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ARTICLE ID 50122

$________ Government liability- Prisoner transport van - Rear end collision - Plaintiff sustained neck and shoulder injuries - Fracture and surgical excision of distal clavicle - Type II Acromioclavicular Separation.

Westchester County

In this motor vehicle negligence case, the plaintiff, an 27-year-old inmate at the time of the incident, was being transported via a city van, to Yonkers Court House. The plaintiff contended that the transport van rear-ended another city transport van. The plaintiff sustained neck and shoulder injuries, which eventually required surgery. The defendants did not deny liability for the collision, but felt that the plaintiff should not be awarded the amount demand, due to his criminal history consisting of a juvenile theft charge and a current gambling charge.

The plaintiff, an inmate at Val Hala jail, testified that he was being transported from the jail to Yonkers Court House, whereby he was to see the judge and be released. The plaintiff testified that he was handcuffed behind his back rendering him unable to brace himself when the van that he was riding in, rear-ended another city transport van causing back and shoulder injuries to the plaintiff. The plaintiff was transported to West Chester Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with a Type II Acromioclavicular (AC) Separation. On February of ________, the plaintiff underwent a surgical excision of the distal clavicle with reconstruction. He maintained that as a result of his injuries, he has suffered a significant loss of range of motion.

Plaintiff’s expert orthopedic testified that the plaintiff has suffered residual pain, as well as a 50% loss of range of motion of the left shoulder/arm. The plaintiff’s expert further testified that his extension and abduction were between 44% and 47% within normal range. In addition he testified that the plaintiff has atrophy of the shoulder.

The defendant did not deny liability, yet maintained that because of the plaintiff’s past criminal history that he should not be awarded any sum amount. The defendant further maintained that the plaintiff’s injuries were not severe enough to demand the requested sum. In addition the defendant’s expert orthopedic surgeon opined that the plaintiff’s surgery was remarkable, with no significant limitations in range of motion or activities.

The trial lasted three days with deliberations lasting approximately one an a half hours. The jury awarded the plaintiff $________ for past pain and suffering.

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