Lewis Brisbois recently obtained a defense verdict for our client, a trucking company, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
The accident involved a passenger car and an 18 wheel tractor trailer on a busy Brooklyn street. The plaintiff alleged that he was parallel parking his car when he was struck twice and pushed into a third car by the tractortrailer, which was accelerating from a stop at a red light. The driver's side front wheel well and the front quarter panel were crushed, while the plaintiff claimed he fractured a rib and injured his left shoulder. He suffered a rotator cuff tear and required surgery. Even after his surgery and recovery, he claimed he was left with severely restricted range of motion or frozen shoulder and has not been able to raise it or carry items. He also claimed neck, back, and left knee soft tissue injuries.
At trial, we argued that the plaintiff was parallel parking when it was unsafe to do so, entering the truck's lane. He was only visible for three seconds before he stopped in the truck's blind spot, and he failed to warn the truck driver of his presence. We used the plaintiff's treatment and pharmaceutical records to demonstrate that the plaintiff's frozen shoulder was the result of failing to follow his doctor's orders, not the accident. On cross examination, the plaintiff's doctor admitted that the plaintiff was not honest about following the treatment plan and used his physical therapy visits to receive therapeutic massages, not aggressive shoulder exercises.
The unanimous jury found the defendant truck driver only 15 percent at fault and plaintiff 85 percent comparatively negligent and awarded the plaintiff only $15,000, thus the net owed by the defense amounted to $2,250.
New York Partner Joelle T. Jensen was the trial attorney and Associate Jennifer R. Harris was the handling attorney in discovery
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