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SKETCHES OF COURT: Jury finds parties equally negligent in car accident trial

February 2, 2016 By Alba Acevedo Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Court sketch by Alba Acevedo
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In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Debra Silber listens as the defendant’s attorney, Joseph Dashe (standing), of counsel to the law firm Longo & D’Apice, makes opening remarks to the jury in the motor vehicle accident trial Tatalashvili v. Masko. At far right, officer Kenneth McLamb maintains order. At issue was the determination of liability. 

Nugzar Tatalashvili encountered a clutch of pedestrians crossing Brighton Beach Avenue at 1 a.m. in August 2010, after he initiated a left turn from southbound Coney Island Avenue with a green light. He was represented by Mark Peter Getzoni (s​eated), of the law offices of William Pager. Tatalashvili testified that he had completed the turn and was mostly, but not entirely, out of the lane of traffic, ​because he was forced to come to a stop to avoid hitting pedestrians who were traversing the roadway just beyond the crosswalk. He alleged that the accident occurred seconds after he had let the pedestrians pass.

Katsiaryna Masko also had the green light on Coney Island Avenue, going northbound, as she approached the intersection. Her vehicle impacted the plaintiff’s car after, she alleged, he had failed to yield the right of way to her oncoming vehicle and suddenly turned in front of her. Tatalashvili’s car was struck on the rear passenger side. 

After deliberating ​for several hours, the jury returned a comparative liability verdict, citing both parties as equally negligent in causing the accident. The parties agreed to a settlement without trying the damages phase, in the trial that concluded last week in Kings County Civil Term. 


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