News Archive: September 2011September 30, 2011
Trial Results: September 2011
Bill Bloom tried a case in Middlesex County involving a three vehicle chain-reaction rear-end hit on the New Jersey Turnpike. The plaintiff , driving the lead vehicle, claimed that Bill’s client, driving a large pick-up truck rear-ended her at a high rate of speed and then was pushed into her a second time as a result being struck in the rear by a third vehicle being operated by the co-defendant. Bill’s client asserted that he brought his vehicle to a stop without hitting the plaintiff and was simply pushed into her vehicle by the co-defendant. Plaintiff claimed an aggravation of a preexisting neck and low back condition which resulted in six spine surgeries, including multiple cervical and lumbar fusions with resulting complications including a permanently paralyzed vocal cord (plaintiff being a semiprofessional choir singer) and a drop foot. Plaintiff’s life care plan expert opined that the plaintiff would require over $600,000 in future life expenses including two additional fusions. Well before trial, co-defendant deposited his policy limits of $100,000. Plaintiff’s demand as against Bill’s client was $1,000,000. Bill defended the case on both liability and damages. As to liability, Bill relied on the testimony of his client, as well as, property damage photographs of the vehicles, and prior inconsistent statements made by the plaintiff regarding how the accident occurred. On damages, Bill raised an issue as to the causal relationship of the claimed injuries given plaintiff ’a prior history and evidence suggesting ongoing complaints as of the time of the accident. The jury returned a no cause in favor of Bill’s clients. As to the co-defendant, the jury entered an award of only $278,000.