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SKETCHES OF COURT: Phantom vehicle blamed in two-car accident

June 10, 2016 By Alba Acevedo Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Court sketch by Alba Acevedo
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In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Lara Genovesi listens as defendant’s attorney Julia Malladi (standing), of the law firm James G. Bilello & Associates, sums up her arguments for the jury in the motor vehicle accident trial Khaye v. Mielnik.

Sam Mielnik asserted that in September 2011, he had been driving steadfastly in the leftmost lane in stop-and-go traffic along the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, from the toll plaza to where, he alleged, his car was rear-ended by a silver Mercedes. He testified that the impact propelled his vehicle forward into a collision with the plaintiffs’ car, and that the Mercedes left the scene of the accident before he could spot its license plate.

Chingiz Khaye alleged that in his side- and rear-view mirrors he had noticed only Mielnik’s car. His testimony was supported by that of his wife Mira, a passenger, in rebutting the involvement of a third vehicle. He also maintained that Mielnik had crossed the solid line markings from two lanes away before the impact. Louis DeSorbo (at right), trial counsel for the law offices of Steven G. Shakhnevich & Assocs., represented Chingiz and Mira Khaye.  

DeSorbo blamed the accident and the injuries his clients sustained on Mielnik’s negligence. Though damages to the rear and front of Mielnik’s vehicle were noted on the responding officer’s police accident report, the Khayes denied that there was any damage to the rear of Mielnik’s car.

Malladi sought to impugn the Khayes’ claims of injuries by connoting that they were equivalent to having been sustained in an earlier accident, for which they had previously filed a lawsuit.

The jury deliberated briefly before returning a verdict in favor of the defendant, finding no negligence by Mielnik in the summary jury trial that ended last week in Kings County Civil term.


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