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SKETCHES OF COURT: Liability verdict for plaintiffs does not yield damages award in car accident trial

August 10, 2017 By Alba Acevedo Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Court sketch by Alba Acevedo
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In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Theresa Ciccotto listens as defendant’s attorney John DiFalco (standing), of the law firm Bilello & Associates, conducts a cross-examination of a plaintiff in the motor vehicle accident trial Hayles et al v. Varghee in Kings County Civil Term. 

Attorney Ross Raggio (seated at left), of the law offices of Krentsel & Guzman, represented the co-plaintiffs, who claimed serious injury in a March 2015 collision on the Verrazano Bridge roadway when their vehicle was struck from the rear. The co-plaintiffs were the driver and passengers. 

At issue was the determination of damages, after the liability verdict found Varghee to be 100 percent negligent in the accident. Collectively, the co-plaintiffs claimed injuries inclusive of a right shoulder fracture, a meniscus tear with surgery, bilateral shoulder tears and disc herniation. 

DiFalco’s expert witness doctors generally related the injuries to degeneration, such as the wear-and-tear consistent with running track in college, and not with trauma related to the collision. DiFalco noted that the plaintiffs’ complaints of pain began weeks, and as late as a year, after the accident. 

The jury deliberated briefly before returning a unanimous verdict for the defendants, rejecting the claim of a right-shoulder fracture or of any significant or consequential limitations as a result of the accident.

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