Nicholas Tsetsakos and Beddy Montalvo v. Terrell Bonaparte and Kings Ready Mix, Inc., No. 2729/09
Type of Injury
Kings Supreme, NY
The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement, which was established via the guidance of mediator Michael McAllister. The defendants’ insurers agreed to pay a total of $3.1 million.
Judge: Michael McAllister
• Eric R. Bernstein; Law Offices of Eric R. Bernstein; New York, NY, for Nicholas Tsetsakos, Beddy Montalvo
• Edmond Provder C.R.C.; Vocational Rehabilitation; Hackensack, NJ called by: Eric Bernstein
• Mark McMahon M.D.; Orthopedic Surgery; New York, NY called by: Eric Bernstein
• Alan Leiken Ph.D.; Lost Earnings (Economics); Stony Brook, NY called by: Eric Bernstein
• Gregory D.V. Holmes; Robin, Harris, King & Fodera; New York, NY, for Terrell Bonaparte, Kings Ready Mix Inc.
• Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. for both defendants (primary)
• Everest Indemnity Insurance Co. for both defendants (excess)
On Jan. 19, 2009, plaintiff Nicholas Tsetsakos, 29, an ironworker, was driving on the eastbound side of Metropolitan Avenue, near its intersection at Leonard Street, in Brooklyn. His vehicle collided with an oncoming cement truck that was being driven by Terrell Bonaparte, who had crossed Metropolitan Avenue’s double yellow center line. Tsetsakos sustained injuries of his legs.
Tsetsakos sued Bonaparte and his truck’s owner, Kings Ready Mix Inc. Tsetsakos alleged that Bonaparte was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Tsetsakos further alleged that Kings Ready Mix was vicariously liable for Bonaparte’s actions.
Tsetsakos claimed that there was light rain on the date of the accident and that Bonaparte failed to account for the hazardous conditions.
Bonaparte contended that the collision occurred during light snow. He claimed that Tsetsakos was speeding and that Tsetsakos might have driven through a red traffic signal. Bonaparte did admit that when his truck started to slide, he turned the steering wheel to the left to avoid rear-ending the vehicle in front of him.
Tsetsakos’ counsel moved for summary judgment of liability, and the motion was granted. The matter proceeded to damages.
Tsetsakos sustained fractures of his left leg’s tibia and fibula, fractures of the toes of his right foot, and a bimalleolar fracture–a fracture of both sides of the ankle’s malleolus, which is the ankle’s bony protuberance. The latter injury affected his right ankle. He also sustained a Lisfranc’s fracture of his right foot. A Lisfranc’s fracture involves the fracture and dislocation of the joints in the mid foot.
Tsetsakos underwent open reduction and internal fixation and had plates, screws and wires placed in his right foot and plates, screws and an intermedullary rod in his left leg. After recovery from his surgeries, he underwent physical therapy from April 2009 until December 2009. He never returned to work and though he was unable to walk for several months, he currently walks with a limp on his right side, which he deems permanent.
Tsetsakos’ expert orthopedic surgeon opined that Tsetsakos’ prognosis was poor and that he could not return to his prior profession and that potentially, he would require hardware removal for both his legs and a possible fusion of his right ankle or replacement in the future.
Tsetsakos’ occupational-rehabilitation-expert opined that Tsetsakos could work in the future but only at a light-duty sedentary job. The expert saw a diminution in earning potential of $30,000 to $35,000 for the rest of Tsetsakos’ life, whereas Tsetsakos earned $60,000 to $65,000 in the year prior to the accident. Tsetsakos’ expert economist opined that the potential damages Tsetsakos would suffer, assuming he could no longer work for the rest of his life, would be $6 million.
Tsetsakos sought recovery of his past and future lost earnings and damages for his past and future pain and suffering. His wife, Beddy Montalvo, sought recovery of damages for her loss of consortium.
The defense’s expert orthopedic surgeon agreed that Mr. Tsetsakos could not return to his prior profession.
Jose and Lydia Garcia v. Universal Elevator Co., Inc.
Type of Injury
AGGRAVATION OF PRIOR SPINAL PROBLEM WITH RADICULOPATHY
$1,500,000 for Jose G.; $100,000 for Lydia G. for loss of services. Settled for $850,000 pursuant to a “high/low” settlement agreement ($250,000/$850,000).
VI/1-18 ELEVATOR ACCIDENT – AGGRAVATION OF PRIOR SPINAL PROBLEM WITH RADICULOPATHY
Jose and Lydia Garcia v. Universal Elevator Co., Inc. 13543/86 3-week trial Verdict 6/25/87 Judge Harold Tompkins, Bronx Supreme
VERDICT: $1,500,000 for Jose G.; $100,000 for Lydia G. for loss of services. Settled for $850,000 pursuant to a “high/low” settlement agreement ($250,000/$850,000).
Pltf. Atty: Guy I. Smiley of Smiley, Schwartz & Captain, Manhattan
Deft. Atty: Hugh J. He