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Construction Accidents | Car Accidents
Workers Compensation

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Hit in the Rear on the Highway

The plaintiff driver while stopped on the highway was struck in the rear by the defendant motor vehicle driver in Queens, New York. BBNR made a motion asking the court to determine that the defendant was at fault as a matter of law. The judge granted our motion and the only issue left for a jury to decide was how much money to award. The case settled shortly after winning this decision.

DARCI J. KOEHL V. JOSEPH R. ROMANO

Supreme Court, Queens County, Index No. 28940/11

Upon the foregoing papers it is ordered that plaintiff’s motion for an order granting summary judgment in their favor on the issue of liability against defendants pursuant to CPLR 3212 on the ground that there are no triable issues of fact and that, as a matter, of law, the plaintiff is entitled to such judgment is granted, for the following reasons:

The action arises out of an automobile accident that occurred on May 20, 2011, at interstate 495 near Exit 49N, Huntington, New York, in Suffolk County. Thereafter, the plaintiff commenced the instant action to recover for personal injuries sustained.

Plaintiff moves for summary judgment on the basis that there is no issue of liability to be determined. In support of the motion, plaintiff has submitted her affidavit and the Police Accident Report for the subject accident. Plaintiff Darci J. Koehl stated in her sworn affidavit that she was operating her car and was stopped in traffic. After being fully stopped for approximately thirty to forty seconds, plaintiffs’ car was hit in the rear by a vehicle operated by defendant Joseph R. Romano. Plaintiff states that she learned defendant’s name when he handed her information and defendant then left the scene after she told him that she had to call the police. The police responded, plaintiff gave the police officer the defendant’s information and a Police Accident Report was generated. The Police Accident Report states in pertinent part that Vehicle# l was traveling eastbound on I 495 in middle lane when Vehicle #2 rear ended Vehicle#1. Defendant opposes this motion claiming that he does not waive his rights and opportunities to defend on damages if the plaintiff is granted summary judgment on the issue of liability.

It is well settled that where a vehicle is lawfully stopped, there is a duty imposed upon the operators of vehicles traveling behind it in the same direction to come to a timely halt. Therefore, a rear-end collision with a lawfully stopped vehicle creates a prima facie case of liability in favor of the operator of the stationary vehicle unless the operator of the moving vehicle can come forward with an adequate, non-negligent explanation for the accident. Parra v Hugbes, 79 AD3d AD3d 1113 (2d Dept. 2010.) If the operator of the moving vehicle cannot come forward with any evidence to rebut the inference of negligence, the operator of the stopped vehicle may properly be awarded judgment as a matter of law. Lampkin v Chan, 68 AD3d 727 (2d Dept. 2009.) Defendant Joseph R. Romano has not raised any issue of fact and failed to submit any evidence in opposition to the motion. Defendant does not deny the plaintiffs affidavit that she was stopped in traffic after being fully stopped for approximately thirty to forty seconds when the plaintiffs’ car was struck in the rear by defendant’s vehicle or that the accident was due to any other reason than his own negligence. Consequently, the defendant is liable as as matter of law and thus, the plaintiff is entitled to summary judgment on the issue of liability. The Court notes that its determination does not involve the issue of whether the plaintiff suffered “serious injuries” and the matter shall proceed to trial on the issue of damages.

Dated: March 27, 2012

TIMOTHY J. DUFFICY, J.S.C.

Select A Practice Area

Construction Accident

$1,700,000

$1.7 million verdict in New York County against the driver of a delivery truck who struck a man as he was crossing the street within the crosswalk in Manhattan.

Motor Vehicle Accident

$3,600,000

$3.6 Million settlement in New York Supreme Court for a Spanish speaking construction worker who fell off a 6 foot ladder and landed onto metal and wooden debris. The worker required lumbar spinal surgery for his injuries and needed surgeries to both knees from the fall. The worker could not return to work and suffered depression from his injuries resulting in a suicide attempt.

Construction Accident

$3,200,000

$3.2 million verdict in Queens Supreme Court for an undocumented Polish speaking construction worker who fell 12 feet during a demolition project. The worker fractured a vertebrae and herniated several discs in his spine requiring surgery. The plaintiff was unable to return back to work due to his injuries.

Motor Vehicle Accident

$1,500,000

$1.5 million verdict in Supreme Court Kings County for a woman struck by a car that jumped the curb and hit the pedestrian while standing on the sidewalk across from Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

Slip And Fall Accident

$1,900,000

$1.9 million verdict in New York Supreme Court for a bank manager who slipped and fell on a wet floor, resulting in spinal injuries. The building owner knew about a recurring leak inside the basement cafeteria but failed to correct the problem.

Construction Accident

$2,000,000

$2 million settlement in Queens Supreme Court for Polish construction worker who fell 2 stories from a bucket. The worker’s supervisor told the construction worker to ride the material bucket down to use the bathroom because it would save time. The worker fractured his pelvis in several places requiring surgery and was unable to return to work.

Medical Malpractice

$4,500,000

Defense counsel offers 11 cents to settle before trial and the jury renders a verdict of $4.5 million dollars for a medical malpractice victim and his wife. The action was commenced in New York Supreme Court for a patient who suffered massive internal bleeding during a lower back surgery when the surgeon negligently cut an artery and failed to promptly treat the condition, causing a loss of oxygen and injury to the brain. The anesthesiologist failed to properly monitor the patient’s vitals during the surgery and alert the surgeon of the drop in blood pressure.

Assault

$1,250,000

$1.25 million settlement in New York Supreme Court against building owner for negligent security that caused two women to be assaulted while leaving work. A masked man entered their elevator from a floor that was supposed to be closed off for construction. The assailant used a metal pipe to attack the two women. The two women split the settlement monies.

Construction Accident

$1,500,000

$1.5 Million settlement in New York Supreme Court for a construction worker who was struck by a piece of concrete that fell on his head and back. Workers above were chipping concrete despite knowing that people were working directly below them. The plaintiff required surgery on his neck but made a good recovery.

Medical Malpractice

$3,900,000

$3.9 million settlement in Supreme Court Kings County for a Brooklyn man who suffered a stroke shortly following an eye surgery. The patient was given medical clearance for local anesthesia but instead was placed under general anesthesia for 7 hours. The patient’s blood pressure was not well controlled resulting in a 30 minute hypertensive emergency near the end of the operation. The patient died after 7 years of living in different nursing homes.

CLIENT REVIEWS

    I did not think myself that we will win this difficult matter and become victorious, especially after being rejected by numerous other attorneys…but your professionalism Brett, dedication and determination, not to mention a huge heart, was how we prevailed

ALEKSANDER J.

    When I brought my situation to a local attorney he directed me to Brett Nomberg, and I’m so glad he did. Someone always was able to give me a status of what was going on. Your team made my wife and I realize we were dealing with a truly professional firm and at the same time, sympathetic to our needs. Great job. Excellent Customer Service.

GREG M.

    I want to thank you for all the help and support that was given to my parents by you and your colleagues. Your firm’s time, effort and dedication, is without question second to none and this led to a successful settlement

PAT R.

    We can’t thank you enough for the wonderful representation you provided and for believing in our case. It was very vindicating to have a judge and jury decide in our favor.

JANE AND TOM D.