Anthony D Agostino v. Richard Paty, Jr. and Richard Paty, Sr.
Type of Injury
DISLOCATION FRACTURE OF THE CERVICAL SPINE
$610,164, plus interest (5/1).
XIV/47-15 MOTOR VEHICLE PASSENGER DISLOCATION FRACTURE OF THE CERVICAL SPINE SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON LIABILITY
Anthony D Agostino v. Richard Paty, Jr. and Richard Paty, Sr. 23607/93 8-day trial Verdict 4/16/97 Judge Peter Fox Cohalan, Suffolk Supreme
VERDICT: $610,164, plus interest (5/1). Breakdown: $325,000 for past pain and suffering; $42,745 for past medical expenses; $51, 384 for past lost earnings; $175,000 for future pain and suffering; $ 16,035 for future lost earnings. Jury: 4 male, 2 female.
Pltf. Atty: Michael Carner of Sarisohn, Sarisohn, Carner, LeBow, Braun & Castrovinci, Commack
Deft. Atty: Marcy D. Sheinwold of Lewis, Johs, Avallone, Aviles & Kaufman, Melville
Facts: Pltf., a 38-year-old landscaper, testified that on 8/30/93 shortly after 12 AM he was a passenger in a car driven by Deft. Paty, Jr. He claimed that they were traveling on Harned Rd. in Commack when the car suddenly left the road and hit a tree and utility pole. Pltf. was granted summary judgment on liability in September 1995 and this trial was on damages only.
Injuries: hangman s fracture dislocation at C2-3 ultimately resulting in a spontaneous spinal fusion at C1, 2, and 3. He wore a halo brace for 10 weeks. Pltf. claimed that he has severe permanent restriction of motion in the neck. He received physical therapy and acupuncture treatment. Pltf. testified that he cannot return to work as a landscaper and that he cannot perform sedentary work. He also testified that he has not driven a car since the accident. Pltf. s economist testified that his future lost earnings would be approximately $750,000. Deft. denied that there was a spinal fusion at C1-2 and contended that the restriction of motion was not as severe as Pltf. claimed. Deft. contended that Pltf. only had a mild to moderate disability, and that he was employable in a variety of sedentary jobs.
Demonstrative evidence: X-rays; 3-D CAT scan reconstruction; MRI films; hospital records; physical therapy and acupuncture records; model and computer-generated diagrams of the spine. Specials: $42, 745 for medical expenses; $51,384 for lost earnings. Final offer: $ 750,000; demand: $950,000. Jury deliberation: 4 hours. Carrier: Allstate. Pltf. Experts: Dr. Allen Zippin, neurosurgeon, Smithtown; Edmond Provder, vocational rehabilitation, Manhattan; Alan Leiken, Ph.D., economist, Stony Brook. Deft. Experts: Dr. James Sarno, neurosurgeon, Hempstead; Morris Ehrenreich, Ph.D., vocational rehabilitation, Manhattan; Dr. John Killian, orth. surg., Hempstead.