John P. DePaolo, Esq., successfully defends client in New York State Supreme Court- The following is Reprinted by permission -Jury Verdict Review & Analysis
DEFENDANT’S VERDICT ON THREE NO-FAULT THRESHOLD CATEGORIES
Rear-end chain collision – Plaintiff struck in rear and pushed into car in front – Plaintiff claims collision causes aggravation of prior knee meniscal tear previously addressed surgically and prompting new surgery – Plaintiff also contends subject collision causes bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome that required two surgeries – Plaintiff further maintains accident causes cervical herniations that are superimposed on previously asymptomatic degenerative disc disease and which will allegedly occasion two future cervical fusion surgeries – Plaintiff requests $1.3 mil.
Erie County, NY
Negligence was not in issue in this case in which the defendant struck a vehicle driven by a non-party in the rear, which subsequently struck the rear of the plaintiff’s car and which also propelled the plaintiff’s car into the vehicle in front while stopped at an intersection. The plaintiff claimed only moderate neck pain on the date of the accident.
The plaintiff, 63 at the time of the collision, and 66 at trial, contended that he suffered an aggravation of a prior right knee meniscal tear that was previously treated with arthroscopic surgery and which necessitated new arthroscopic surgery. The plaintiff maintained that he will suffer permanent pain and some difficulties ambulating.
The plaintiff further contended that the collision caused bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome that necessitated surgery on each side, and that future carpal tunnel surgery will probably also be required.
The plaintiff also maintained that he suffered several cervical herniations and that although the imaging studies showed degenerative disc disease, it was previously asymptomatic. The plaintiff maintained that he will probably require two cervical fusions in the future.
The plaintiff maintained that the impact to his rear was substantial and indicated that the second impact when he was pushed into the car in front was less significant.
The defendant maintained that the impacts were slight. The defendant introduced, on the issue of the plaintiff’s credibility, evidence that very minor cosmetic damage was sustained and that the cost of repair was $1200. The defendant also pointed out that none of the airbags on the vehicles involved had deployed.
The jury found for the defendant on the no-fault threshold.
Plaintiff’s chiropractic expert: Lawrence Adymy DC from Buffalo, NY.
Plaintiff’s orthopedic surgical (knee) expert: Graham Huckel, MD from Buffalo, NY.
Plaintiff’s orthopedic surgical (neck) expert: Cameron Huckel, MD from Buffalo, NY.
Plaintiff’s orthopedic surgical (wrist) expert: A. Marc Tetro, MD from Buffalo, NY.
Defendant’s neurosurgical expert: Michael Landi, MD from Williamsville, NY.
Defendant’s orthopedic surgical expert: Leslie Bisson, MD from Buffalo, NY.
Rzepka vs. Berlin. Docket no. 20113155; Judge Donna Siwek, 02-18-14.
Attorney for defendant : John P. DePaolo of Bouvier Partnership, LLP in Buffalo, NY.