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Car crash produced knee injury, plaintiff alleged

On July 16, 2005, plaintiff, A.T, 35, a hotel’s housekeeping manager, was driving in Brooklyn.  While she was near the intersection of Flatbush and Lafayette Avenues, her vehicle was struck by a trailing vehicle.  A.T. claimed that she sustained an injury to one knee. Plaintiff sued and the operator and owner of the offending vehicle.   Plaintiff alleged that the operator was negligent in his operation of the motor vehicle and that the owner was vicariously liable for the operator’s actions.  Plaintiff’s counsel moved for pre-trial summary judgment on the issue of liability, and the motion was granted.  The trial court addressed damages.


Plaintiff claimed that she sustained a tear of her right knee’s meniscus. The injury was repaired with arthroscopic surgery.  She contended that she later developed problems with her left knee as a result of the extra weight put on it because of the right knee’s injury.  She developed arthritic conditionsof both legs and has restricted range of motion in her legs and knees.  She claimed that she wears braces on her legs and walks with the aid of a cane.  It is unknown if she will ever be able to walk without assistance.   Plaintiff contended that her disabilities prevent her resumption of work.  She sought recovery of her past and future lost earnings and damages for her past and future pain and suffering.  Defense counsel contended that the collision produced a merely minor impact that could not have caused the injury that Tapper claimed to have sustained.  Thus, he argued that plaintiff did not sustain a serious injury as defined by the no-fault law, Insurance Law Section 5102(d).


The jury found in favor of the Plaintiff and awarded $2,343,000 in damages.