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SKETCHES OF COURT: Comparative fault found in car accident trial

May 12, 2017 By Alba Acevedo Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Court sketch by Alba Acevedo
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In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Carl Landicino listens as plaintiff’s attorney Leonora Bloom (standing), trial counsel to the law offices of Bryan Barenbaum, addresses the jury during her closing arguments in the motor vehicle accident trial Miller v. Harris and Staple

Johnny Miller was involved in an accident on Avenue H at around 1 a.m. in January 2011. At the intersection of Brooklyn Avenue, Miller drove around to the left to pass the car in front of him that, he alleged, was bearing right. Miller crossed the double yellow line and collided with the car as it attempted a left turn. Miller faults the other driver for negligent operation of his vehicle in failing to employ a turn signal. The 62-year-old truck driver claimed that he was seriously injured as a result of the accident, and that he sustained bilateral shoulder tears as well as intervertebral bulges in his cervical and lumbar spine.

David Gould (at right), of the law firm Russo & Toner, represented the co-defendant driver and vehicle owner. Gould’s client steadfastly maintained that he had indicated his intention via the use of his left turn signal. Gould contended that Miller had followed too closely and was at fault for the impact. 

The jury returned a comparative liability verdict, finding 65 percent negligence on the part of the plaintiff and 35 percent on the part of the defendant in causing the accident. The jury did not award damages, as they determined that Miller was not seriously injured. The summary jury trial was resolved last week in Kings County Civil Term. 

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