SKETCHES OF COURT: Jury awards damages to couple rear-ended in collision
In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Lara Genovesi listens as plaintiff’s attorney Jeffrey Weiner makes opening arguments in the summary jury motor vehicle accident trial Lago, Vicente v. Mizrachi. At issue was the determination of damages, after liability was decided in summary judgment.
Weiner’s client Angel Vicente had brought his car to a stop behind another vehicle at a red light, in November 2009. His wife Lucy Lago was a front-seat passenger. Lago is represented by Ricardo J. Martinez (seated at left), of the law firm Leav & Steinberg.
Vicente testified to seeing a speeding car in his rear-view mirror only a moment before it struck his vehicle from behind and pushed it into a collision with the car in front. Vicente testified that the impact sent his head swinging back and forth.
Lagos’ claims were for neck spasms and a bulging disc in her lower back, for which she sought various modes of treatment over the last nine years after she hit her head during the accident. Lago was emotional in testimony where she maintained that the accident caused ruin to her marriage. Vicente maintained that he remains in discomfort, though he had resolved to continue working in construction despite the accident having aggravated a pre-existing condition.
Mizrachi was represented by Joseph Cullen (at right), of the law firm McMahon, Martine & Gallagher. Cullen argued that the injuries were not significant or permanent. Mizrachi testified that the airbags did not deploy and that the impact was light.
The jury determined that the plaintiffs met the threshold for serious injury, but not of a permanent nature. They awarded damages to Lago in the amount of $97,500 for past pain and suffering, and $31,000 for past medical expenses. Vicente was awarded $108,000 for past pain and suffering. No award was made for future pain and suffering, in the trial that resolved last week in Kings County Civil Term.
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