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SKETCHES OF COURT: Garbage truck accident settled for undisclosed sum

November 5, 2018 By Alba Acevedo Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Court sketch by Alba Acevedo
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In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Peter Sweeney listens as defendant’s attorney James Feehan (center) of the law offices of Roe and Associates, addresses the jury during opening remarks in the motor vehicle accident trial Sarwat v. Five Star Carting Inc. At issue was the determination of damages, after liability was decided in summary judgment. 

Ruby Sarwat claims to have been seriously injured when her vehicle was rear-ended by a carting company garbage truck in July 2015. Sarwat, 46 years old and a livery driver for over ten years, maintained that she is permanently partially disabled. Sarwat alleges that she is unable to resume her 65-plus hours work week as before the accident and is claiming lost wages.

Sarwat claims that the injuries from the accident necessitated surgery to her spine, which was unsuccessful in relieving lower back pain. Robert Rosenberg (seated), trial counsel to the law offices of Koenigsberg & Associates, represented Sarwat.

Feehan maintained that Sarwat’s back pain was more likely the result of her long hours over years as a driver in a sedentary position and alleged that her claims were inconsistent with trauma from the accident. Feehan submitted evidentiary photos of light damage to Sarwat’s vehicle to support his position.

Feehan noted that first responders and hospital emergency personnel indicated in their reports that there was no bruising to her abdomen from the seatbelt restraint that Sarwat was wearing at the time. Feehan also noted that while Sarwat testified to curtailed work hours after surgery, working 35-60 hours per week is ordinarily considered full time employment. 

The trial went to deliberations, but the parties arrived at an undisclosed settlement before a verdict was reached. Court reporter Francesca Cioffi transcribed the proceedings as Court Officer Ed Ludwicki maintained order in the trial that resolved in Kings County Civil Term.

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