Carolyn and Robert French v. Alfred Schiavo, et al.

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Case Name

Carolyn and Robert French v. Alfred Schiavo, et al.

Type of Injury





New York, NY


$274,432 for Carolyn F., reduced to $219,545 for 20% comparative negligence of Pltf.

Verdict Amount


Case Details


Carolyn and Robert French v. Alfred Schiavo, et al. 100207/98 12- day trial Verdict 12/1/00 New York Supreme

Judge: Thomas W. Keegan

Verdict: $274,432 for Carolyn F., reduced to $219,545 for 20% comparative negligence of Pltf. Breakdown: $100,000 for past pain and suffering; $34,792 for past lost earnings; $54,640 for past medical expenses; $50,000 for future pain and suffering (1 year); 0 for future lost earnings; $35,000 for future medical expenses.

The action by Robert French was abandoned prior to verdict. Jury: 2 male, 4 female. A post-trial motion is pending.

Pltf. Atty: Christopher B. Weldon and David Weinberger of Lustig & Brown, Manhattan

Deft. Atty: Fred B. Smith of Tromello & Siegel, Manhattan

Facts: On 7/23/96 at 11:45 AM, Pltf., a 32-year-old accountant, was struck by Deft. s van at or near the crosswalk at the intersection of 57th St. and Sixth Ave. in Manhattan. Deft. had been stopped just before the accident. The jury found Pltf. 20% comparatively negligent for the accident.

Injuries: closed head injury with permanent cognitive impairments including memory loss, impairment of concentration, irritability, depression, personality disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder; post-concussion syndrome; sleep disorder; torn ligaments in the right knee. Pltf. underwent knee surgery in 1999. She had taken a leave of absence and was working part-time by the time of trial. Deft. conceded that Pltf. suffered post-concussion syndrome, which medical experts on both sides equated with mild traumatic brain injury, but disputed the extent and duration of Pltf. s injuries, as well as her claim that she lost future earning power and partnership potential. Deft. produced evidence that Pltf. had been successfully employed at two of the big five public accounting firms since the accident, which had competitive work environments. Deft. also produced Pltf. s former manager from her current employer, who rated her accounting abilities highly. Deft. contended that Pltf. s emotional and personality complaints were related to marital discord. Deft. also contended that Pltf. s knee injury was an aggravation of a more serious prior injury, that results of extensive psychological testing did not support her claims of cognitive impairments, and that her part-time employment status was a voluntary arrangement that did not substantially impair her future prospects. Demonstrative evidence: charts; enlargements; photographs; diagrams ( 97 trial exhibits were marked). Jury deliberation: 6 hours. Carrier: CNA.

Pltf. Experts: Dr. Jonathan Silver, neuropsychiatrist, Manhattan; Dr. Wayne Gordon, neuropsychologist, Manhattan ( psychometric testing); Dr. Justin La Mont, orth. surg., Manhattan ( testified about Pltf. s knee injury and her prospects for future surgery); Dr. Gary Crakes, Ph.D., economist, Connecticut; Edmond Provder, vocational rehabilitation, Manhattan.

Deft. Experts: Dr. David Mahalick, Ph.D., neuropsychologist, New Jersey; Dr. William Head, neuropsychiatrist, Manhattan; Joseph Pessalano, vocational rehabilitation, Westbury; Dr. David Zaumeyer, Ph.D., economist, Manhattan.