SKETCHES OF COURT: Plaintiff awarded $2.8 million in pedestrian-car accident trial verdict
In this courtroom sketch, Hon. David Vaughan listens as Evan La Penna (standing) of the law firm Paris & Chaikin conducts a direct examination of an expert witness in the pedestrian-vehicle accident trial Bond v. Pluck. At right is La Penna’s associate, Carmen Borbon. The witness is the plaintiff’s treating spine surgeon, who is explaining an illustration of a laminectomy with fusion procedure to the jury.
A small yellow school bus making a legal left turn at the intersection of Patchen Avenue and Bainbridge Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant struck the defendant in the crosswalk, causing her to fall to the ground. The jury made a finding of comparative negligence, attributing 70 percent responsibility to the bus driver and 30 percent to the defendant for causing the accident.
At issue was the determination of damages. The defendant was taken by ambulance to a hospital where she was treated and released, but immediately underwent medical treatment. She ultimately had arthroscopic surgery to her right shoulder and lumbar spinal fusion surgery at the L4-L5 level. She was 25 years old at the time of the accident in March 2014.
The defendant bus driver was represented by James Whalen (at left) of the law firm Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith. Whalen maintained that the defendant, who had been treated for back issues before, was suffering from a pre-existing condition and not from damages caused by the accident.
The jury awarded damages in the amount of $800,000 for past pain and suffering and $2 million for future pain and suffering to the defendant who has a life expectancy of 52 years. The trial concluded last week in Kings County Civil Term.
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