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SKETCHES OF COURT: Jury awards for past pain and suffering in fender bender

August 9, 2016 By Alba Acevedo Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Court sketch by Alba Acevedo
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In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Larry Martin listens as plaintiff’s attorney Andrea Borden (standing), of the law firm Burns and Harris, presents evidence electronically to the jury with the aid of a screen projection in the summary jury trial Chukwuemeka v. Han. At issue was the determination of damages.

In November 2013, Egwu Chukwuemeka, 49 years old, had stopped for the light at the intersection of Linden Boulevard and Pennsylvania Avenue. His car was rear-ended by a box truck, and Chukwuemeka claims that even though he wore a seatbelt, he sustained injuries in the impact that thrust him forward and back. As a result, Chukwuemeka claimed, he had shoulder, neck and back issues. Chukwuemeka eventually underwent a left shoulder arthroscopic surgery and rotator cuff repair, as well as epidural injections to relieve severe pain. Borden sought compensation for past pain and suffering, as well as future pain and suffering with the possibility of needing further surgery.

Robert Smith (at right), of the law firm Richard T. Lau & Associates, represented Kim Gun Han. Smith characterized the accident as a fender-bender, noting that as there was only slight damage to Chukwuemeka’s vehicle, it was inconsistent with the extent of the claims. Smith maintained that medical reports found sprains and strains and degeneration, but no causation between the accident and the surgery or the injections. Smith also relied on audio visual equipment in presenting evidence electronically to the jury.

The jury awarded Chukwuemeka $23,000 for past pain and suffering in the trial that concluded last week in King’s County Civil term. 


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