On August 6, 2018, a Nassau County jury awarded $800,000 to the victim of a head on collision in a two car accident. The defendant's responsibility was determined by a pre-trial motion that found him negligent for crossing over to the oncoming lane and striking the plaintiff's vehicle. The issues at trial were limited to determining the amount of fair compensation. The jury learned that the plaintiff had her foot on the brake at the moment of impact and the collision caused her right heel bone (calcaneous) to be shattered (comminuted) requiring surgery. The fracture was so extensive that it damaged the articular cartilage of the subtalar joint and also fractured the talus. During surgery a metal plate with four screws was used to secure some of the larger fragments of the calcaneous.
These injuries were compounded by the development of a blood clot or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the right calf two days after the accident requiring treatment with anticoagulants and the placement of a retrievable filter in the inferior vena cava. The filter was removed six months later and the plaintiff returned to her job as a part time teacher. Medical experts from both sides debated the severity of the injuries and whether the plaintiff was limited in her activities and suffering constant pain as claimed. The jury awarded the 67 year old plaintiff $400,000 for the past pain and suffering/loss of enjoyment of the quality of life; and, $400,000 for the future consequences of her injury. Doe v Smith, Supreme Court of New York, County of Nassau. TRIAL COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF - RON BURKE