Brooklyn Boro

Sketches of Court: Jury awards $1.2M after rear-end collision

November 25, 2019 By Alba Acevedo
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In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Richard Montelione looks on as plaintiff’s attorney Steven Podolsky (standing), of Cherny & Podolsky, conducts a direct examination and references a displayed diagram during the motor vehicle accident trial Rodriguez-Fabian v. Meyer. At issue is the determination of damages.

Rodriguez-Fabian was a car service driver in January 2016 when he was involved in a rear-end collision, for which the defendant was found wholly liable. Dr. Vadim Lerman (on the witness stand) affirmed a causal relation between the impact and the cervical discectomy with fusion procedure that he performed five months after the accident. Lerman insisted that Rodriguez-Fabian would need another surgery within five years to address the progress of adjacent segment deterioration.

Rodriguez-Fabian claimed that while some pain had resolved with treatment and surgery, he takes over-the-counter medications daily because of discomfort. Rodriguez-Fabian alleged that he no longer is able to enjoy modest activities like playing dominoes or shooting pool, nor is he able to have a restful sleep or help his wife at home. Rodriguez-Fabian testified that he is unable to sustain full-time employment as a driver and has had to limit his hours because of neck pain that he experiences when, for instance, he turns his head to check the rearview mirror.

Defendant’s attorney Jeffrey Hollander (at right), of James F. Butler & Associates, characterized the accident as a fender-bender and alleged that any claimed injuries had resolved or were not significant. Hollander maintained that no medical professional had determined that Rodriguez-Fabian could not return to work, and that subjective tests for range of motion could be faked.

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The jury determined that the plaintiff, 61 years old, should be compensated in the amount of $200,000 for past pain and suffering and $1,000,000 for future pain and suffering, in the trial that resolved in Kings County Supreme Court, Civil Term.

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