$2,500,000 Recovery in Case in Which a Pedestrian was Hit by a Bus
Daryl L. Zaslow of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP (Edison, Red Bank and Toms River), obtained a $2,500,000,000 settlement on behalf of a 27 year old man who was struck by a bus and sustained a traumatic subdural hematoma, three closed rib fractures, a temporal bone fracture and a traumatic brain injury. The case was settled at mediation before The Honorable Mark B. Epstein, J.S.C. (Retired).
On April 16, 2015, Mr. Zaslow’s client was a 27-year old Korean speaking man who met his friends in New York City for dinner, drinks and entertainment. At approximately 5:50 am the next morning, after taking public transportation from New York to North Bergen, Mr. Seo was walking home and was in the crosswalk crossing Bergenline Avenue from west to east when a bus being driven by Defendant and travelling west on JFK Boulevard initiated a left turn heading south on Bergenline Avenue. The bus struck Mr. Seo in the crosswalk, pinning him to the underside, and dragging him approximately 100 feet.
The Plaintiff was taken via ambulance to Hackensack University Hospital where he was admitted for 2 weeks and where he was diagnosed with a traumatic subdural hematoma, three closed rib fractures, a temporal bone fracture and brain compression/mass effect with midline shift. Although his orthopedic injuries healed, Mr. Zaslow produced experts who opined that his client suffered a permanent traumatic brain injury that resulted in severely compromised cognitive function, memory problems and an inability to concentrate or focus.
At the time of the accident, the Plaintiff worked as a waiter but he was actively pursuing a career in the field of fashion as a graphic designer. Although the Plaintiff was employed briefly after the accident as a graphic designer, the Plaintiff could not maintain the position due to his brain injury and specifically his cognitive problems and inability to concentrate. Mr. Zaslow served a life care plan and vocational loss report that calculated the total economic loss to be approximately $1 million.
In terms of liability, the defense maintained that the Plaintiff was intoxicated at the time of the accident and that he started to walk into the crosswalk after the bus already began to make its left hand turn. As a result, the defense accident reconstructionist opined that the Plaintiff started to walk in front of the bus after the bus started its turn and the Plaintiff was in the bus driver’s blind spot after he entered the crosswalk. Although the Plaintiff’s blood alcohol content was not obtained after the accident the defense expert opined the Plaintiff had a blood alcohol content of .19% at the time of the accident.
In terms of damages, the defense argued there was no objective tests that memorialized a permanent brain injury and that all neuro-psychological testing indicated the Plaintiff suffered no cognitive dysfunction. They further argued that since the Plaintiff returned to same job he had prior to the accident there was no viable claim for lost wages.