Brooklyn Boro

SKETCHES OF COURT: Plaintiff awarded $50,000 in car accident trial

May 4, 2017 By Alba Acevedo Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Court sketch by Alba Acevedo

In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Debra Silber listens as plaintiff’s attorney Vladimir Rodney (standing) addresses the jury during opening remarks in the motor vehicle accident trial Maisonet v. Steiner. Rodney is trial counsel to the law firm Silbowitz, Garafola, Silbowitz, Schatz & Frederick. 

Christine Maisonet was a passenger in a livery cab involved in a collision in March 2014 on Joralemon Street, near the intersection of Court Street. Maisonet testified that the impact jolted her back and forth and that her knee hit against a magazine rack in front of her, causing her serious injury. At issue in the trial was the determination of damages; the matter of liability was waived. 

Maisonet testified to complaining of knee pain resulting from the accident, for which she started conservative treatment. She claimed that physical therapy and injections failed to provide sufficient relief, and eventually underwent surgery for the alleged finding of a chondral “crack” of her patella and for chondromalacia, a condition where the cartilage beneath the knee cap softens and breaks down. 

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Malvina Herschkowitz (seated) of the law offices of James G. Bilello & Associates elicited witness testimony characterizing the impact as light. A radiologist expert witness for the defendant disputed the finding of a fracture, and Herschkowitz maintained that the surgery was unnecessary and premature in light of a treatment protocol that was not allowed to run its course. 

The jury awarded damages in the amount of $50,000 for past pain and suffering. Plaintiff’s counsel is exploring a post-trial motion for which time an extension has been granted.  

Court Officer Ken McLamb maintained order and court reporter Scott Isaacs recorded the proceedings and in the trial at Kings County Civil Term.


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