A Kearny police officer lost control of his patrol car and struck our client, a woman who was a passenger in another vehicle. After attorney Adam B. Lederman proved that the Kearny police officer had been driving negligently, the woman was awarded a $750,000 settlement.
The client and her brother were driving on a snowy night, during a State of Emergency. They had begun to drive through the intersection of Laurel Avenue and Schuyler Avenue, when, without warning, a patrol car slid through the intersection. Her brother veered right in an effort to avoid the patrol car, but the car struck the driver’s side of our client’s vehicle.
Our client and her brother first filed two suits against the Town of Kearny, but they were quickly merged into one suit. Before the trial in the Hudson County Superior Court, their case was submitted to non-binding arbitration, where the arbitrator found the police officer was not negligent, and awarded no damages to the client. However, partner Adam B. Lederman persisted and separated the case into two parts: the liability portion and the damages portion. The attorney tried the liability portion in the Hudson County Superior Court and won, and simultaneously submitted the damages portion before Judge Mecca, a judge in the Bergen County Superior Court. The jury awarded our client a settlement of $750,000.
The Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. team conducted careful research and made a motion before the trial judge to exclude any reference to the State of Emergency. During their research process, the team found that, contrary to popular belief, the State of Emergency Order does not prohibit drivers from being on the road. Instead, it just authorizes emergency funds to clean the roads.
Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. partner Adam B. Lederman hired an accident reconstructionist expert to determine which party was liable for the accident. The expert determined that the police officer had been driving at a speed of 29 miles per hour before he began attempting to brake his vehicle, which was above the 25 miles per hour posted speed limit. The expert opined that it was a particularly dangerous speed to be traveling at, given the weather conditions and the downgrade of the street. As such, the police officer was determined to be 100% liable for the accident.
The woman suffered injuries to her spine, right knee, right shoulder, and both of her wrists, as well as multiple disc herniations and disc bulges throughout her cervical and lumbar spine. In her right knee, she had a torn lateral meniscus and a partially torn ACL, while her right shoulder had tears in her supraspinatus tendon and infraspinatus tendon. Her wrists developed bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar sensory neuropathy.
To treat her spine, our client first received spinal pain management injections—nerve root and facet blocks—but they were not effective. She then underwent cervical surgery that included a C5-C6 and C6-C7 interbody arthrodesis and complete discectomy. The surgery required the placement of a PEEK cage and the harvesting of local bone allograft and autograft. To treat her right knee, the woman underwent a partial medial and partial lateral meniscectomy and the debridement of her partially torn ACL. She spent months in physical therapy following her operations on her back and knee.
After the trial, the defendant appealed the jury’s verdict and the judge’s denial of their summary judgement motion. After the appeal, Attorney Adam B. Lederman had an oral argument at the appellate division level, in the N.J. Superior Court’s Appellate Division. There, he persevered and won the appeal, allowing our client to keep the $750,000 in damages.
Settlements are often limited by the total available insurance coverage. Insurance company adjusters and their lawyers often defend cases by claiming that a client was negligent and could have avoided being injured by arguing comparative negligence on the part of an injured client; or that their pain and suffering was caused by pre-existing medical conditions or prior injuries. Despite those defenses, the Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, PC lawyers won their client’s injury claim. Each client’s case is unique. Results may differ because of different facts, circumstances and available insurance coverage.
Call us now for a free and confidential case evaluation. We are also available 24/7 online at our website, www.dsslaw.com.
Bulging Disc: An extension of disc tissue past the edge of the vertebrae.
Disc Herniation: A greater amount of tissue extension compared to a bulging disc.
Cervical Spine: The first seven vertebrae in the spine.
Lumbar Spine: The lower back, containing five vertebrae.
Meniscal Tear: A tear in the cartilage of the knee; commonly occurs if an individual suddenly and forcefully twists their knee.
Partial ACL Tear: An incomplete tear of one of the pair of ligaments in the knee.
Supraspinatus Tear: A tear of the tendon of the supraspinatus muscle, located in the rotator cuff of the shoulder.
Infraspinatus Tear: A tear of the tendon of the infraspinatus muscle, also located in the rotator cuff of the shoulder.
Bilateral Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Inflamed tendons compress both hands’ median nerves, causing nerve compression injury; commonly leads to numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain in the hands.
Ulnar Sensory Neuropathy: A disorder affecting the fifth digit and medial half of the fourth digit, causing tingling, pain, and weakness.
Interbody Arthrodesis: A type of spinal fusion that removes the affected vertebral disc.
Complete Discectomy: The surgical procedure that completely removes the herniated disc.
Allograft: Using another individual’s tissue for a surgical reconstruction procedure.
Autograft: Using one’s own tissue for a surgical reconstruction procedure.
Partial Meniscectomy: A surgical procedure that removes the damaged part of the meniscus.
Debridement: A procedure to remove dead tissue from an injury or wound.