. .

Invest in your success.
JVRA helps lawyers win cases by providing critical information you can use to establish precedent, determine demand and win arguments.

ARTICLE ID 192407

$________ TOTAL – MOTOR VEHICLE NEGLIGENCE – AUTO/BICYCLE COLLISION – GREAT-UNCLE EMPLOYEE OF PRIVATE SCHOOL BACKING OUT OF DRIVEWAY STRIKES MINOR ON BICYCLE – C3 SPINAL CORD INJURY – QUADRIPLEGIA – LIMITED USE OF HANDS – NEED FOR TRACHEOSTOMY.

Morris County, NJ

This action involved a five-year-old infant plaintiff hit by a pick-up truck driven by one of the defendant’s, his great uncle, who was backing out of the driveway, after having stopped at the home of the child’s grandparents, and it was undisputed that the pick-up truck driver was in the course of his employment with the defendant school at the time of the incident. The school was covered by a $________ policy in which costs and fees incurred reduced the amount of insurance that was available. The child suffered a spinal cord trauma at C3 and was left a quadriplegic with limited use of his hands. The child also needed a tracheostomy. It was undisputed that the defendant pick-up truck driver was at the home conducting school business. He was the head of maintenance for the defendant school, had to return to the school by 4:30 to make sure the day’s work was completed, and review assignments for the next day.

The evidence revealed that as the pick-up truck was backing out of the driveway, it struck the child who was on a bike. The defendant pick-up truck driver contended that he made proper observations as he backed out of the driveway at approximately three mph. The plaintiff contended that although the pick-up truck driver looked in the mirrors, he did not turn around and make direct observations of the area that would be in the blind spot of the mirrors. The plaintiff’s accident reconstruction expert would have maintained that had the defendant driver done so, he would have seen the child on the bike in the driveway. The defendant’s expert contended that such observations were especially necessary in view of the height of the five-year-old child.

The defendant driver maintained that he left the home at approximately 3:15 to return to the school by 4:30. The plaintiff established that the first call to ________ was at 4:20. The plaintiff would have argued that it was clear that the driver was in a rush. The defendant driver contended that when he walked to the driveway, the child was not in site, and maintained that he must have ridden from the side of the home and into the driveway after the defendant entered the pick-up truck. The defendant maintained that the third party defendant grandparents, who were babysitting the child, negligently failed to properly supervise the child.

The grandparents moved for summary judgment, arguing that they should have the same protections as the parents would have, could be liable only upon a showing of gross negligence, and argued that there was no evidence to support such gross negligence. The court denied this motion and held that the grandparents would be held to a negligence standard. The plaintiff would have argued that had the defendant pick-up truck driver made proper observations, the accident simply would not have occurred, and that the overwhelming cause was his failure to do so, irrespective of irrespective of the question of supervision by the grandparents.

The infant plaintiff suffered a spinal cord injury at C-3 that left him a quadriplegic. The plaintiff has no sensation below the collar bone level of injury, very limited use of his hands, has no strength in his legs. The evidence also revealed that although the infant plaintiff has been able to be weaned from a ventilator, but has a tracheostomy. The plaintiff contended that the child will require around-the-clock nursing care because of potential health difficulties such as infection and the formation of mucus plugs. The plaintiff’s evidence would have reflected a life care plan that approximated $________.

The defendant maintained that the attendant care for a good part of the day would be sufficient and partially because of this factor, the defendant’s life care plan approximated $________. The plaintiff would have countered that it was appropriate to have round the clock nursing care in order to act proactively to minimize the chances of complications such as infection, and to act quickly to address such concerns when signs or symptoms first present to prevent such conditions from becoming more pronounced.

The plaintiff’s proofs would have reflected a life expectancy of 45-50 more years. The plaintiff also contended that the infant plaintiff will suffer a very significant diminution in earnings. The plaintiff maintained that although it is probable that the infant plaintiff can obtain some work, the disability itself would probably result in an approximate $________ per year reductions. The plaintiff also contended that such reductions would be further reduced by missed time from work when recuperating from future complications.The defendant private school was covered by a $________ self eroding policy. $________ remained available after the payment of fees and costs. The case settled prior to trial for a total of $________, including the school’s remaining policy, $________ additional from the school and the $________ policy limits of the babysitting grandparent’s (named under a negligent supervision theory) homeowner’s policy.

To read the full article, please login to your account or purchase

5 ways to win with JVRA

JVRA gives you jurisdiction-specific, year-round insight into the strategies, arguments and tactics that win. Successful attorneys come to the table prepared and use JVRA to:

  1. Determine if a case is winnable and recovery amounts.
  2. Determine reasonable demand for a case early on.
  3. Support a settlement demand by establishing precedent.
  4. Research trial strategies, tactics and arguments.
  5. Defeat or support post-trial motions through past case histories.

Try JVRA for a day or a month, or sign up for our deluxe Litigation Support Plan and put the intelligence of JVRA to work for all of your clients. See our subscription plans.