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SKETCHES of Court: Jury awards plaintiff $520K in pedestrian-car accident trial

July 11, 2016 By Alba Acevedo Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Sketch by Alba Acevedo
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In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Francois Rivera watches as plaintiff’s attorney Scott Occhiogrosso (standing), of the law firm Block O’Toole & Murphy, plays an evidentiary video in the pedestrian-motor vehicle accident trial Nadezhda Iusim v. Michael Gerona, NYC Transit Authority and Metropolitan Transit Authority. Romina Tominovic, co-counsel, is seated at left. Seated top right is summer intern Chaim Kevin Chait. Court reporter Nancy Messano (center) recorded the proceedings.

In moments captured by the onboard camera, Iusim, 56, sprinted across E. 16th Street in front of a stopped Brooklyn bus and walked curbside along its left. Shortly thereafter, she was felled by the impact that occurred when Gerona, the bus operator, proceeded with a left turn onto Quentin Road.

Liability had been decided in summary judgment; at issue was the determination of damages. Occhiogrosso sought compensation for his client’s loss of the physical condition displayed by the video “snapshot.” Iusim claimed that as a result of the accident, she immediately underwent physical therapy and ultimately needed cervical spinal fusion as well as bilateral shoulder surgeries to relieve her pain. Iusim maintained that she can no longer turn her head at her neck. She further claimed the loss of income opportunity, saying she is no longer able to pursue English language fluency in the hope of becoming a health professional, for which she alleged she had been certified in Russia.

Defendants’ attorney Jane Barrett (at right), outside counsel to the law offices of Lawrence Heisler, Esq., resolutely sought to impugn Iusim’s credibility and cast doubt that her injuries were attributable to this accident.

The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff, awarding Iusim $520,000 in total damages for past and future medical expenses as well as for pain and suffering. The trial concluded last week in Kings County Civil term. 

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