SKETCHES OF COURT: Seemingly inconsistent verdict in pedestrian-car accident trial
In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Mark Partnow listens as plaintiff’s attorney Shareef Rabaa (standing), trial counsel to the law office of Yuriy Prakhin, outlines his argument in an opening statement to the jury in the pedestrian-vehicle accident trial Salov v. Akinjide. At issue was the determination of liability.
Ambulette driver Vladimir Salov was making a brief visit to a Queens Village McDonald’s one October morning in 2013 after transporting children with disabilities to their destinations. He was traversing the parking lot when he claims that he was seriously injured when he was struck and felled by an SUV pulling out of a parking spot.
The defendant held to a different version of events. Lateef Akinjide, represented by Amanda Raimondi (at right) of the law firm James G. Bilello & Assocs., testified that he was stopped in his car with his foot on the brake and the lever on park when he first saw Salov, who got up from the ground, threatened to call the police and snapped a picture of his license plate. Raimondi maintains that Salov saw an opportunity and took it, alleging there never was contact between pedestrian and vehicle.
Salov testified with the aid of a Russian language interpreter that he hurt his head and shoulder after a sharp, heavy impact with the front of the SUV. He did not call for the police or an ambulance.
The jury returned a seemingly inconsistent verdict, determining that Akinjide’s vehicle did strike Salov, but failing to fault him with negligence or a finding that negligence was a substantial factor in bringing about the accident.
Rabaa moved to set aside the verdict. Partnow is reserving the decision on plaintiff’s motion in the trial that ended this week in Kings County Civil Term.
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