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$________ Motor Vehicle Negligence – Auto/Pedestrian collision – Defendant, employee of company that is contracted by automotive dealership to wash and detail vehicles allegedly depresses accelerator rather than brakes and strikes plaintiff mechanic – Lumbar, thoracic and cervical herniations.

Ocean County, NJ

This case involved a plaintiff mechanic who was employed by a dealership. The plaintiff had been working on the brakes of a car while standing under a lift and after he had completed the work, he lowered the lift and began working on a vehicle in a bay situated at least 15-20 feet away. The plaintiff contended that the defendant, an employee of a company contracted to perform washing and detailing work for the dealership, negligently accelerated to 10-15 mph as he was backing out of the bay, striking the plaintiff.

The defendant contended that he attempted engage the brakes, but that the car began moving quickly. The defendant maintained that the plaintiff, who had been working on the brakes, had performed this work in a negligent manner, resulting in the brakes not functioning as he moved backwards and attempted to stop the car. Two independent eyewitnesses testified that the defendant accelerated in reverse to 10-15 mph. One of the witnesses indicated that she observed the brake lights seemed to be intermittently on and off and the defendant maintained that this evidence supported his contentions. The other witness indicated that the brake lights did not appear to be activated. The plaintiff’s experts maintained that an inspection after the incident showed that there were no difficulties with the brakes and the plaintiff contended that the defendant’s position should be rejected.

The plaintiff opined that he suffered cervical, thoracic and lumbar herniations that were confirmed by MRI. The plaintiff contended that despite conservative care, the particularly severe lumbar condition prompted a surgical fusion with instrumentation. He alleged that he will suffer permanent pain and limitations.

The plaintiff, who has not worked since the incident, contended that he clearly cannot work as a mechanic, and that in view of his age, it is highly doubtful that he’s be able to obtain other employment.The case settled prior to trial for $________.

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