SUMMARIES WITH TRIAL ANALYSIS
$975,000 RECOVERY – BUS NEGLIGENCE – PEDESTRIAN IS STRUCK BY LEFT-TURNING BUS FROM BEHIND – SUBDURAL HEMATOMA – LOSS OF SMELL AND TASTE – MILD TBI – MEMORY AND CONCENTRATION DEFICITS – MULTIPLE RIB FRACTURES.
New York County, NY
The 79-year-old plaintiff pedestrian contended that as she nearly completed crossing the roadway in the area the crosswalk would have been if painted, she was struck by the defendant driver who was turning left from behind her. The plaintiff contended that as a result, she suffered a subdural hematoma and a subarachnoid hemmhorage that was treated medically. The plaintiff maintained that she suffered a mild TBI that caused significant cognitive deficits involving memory and concentration.
The plaintiff further contended that the head trauma left her with a permanent loss of smell and associ- ated reduction in taste. The plaintiff, who required ex- tensive antibiotic therapy after the collision, contended that she developed C difficile colitis as a result and that she will permanently suffer irritable bowel syndrome.
The defendant would have argued that in view of the plaintiff’s work as a psychoanalyst, she may well have been more familiar with the testing process and that the results should be questioned. The plaintiff coun- tered that she worked only in the fields of emotional loss and mental illness, was not familiar with neuropsychological testing, and denied that the de- fense position should be accepted.
The plaintiff further contended that she was left with a mild TBT which will permanently caused significant memory and concentration deficits. The plaintiff maintained that the deficits were confirmed by a battery of neuropsychological testing. The plaintiff missed approximately two months from work. She contended that although she returned, she has had great difficulties functioning.
The case settled prior to trial for $975,000.
The police report, which was generated after speak- ing to the driver of the bus, noted that the accident occurred as the driver was making a left turn and looking right (opposite from the plaintiff) for oncoming traffic. The plaintiff left the scene by ambulance. She does not know if she lost consciousness. She was taken to the hospital where she was admitted for two weeks and three days.
The plaintiff contended that she developed a loss of smell and taste after the accident. The plaintiff would have maintained that she underwent a battery of testing designed to determine if the claimed sensory losses occurred. The evidence reflected that the tests are designed to uncover fabrication and are consid- ered objective in nature. The plaintiff’s physicians at- tributed her loss of smell and taste to the accident. The defendant’s IME doctor agreed that such sensory losses could come from head trauma.
The plaintiff graduated from college in the 1950s in pre-med and worked at a large company for 30 years. Upon her retirement at 60, she returned to school to earn her master’s degree in social work. She works as a psychoanalyst/social worker.
REFERENCE Caption info omitted upon request. 09-08-11.
Attorneys for plaintiff: Clifford H. Shapiro and Michael J. Fitzpatrick of Wingate Russotti & Shapiro in New York, NY.
The defendant driver denied during his ebt that the plaintiff was crossing at the corner, or that the accident occurred at this location, contending that that the accident occurred when he was 15-25 feet from the corner and after having completed his turn. If the case had been tried, the plaintiff would have undermined the defense position by pointing to the police report which was generated after the investigating officer spoke to the defendant driver that re- flected that the accident occurred as the driver was making a left turn and looking right, which was opposite from the plaintiff at oncoming traffic. Regarding damages, the plaintiff, who maintained that she was left with a permanent cognitive deficits and the loss of smell and taste, contended that objective type testing confirmed these inju- ries. In this regard, although she worked in the field of psychoanal- ysis, she pointed out that she dealt with patients suffering emotional or mental illness and did not possess neuropsychological expertise .
Volume 28, Issue 9, September 2011