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Motor Vehicle Accident leads to Permanent Injury

Verdict $25,000 Judge Thomas R. Vena Court Essex County Superior Court Plaintiff Attorney(s) James C. Dezao III, Law Offices of James C. Dezao, P.A., Parsippany, NJ Defendant Attorney(s) Jill Carlson, Law Offices of Pamela D. Hargrove, Cranford, NJ Facts & Allegations On Dec. 27, 2010, plaintiff Amani Shakur, 41, a Newark Public Works employee, was at work and driving a municipal truck when he was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by Mary T. Kranzfelder with the permissive use of Richard J. Kranzfelder. Shakur claimed lumbar and cervical disc bulging as a result of the accident. Shakur sued both Kranzfelders for negligence, which was not disputed. Injuries/Damages bulging disc, cervical; bulging disc, lumbar; back and neck; lower back; chiropractic; physical therapy Shakur did not seek immediate medical treatment but eventually presented to chiropractor with complaints of back and neck pain. He began chiropractic treatment and also underwent physical therapy. MRIs revealed various lumbar and cervical disc bulges. The defense contended that all of Shakur’s claimed injuries were due to degenerative conditions and not related to the motor vehicle accident. The parties agreed to try the case pursuant to the expedited procedure that allows for the direct introduction of medical records and expert reports without the necessity of live witness testimony. In consideration for expedited procedure, a $50,000 cap on any damage award was agreed to and there was a waiver of the right to appeal. Result The jury determined that Shakur did suffer permanent injury as a result of the motor vehicle accident and returned a damage award of $25,000. Trial Details Trial Length: 2 Days Jury Deliberations: 4 Hours...

Plaintiff alleged defendant was drag racing at time of collision

Verdict $800,000 Judge Kenneth J. Grispin Court Union County Superior Court, NJ Plaintiff Attorney(s) James C. Dezao III, Law Offices of James C. Dezao, P.A., Parsippany, NJ Defendant Attorney(s) John F. McKeon, Hardin, Kundla, McKeon & Poletto, Springfield, NJ Matthew R. Panas, Hardin, Kundla, McKeon & Poletto, Springfield, NJ Facts & Allegations On July 14, 2007, at approximately 11:50 pm, plaintiff Luiz Ferraz, 51, a photographer, was driving northbound on Chimney Rock Road in Bridgewater. While he was traveling around a curve in the road, he claimed, he was involved in a head-on collision with a vehicle being driven by Edward Kieffer. Ferraz was treated for multiple cervical and lumbar herniations and bulges, as well as rib and head injuries, following the accident. Ferraz sued Kieffer, alleging that Kieffer cause the crash by driving his vehicle at an excessive speed, against oncomming traffic. According to Ferraz, he was traveling on Chimney Rock Road when he saw two vehicles ahead of him, driving side by side in the opposide direction. Kieffer, the driver of one of the vehicles, was reportedly driving to a friend’s house at the time; both he and the friend driving alongside him were operating sports-type cars. Ferraz alleged that Kieffer and his friend were drag racing, and that, in the course of their racing, Kieffer struck Ferraz head-on as Ferraz applied his brakes and moved his car closer to the guardrail, in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid being struck by. Photographs taken at the scene were described by Ferraz’s attorney as showing the extent of the damage to Ferraz’s vehicle, suggesting that Kieffer had to have...

Plaintiff: Witnessing other driver’s death led to PTSD

Verdict $600,000 Judge Estela M. De La Cruz Court Bergen County Court of New Jersey Plaintiff Attorney(s) James C. Dezao III, Law Offices of James C. Dezao, P.A., Parsippany, NJ Defendant Attorney(s) Brian R. Lehrer; Schenck, Price, Smith & King, LLP; Florham Park, NJ, for Craig Bacon, Bacon and Graham Inc., Estate of Janet Bacon Facts & Allegations On Apr. 5, 2009, plaintiff Karen Antonicello, 51, an insurance broker, was driving on Berdan Avenue in Wayne when she was invloved in a motor-vehicle accident. Antonicello claimed that the accident occurred when a vehicle being driven by Janet Bacon ran through a stop sign and collided into her car. Antonicello claimed that she suffered herniated and bulging discs in her neck as a result of the colision. (Bacon died as a result of the injuries suffered during the crash.) Antonicello sued the Bacon’s estate, along with Bacon’s husband, and the owner of the vehicle Bacon was driving at the time, Bacon and Graham Inc. All of the defendants except the estate had been dismissed by the time of trial. Counsel for the estate conceded liability at trial, which focused on damage-related issues. Injuries/Damages back-bulging disc; back-herniated disc; neck-injury; neck-bulging disc; cervical; neck–herniated disc (herniated disc at C5-6); cervical (herniated disc at C5-6); other-chiropractic; other-loss of consortium; mental/psychological-emotional distress; mental/psychological-post-traumatic stress disorder. After the accident, Antonicello was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, where she had X-rays and was released. Antonicello followed up with her othopedist, who diagnosed her with a disc herniation at C5-6 and a disc bulge at C3-4. Antonicello underwent chiropractic treatment. She...

Plaintiff alleged injuries from head-on collision with bus

Verdict $3,000,000 Judge Mark M. Russello Court Bergen County Superior Court, NJ Plaintiff Attorney(s) James C. Dezao III, Law Offices of James C. Dezao, P.A., Parsippany, NJ Defendant Attorney(s) Thomas M. Lenney, Arseneault, Whipple, Fassett & Azzarello, LLP, Chatham, NJ Facts & Allegations On Feb. 13, 2008, plaintiff Edward Klein, 52, an IT consultant, was involved in a head-on collision with a New Jersey Transit bus, which was making a left turn on Moonachie Avenue in Carlstadt. Klein, proceeding in the opposite direction with the right-of-way, was in his private motor vehicle. The collision was significant and resulted in Klein’s vehicle having to be towed from the scene. Klein claimed he sustained injuries in the collision. Klein sued the bus driver, Gustavo A. Recinos, and New Jersey Transit. He alleged that Recinos was negligent in the operation of a motor vehicle and that New Jersey Transit was vicariously liable for his actions. The defense blamed the plaintiff for the accident. Injuries/Damages aggravation of preexisting conditions; chiropractic; depression; epidural injections; fusion, cervical; herniated disc at C4-5; herniated disc, cervical; knee; knee replacement; lumbar herniation; post-traumatic stress disorder; shoulder; torn labrum Klein did not seek any medical attention until two days following the accident when he presented to his primary care physician complaining of neck, back, shoulder, and knee pain. He was referred to an orthopedic specialist who initially treated him with anti-inflammatory and pain medications. When his symptoms did not subside, cervical, thoracic and shoulder MRIs were taken, resulting in a diagnosis of multi-level cervical and lumbar disc herniations and a labrum tear in the right shoulder. Surgery was recommended...
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