Gurmeet Singh and Surinder Kaur v. Thomas Alfano and MetLife Investments / Bahadur Singh, Harbinder Kaur, Sukhwant Singh, Jagdev Kaur, Jaib Singh, Mandee Kaur and Gurmeet Singh v. Thomas Alfano and MetLife Investments
Type of Injury
Mercer County, New Jersey
The jury found that Bahadur Singh had sustained a permanent injury under the verbal tort threshold and was awarded $856,000 in damages. Singh’s wife, Harbinder Kaur, received $22,000 for her loss of consortium claim. Their combined total award was $878,000. However, the jury also found that Singh’s failure to undergo fusion surgery constituted contributory negligence of 40 percent.
The $878,000 damages award was reduced by 40 percent, to $526,800.
The award was to be paid by Alfano’s insurer, Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.
The jury returned no cause of action verdicts for Sukhwant Singh and Ajaib Singh, in favor of the defense.
On April 15, 2010, plaintiff Bahadur Singh, a taxi driver in his 50s, was the front-seat passenger in a vehicle heading south on the New Jersey Turnpike, near Robbinsville Township. In the back seat were plaintiffs Sukhwant Singh and Ajaib Singh, also taxi drivers. The car’s driver was Gurmeet Singh.
The Singhs were traveling in the left lane of the turnpike when another vehicle attempted to pass a truck and moved from the right lane into the left lane, rear-ending them. The Singhs claimed multiple spine injuries.
Bahadur Singh, Sukhwant Singh, and Ajaib Singh sued the driver of the other vehicle, Thomas Alfano, alleging that he had been negligent in failing to avoid the collision. Alfano’s employer, MetLife Investments, was named as a defendant, since Alfano had been driving in his capacity as an employee.
(The lawsuit was consolidated with another suit brought by Gurmeet Singh and his wife against Alfano and MetLife, which was settled several months prior to trial, for $25,000.)
Counsel for Alfano conceded liability, prior to trial.