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SKETCHES OF COURT: Liability settlement in rear-end collision trial

September 22, 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 plaintiff’s attorney Elliot Shields (standing), of the law firm Roth & Roth, conducts a direct examination in the motor vehicle accident trial Rivera v. Aracenas Transport Inc., et al.  

Shields represented Marsha Rivera (on the stand), who was one of the passengers in the livery car that had picked her up minutes before it rear-ended a vehicle on Stone Avenue near the intersection of Pitkin Avenue in Brooklyn late one evening in March 2013. Rivera claimed injury in the collision. A pretrial motion for summary judgment was denied, and the trial proceeded on liability. 

Steve Balson-Cohen (seated, second from right) represented the livery car service and driver. Balson-Cohen alleged that it was the car in front that had caused the collision by first speeding past the cab and then swerving into the lane in front of it, but stopping short and without engaging warning signals. Balson-Cohen maintained that his client could not avoid the accident.

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Claudine Sudlow was behind the wheel of the front car. She was represented by Eugene Girin (seated, at right), of the law offices of James G. Bilello & Associates. Girin maintained that his client could not have caused the accident. 

The trial was resolved before jury deliberations when Rivera accepted a $70,000 settlement in total from both defendants for pain and suffering in the trial that concluded this week in Kings County Civil Term. Court reporter Barry Eskenazi (seated, center), recorded the proceedings. 


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