SPBMC Member and trial attorney David J. Dean obtained a substantial verdict against Nassau county that was recently featured as a part of New York Law Journal’s Top Verdicts & Settlements 2019 issue, ranking #12 Verdict overall and #1 in its category. The case, Kota v. Nassau County, involved a man who was struck by an oncoming vehicle while operating a motorcycle. He was ultimately awarded $19 million in damages.
Motorcyclist Badly Injured After Being Struck by an Oncoming Vehicle at Intersection
Mr. Dean’s client, a 55-year-old motorcycle operator, was badly injured when an oncoming vehicle made a sudden left-hand turn into him at an intersection. While the driver of the oncoming vehicle was clearly at fault after he failed to yield to the right-of-way to our client’s motorcycle, the jury properly found that the far more substantial negligence was attributed to Nassau County for maintaining an unsafe intersection that lacked a traffic light. Had there been a traffic light at the intersection, the serious accident would never have occurred. The jury ultimately concluded that the left-turning vehicle was 20% negligent and the County of Nassau was 80% negligent. The motorcyclist suffered extremely severe injuries that required four complicated operations and a below-the-knee amputation.
The east-west T-intersection, the intersection of Shore Road and Harbor Road in Port Washington, has for years been the subject of citizen complaints, as there had been 148 reported automobile accidents in the 27 years before the client’s accident on October 27th, 2014. Of these, 40 were left-hand turn accidents. The county had been warned numerous times that the dangerous intersection needed a traffic signal device to safely regulate traffic.
“This innocent victim has suffered lifelong injuries as a result of the negligence of both the driver at fault and Nassau County for failing to properly maintain the intersection,” Mr. Dean said. “Their negligence has resulted in this tragic accident that will cause the victim permanent pain and suffering.”
Jury Awards the Plaintiffs $19 Million in Damages
As a result of the pain and suffering caused to the client due to negligence by the vehicle operator and the County of Nassau, the jury awarded the client $19 million dollars in damages, both for current and future pain and suffering. The client, his wife and the expert examining physician in the case all testified that the client’s quality and enjoyment of life has been devastated by this terrible accident.
“While the verdict awarded in this case will never reverse the permanent damage that this poor man has suffered, it will hopefully mitigate the financial burdens associated with the cost of medical bills and other expenses that have accrued as a result of this tragic event,” Mr. Dean said.
The case, Kota vs. Nassau County, will be published in the New York Law Journal this year and is ranked the #12 overall verdict and the #1 verdict in its category. It is a high honor to be recognized in the New York Law Journal, a widely established legal periodical based in New York City. To learn more about SPBMC Member David J. Dean and other notable cases he has litigated, click here.