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October 2019

Don Derrico Obtains Unanimous Defense Verdict on behalf of Defendant in Vehicle Injury Accident

New York Partner Donald Derrico and Senior Counsel Jason Scott obtained a defense verdict in Queens County. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant’s truck struck him while he was attempting to cross Flushing Avenue in Queens, New York.

The plaintiff testified that he was in the crosswalk and that the pedestrian cross signal was in his favor. The plaintiff also testified that while there was a large truck parked on the right side of the roadway, it was 30 meters from the crosswalk and did not obstruct his view of oncoming traffic.

The defendant driver testified that he was driving north on Flushing Avenue, the traffic light was green and that the plaintiff suddenly came out from in front of the parked truck and he not could avoid him. The defendant driver confirmed that there was a truck parked on the right side of the roadway but that it was adjacent to the crosswalk, not 30 meters away.

Derrico successfully presented evidence of a recorded statement that the plaintiff gave to an investigator hired by the defendant’s insurance carrier wherein he stated that 'the truck did block his view of oncoming traffic." The plaintiff objected to the statement because the plaintiff spoke only Spanish and claimed that the interpreter was not certified and mistranslated the plaintiff's statement. Although they were given the case after discovery was concluded and prior to trial and after the action failed at mediation, Derrico had the recorded statement interpreted by a court certified interpreter and transcribed by a court certified court reporter.

Based upon the new translation, the court admitted it into evidence. The plaintiff testified that he never said in the recorded statement that the truck was blocking his view of oncoming traffic. As a result of the accident, the plaintiff had three spinal surgeries, and surgery on his knee and shoulder. The plaintiff's demand was $1 million to settle, which was the policy limit. The jury deliberated for 45 minutes and returned a unanimous defense verdict.

Donald G. Derrico
Jason C. Scott