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ARTICLE ID 33243

$________ FOLLOWING LIABILITY - HOST CAR DRIVER WITH $________ POLICY STRIKES CITY SANITATION TRUCK IN REAR - TRUCK STOPPED SLIGHTLY BEYOND CREST OF HILL - FAILURE OF CITY TO PLACE WARNING SIGNS OF LIMITED SITE DISTANCE ABOVE CREST - CITY HELD 40% LIABLE - CAR PASSENGER SUFFERS EXTENSIVE FACIAL SCARRING - POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER.

Bronx County

This was an action involving a 54-year-old female plaintiff passenger in a car which struck a sanitation truck owned by the co-defendant City in the rear. The plaintiff contended that the City negligently contributed to the accident because the driver of the sanitation truck had stopped only a short distance beyond an upward crest in order to make a ________ degree turn into a side street. The plaintiff also maintained that there was limited site distance from the bottom of the hill over the crest and that the defendant City should have placed warning signs. The defendant City contended that the sole cause of the accident was the negligence of the host driver who was speeding. The host driver had a $________ policy.

The accident occurred approximately ________ feet beyond the crest of the 6-7 degree upward grade and at a break in the divided highway. The plaintiff’s expert in road design and signing contended that as an automobile driver traveled up the hill, he p 7 3 could not see any portion of the stopped truck until he was approximately ________ feet from the truck. The plaintiff’s expert maintained that the defendant should have placed warning signs advising of the potential hazard.

The defendant’s accident reconstruction expert contended that the top of the truck could be viewed from approximately ________ feet and denied that such signing was required. The plaintiff countered that the defense photographs were taken from eye level and at approximately 5 feet 10 inches from the ground and contended that it would not reflect the view afforded to a driver at 3-4 feet above ground level while sitting in his car, arguing that the defendant’s position should be rejected.

The defendant City also contended that the host driver was speeding, causing the accident and maintained that this factor caused the extensive impact damage that was sustained by the car.

The plaintiff countered that if appropriate signing had been provided, the host would probably have been proceeding more slowly as he traveled up the hill.

The defendant’s garbage truck was stopped at a break in the divider waiting to make a turn into a sidestreet which traveled at a ________ degree angle from this roadway. The plaintiff contended that such a turn was tantamount to a U-Turn, which would be illegal in the City, and that the defendant sanitation truck driver created a hazard by stopping and waiting to turn. The defendant City denied that the defendant was making a U-turn, contending that he was, in fact, making a left turn and established that a left turn would be permissible in this area.

The plaintiff further maintained that the Vehicle and Traffic Law provided that a vehicle could not stop within ________ feet of the crest of a hill and the plaintiff contended that the defendant had, in fact, stopped only ________ feet from the crest.

The plaintiff contended that she struck her face and suffered severe facial lacerations and a fractured nose which caused a deviated septum. The plaintiff’s plastic surgeon would have related that the plaintiff required four plastic surgical revisions and that despite the surgeries, the relatively moderate scarring is permanent in nature. The plaintiff also would have presented a series of four photographs taken by the plastic surgeon in conjunction with treatment which graphically depicted the actual condition of the face at various stages of treatment.

The plaintiff further maintained that the accident caused a post- traumatic stress disorder which was causing anxiety, depression and nightmares. The plaintiff’s treating psychiatrist would have offered a guarded prognosis and would have indicated that the plaintiff will require psychotherapy for the foreseeable future.

The defendant contended that if the plaintiff had been wearing her seatbelt, she would have avoided the facial injuries. The plaintiff countered that the car was only equipped with a lap belt, which the plaintiff maintained she was wearing, and contended that the lap belt would not prevent her from striking the windshield or dashboard.

The jury found the host driver 60% negligent, the City 40% negligent and the case subsequently settled for $________, including $________ from the City. p 7 3

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