering, past medical expenses and lost earnings in the total amount of $1.7 million in the trial that concluded this week in Kings County Civil Term.

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