Appellate Court Upholds $2M Nassau County Verdict For Pain & Suffering During 4 Days Between Accident & Death
On October 5, 2022, an appellate court upheld the finding of a Nassau County jury verdict against the Town of Hempstead for the wrongful death of a 69 year old Great Neck man who was killed while riding a motorized scooter as a result of a faulty roadway design. The decedent was riding on Bayview Avenue in Great Neck with the right of way when he was struck by a vehicle that made a right turn from Shore Park Avenue onto Bayview Avenue crossing his path.
The other driver had stopped for a stop sign before making the right turn but didn't see the scooter because his view was obstructed by trees and shrubs on a median. Approximately five (5) years before the accident the Town of Hempstead had repaved Bayview Avenue and moved the stop line 27 feet back from where it had been located on Shore Park Avenue. There was a median between opposite lanes of traffic on Bay Park Avenue with trees and shrubbery close to the intersection which now blocked the view of the drivers at the relocated stop line.
The decedent suffered multiple fractures throughout his body, vascular and internal injuries. He survived for four days before he succumbed to his injuries. His wife testified as to the degree of his conscious awareness of pain and its severity resulting in a jury verdict of $2,000,000 for pain and suffering alone ($500,000 per day).The appellate court found that this award was fair and reasonable. Prior to the trial the Town of Hempstead unsuccessfully appealed the denial of a motion to dismiss this case on the ground of qualified immunity. The appellate court rejected this argument stating that the Town of Hempstead had failed to establish that they undertook a study which considered the risk presented to motorists when it relocated the stop sign and stop line. Schneider v Town of Hempstead, 2022 WL 506968