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SKETCHES OF COURT: Defendant and plaintiff found equally negligent in car accident

December 15, 2017 By Alba Acevedo Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Court sketch by Alba Acevedo
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In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Loren Baily-Schiffman listens as defendant’s attorney John DiFalco (standing), of the law offices of James G. Bilello & Associates, makes opening statements to the jury in the motor vehicle accident trial Brown v. Hendricks. Court reporter Dianne Adkins-Forte (at right) recorded the proceedings. 

Montrel Brown claimed to have been a lawful pedestrian in the crosswalk when he was knocked over by a vehicle making a right turn onto Van Siclen and New Lots avenues in March 2015. Brown testified that he never saw the car before the accident, and that the impact sent him airborne. Brown was represented by Mitchell Berman (at left), of Buzin & Berman, PC.

Defendant driver Lincoln Hendricks disputed Brown’s version of events. Hendricks claimed that he saw Brown between cars, not at the crosswalk, before the accident. Hendricks further testified that his vehicle never made contact until Brown swung a backpack at his slowly approaching car, shattering the windshield. 

The responding officer who submitted the police accident report that was entered into evidence was subpoenaed to appear. Both sides took issue with his testimony around details in the certified document. 

Pursuant to a stipulation prior to the liability-only trial, the parties agreed to a damages award calculation based on the percentage of defendant’s fault, if any. The jury found both sides equally negligent for causing the accident, and the plaintiff will receive a $150,000 settlement as compensation for damages in the trial that resolved last week in Kings County Civil term. 


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