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Car Crash’s Parties Disputed Status Of Traffic Signals

VEREDICT: $3,300,000


A 43-year-old police officer and our client, was driving on the eastbound side of East Tremont Avenue, in the Bronx. As he crossed the intersection of the Cross Bronx Expressway’s service road, he was broadsided by a van. The plaintiff’s vehicle was pushed to a sidewalk, and the officer claimed that he sustained injuries of his neck and back.

The plaintiff sued the driver and the New York Public Library, his employer and the owner of the vehicle. The plaintiff alleged that the other driver was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. He further alleged that the New York Public Library was vicariously liable for the driver’s actions. The officer claimed that he stopped for a red light at the intersection and then proceeded straight through when the light turned green. He contended that the the other driver was negligent for driving through a red light and striking his vehicle.

The defendant contended that he had a green light at the intersection and that it was the police officer who drove through a red light. He claimed that the plaintiff caused the accident by blocking his path in the intersection, leaving him no choice but to broadside his vehicle.


Chiropractic; fusion, lumbar: herniated disc at L5-S1; Iaminectomy; physical therapy.

The plaintiff was taken to an emergency room by a fellow police officer from the scene of the accident. He claimed back and neck pain and initially missed a few days of work. The plaintiff then began treatment with a chiropractor and physical therapy, missing a month of work. When he returned, he claimed that the pain continued, and an MRI revealed a lumbar disc herniation at L5-S1. He then underwent a lumbar laminectomy, which put him out of work for another month. The plaintiff claimed that he returned to work on a 40-hour-per-week schedule, albeit limited to desk work, for the next three to four years. In 2009, he underwent a spinal fusion because of continuing pain and discomfort. He missed another two months of work to recover, and he returned in the same limited capacity.

The plaintiff claimed that he could no longer fish or play basketball and was restricted in helping his family around the house. He sought recovery of damages for his past and future pain and suffering.

The defendants contended that the plaintiff’s disc herniation was not causally related to the accident. They claimed that he has been a policeman since 1994 and that his back injury was a preexisting, degenerative condition. They claimed that he did not undergo any diagnostic testing.


After the conclusion the plaintiff’s case, the parties negotiated a settlement. The defendants’ insurer agreed to pay $3.3 million.

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