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The complainant also submits the affidavit of a chiropractor. The chiropractor conducted a computerized spinal range of motion exam and a computerized muscle strength test. The results of the tests indicated deviations from normal. The chiropractor states that in his opinion the complainant sustained spinal injuries and limitations to cervical range of motion. In addition, he opined that the herniated discs in complainant’s cervical spine, together with the resulting cervical radiculopathy and limitations to the cervical range of motion, are directly causally related to the automobile accident. He further states that it is possible that a pre-existing conditions, such as a degenerative conditions of the complainant’s spine related to his age, could be a factors which might have increased his vulnerable to the injury. However the factors by themselves would not be enough to explain the symptoms and limitations encountered during my examination and treatment of the complainant. Furthermore, it is his opinion that the injuries sustained by the complainant were such that they definitely and significantly reduced his functional capacity to perform his customary personal activities. The disabilities resulting from the complainant’s injuries manifested themselves following the accident and continued throughout the treatment of the complainant, and are likely to continue indefinitely.

The complainants also submitted the certified medical reports of another physician in support of their opposition to the opponent’s motion.

In reply to the complainants’ opposition, the opponent argue that in opposition, the complainant did not submit an affirmation from a treating physician, but rather came forward with the affirmation of the complainant’s treating chiropractor, which is insufficient to defeat the motion because he does not adequately address the complainant’s termination of treatment a year and half prior to chiropractor recent examination of the complainant, subsequent to the filing of the motion. The complainant’s chiropractor also does not address the two year gap in his treatment of the complainant which is less than two months after the spinal cord accident.

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This action arises from a motor vehicle accident occurred at approximately 5:30 p.m. The complainant asserts that the accident happened when his vehicle, moving slowly in stop, was struck in the rear by the opponent’s vehicle. The complainant claimed that the opponent admitted at his testimony that he did not see the complainant’s vehicle until the moment of collision and offered no explanation for the said incident other than his failure to pay attention to the road. The complainant asserts that the opponent was the negligent party and with that, he failed his duty to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances to avoid an accident. The complainant additionally argues that the opponent cannot come up with a non-negligent explanation for striking his vehicle.

In opposition to the complainant’s motion, the opponent argues that there were no brake lights illuminated on the complainant’s vehicle just before the accident.

Based on records, when the driver of an automobile approaches another automobile from the rear, he or she is bound to maintain a reasonably safe rate of speed and control over his or her vehicle to exercise reasonable care to avoid colliding with the other vehicle. In addition, a rear-end collision with a stopped or stopping vehicle creates a case of liability with respect to the operator of the rearmost vehicle, thereby requiring the operator to deny the inference of negligence by providing a non-negligent explanation for the collision. The vehicle stops which are foreseeable under the prevailing traffic conditions, even if sudden and frequent, must be anticipated by the driver who follows, since the following driver is under a duty to maintain a safe distance between his or her car and the car ahead. Lastly, the drivers must maintain safe distances between their cars and the cars in front of them and the rule imposes on them a duty to be aware of traffic conditions including stopped vehicles

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Well established is the rule that a jury may reject any testimony, including testimony of experts, even if not contradicted. Here, the Standard Jury Instruction which was appropriately read to the jury provides that the jury may accept expert witness opinion testimony, reject it, or give it the weight it deserves, considering the knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education of the witness, the reasons given by the witness for the opinion expressed, and all the other evidence in the case. In other words, the jury was free to weigh and reject the testimony of the medical experts who opined that A’s injuries were caused, at least in part, by the automobile accident.

First, the court finds that the expert testimony conflicted with much of the lay testimony presented to the jury. In such cases, where expert testimony conflicts with lay testimony, the trial judge should defer to the jury to weigh the evidence.

Second, in addition to the medical experts, the jury heard testimony from several witnesses, including the plaintiffs, A and his wife. Evidence and testimony introduced at trial portrayed the accident as a mere fender-bender. The jury examined photographs depicting the damage to A’s vehicle, which was described by A as a crack or scrape on the back bumper. According to A, the total damage to his vehicle was estimated to be approximately $800, and at the time of trial or about 2 1/2 years after the accident, the damage to the bumper had not been repaired, and the vehicle was still being driven by A’s wife. Other testimony offered at trial demonstrated that A had an extensive medical history, which included a prior surgery, another automobile accident, and several significant medical diagnoses, and this was also testified to by A. A stated that he had undergone a prior cervical spinal fusion surgery in 1991, he had been in an automobile accident in 1998, in which he was ejected from the vehicle, and he had a back sprain shortly before the 2007 accident. In addition, medical records were introduced at trial revealing that A had visited a hospital in 2006, complaining of severe lower back pain, that A had visited the hospital less than a month before the 2007 accident, complaining of the same symptoms, and that he was taking the pain medication, Lortab, at the time of the 2007 accident. Through the testimony of the medical experts, the jury heard that A had a pre-existing degeneration of his cervical spine. On cross-examination, A revealed a number of other medical conditions affecting his overall health. A testified that he had been diagnosed with emphysema in the early 1970’s, and that he had been hospitalized four times in the year leading up to trial for breathing problems, clogged lungs, pneumonia, and cardiac surgery. Testimony introduced at trial also demonstrated inconsistencies in A’s story on material issues, placing his credibility into question. Regardless of A’s testimony regarding his extensive medical history and pre-existing medical conditions, and that he had not been employed since the 1970’s, he nonetheless testified that before the 2007 automobile accident he was able to work around the house, do carpentry work or mechanic work, and swim, run, and play with his grandkids; that after the 2007 accident, he was unable to engage in these activities. However, when A sought medical treatment following the 2007 accident, he failed to disclose to the treating physician that he had undergone a prior cervical spinal fusion surgery or that he had been involved in an earlier automobile accident. A disclosed the prior cervical spinal fusion surgery only upon inquiry by his neurosurgeon, who discovered indicia of an earlier surgery after reading the results of an MRI scan he had ordered of A’s spine. During trial, the jury observed A wearing a neck brace, but during the cross-examination of A’s neurosurgeon, the physician testified that there was no medical necessity for A to be wearing the neck brace. Thus, under the circumstances, the jury was entitled to judge A’s credibility, whether to accept or reject his testimony on all issues.

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The Facts of the Case:

Sometime in October 2007, an automobile accident occurred involving A and B, A being the injured victim. As a result of the accident, A suffered from a spinal injury. Consequently, A had to undergo a cervical spinal fusion surgery in September 2009. Thereafter, A filed a personal injury action against B and seeks recovery for the personal injuries he sustained. B did not contest his liability for causing the automobile accident, but argued that the accident was not the cause of A’s injury or need for medical treatment; that the nature of the automobile accident was only minor; that A’s medical history which included a prior cervical spinal fusion surgery in 1991, a 1998 automobile accident in which A was ejected from the vehicle, and diagnoses of emphysema and spinal degenerative disease were the main causes of A’s spinal injury. After a three-day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of B, finding that A had not suffered an injury as a result of the 2007 accident. A then filed a motion for a new trial and the trial court granted the motion. The trial court concluded that the jury’s verdict finding no causation was contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence in light of the testimony of the three expert medical witnesses, one of whom was a defense witness, who each opined that A’s personal injury and resulting surgery was caused at least in part by the 2007 accident; that while acknowledging B’s arguments and the evidence offered in support thereof, the trial court disregarded all lay testimony bearing on causation of A’s injuries; that the court expressly concluded that in the absence of expert testimony regarding accident reconstruction or other technical matters affecting causation for the injury, no reasonable juror would conclude no causation in light of the opinions of the three doctors; that with regard to A’s credibility, the court found, his credibility had little, if any, weight on the issue of causation in light of the uncontroverted opinions of the three informed and credible doctors; that with regard to A’s pre-existing spinal degeneration, the court again found the expert testimony to outweigh other evidence where no reasonable juror would conclude that degeneration, to the exclusion of the collision, was the cause of A’s injury in light of the testimony of the three doctors.

The Ruling of the Court:

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In support of his motion, the man have submitted an attorney’s affirmation; copies of the pleadings and the woman’s bill of particulars; an uncertified copy of the police car accident report; an unsigned copy of the transcript of the woman’s examination before trial; and the sworn report of an orthopedic doctor concerning his independent orthopedic examination of the woman. Initially, the Court notes that the unsworn police accident report constitutes hearsay and is inadmissible. The unsigned deposition transcript of the woman is not in admissible form and is not considered on the man’s motion nor is the unsigned transcript accompanied by an affidavit pursuant to Civil Practice Law Rules.

Based upon a review of the admissible evidence, the man has failed to establish a legitimate entitlement to summary judgment dismissing the complaint.

The orthopedic doctor reviewed an MRI of the thoracic spine which indicated that there is a minimal posterior disc herniations causing minimal spinal injury. He also reviewed an MRI of the cervical spine performed on September 5, 2008 which states that the woman experience reversal of the cervical lordosis with multilevel disc bulges and uncovertebral joint hypertrophy, causing spinal and left foraminal stenosis at multiple levels, as well as mild cord compression at several levels as described. While disc herniation and limited range of motion based on objective findings may constitute evidence of serious injury, the orthopedic doctor does not comment on the findings and does not rule out whether the injuries were causally related to the accident.

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This is a personal injury action allegedly sustained by a woman when she was involved in a motor vehicle accident in New York. A man was the operator of the vehicle when it came into contact with the vehicle operated by the woman.

The woman claims in her bill of particulars that as a result of the within accident she sustained injury and pain in her muscles and her left shoulder; headaches; tightness in the left shoulder to the neck area; limited motion and burning sensation in the left shoulder blade; mid back and neck pain; spine injury; aggravation of reversal of spinal injury with multilevel disc bulges. The accused seeks summary judgment to dismiss the complaint because the woman’s claimed serious injuries fail to meet the threshold imposed by the Insurance Law.

The advocate of a summary judgment motion (judgment without trial) must make a legitimate showing of entitlement to judgment as a matter of law, tendering sufficient evidence to eliminate any material issues of fact from the case. To grant summary judgment it must clearly appear that no material and triable issue of fact is presented. The opponent has the initial burden of proving entitlement to summary judgment. Failure to make such a showing requires denial of the motion, regardless of the sufficiency of the opposing papers. Once such proof has been produced, the burden then shifts to the opposing party who, in order to defeat the motion for summary judgment, must proffer evidence in admissible form sufficient to require a trial of any issue of fact and must assemble, lay bare and reveal his proof in order to establish that the matters set forth in his pleadings are real and capable of being established. Summary judgment shall only be granted when there are no issues of material fact and the evidence requires the Court to direct a judgment in favor of the opponent as a matter of law.

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The Ruling of the Court:

On the Standard of Review:

As the rules provide, the standard of review of an ALJ’s interpretation of the NICA statutory scheme is de novo. The ALJ’s determination with regard to the qualification of the claim for compensability purposes under the statute is conclusive and binding as to all questions of fact. However, an ALJ’s final order is reversible on appeal where its findings of fact are not supported by competent, substantial evidence.

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The Facts of the Case:

On 26 September 2001, an automobile accident occurred involving a woman who was pregnant. As a result of the injuries sustained, the mother was transported to a nearby hospital where fetal testing was performed. She was then transported to another hospital via helicopter. That same day, after declining into kidney failure, the mother underwent a caesarean section. The condition of the infant at the time of her delivery was a matter of controversy. Although the infant required manual resuscitation, her Apgar scores at birth and within minutes of birth were in the normal range. However, it is undisputed that the infant experienced renal distress as well as spinaldamage. She was placed in the special care nursery.

On 3 October 2001, while still in the special care nursery, the infant experienced pulmonary bleeding and then pulmonary arrest leading to multi-organ failure and seizure activity. She was later diagnosed with a neurological injury, cerebral palsy, although the time the neurological injury or brain injury was sustained remains a matter of controversy. It was only after the October 3 episode that the infant was examined by a pediatric neurologist.

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This action arises from a motor vehicle accident that occurred on April 20, 2008. The complainant man’s vehicle was impacted from the rear by the accused man’s vehicle, while both vehicles were moving in the same lane of travel. The accused man’s vehicle was operated by his son at the time of the accident. As a result of the accident, the Long Island complainant claims to have suffered serious and permanent spinal injuries, including restricted range of motion in the areas of his lumbar and cervical spine.

Based upon his bill of particulars, the complainant is asserting claims of permanent consequential and significant limitation of use of a body function or system, and a medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature, which prevented him from performing substantially all of his customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the accident claim.

It is well recognized that summary judgment or judgment without trial is a drastic remedy and as such should only be granted in the limited circumstances where there are no triable issues of fact. Summary judgment should only be granted where the court finds as a matter of law that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact. The Court’s analysis of the evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the complainant.

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This is an action to recover damages for personal injuries allegedly sustained by plaintiff in a motor vehicle accident on January 19, 2008 within a private parking lot on route 107, near its intersection with Lewis Street, in the town of Oyster Bay, Nassau County, New York.

A said that, in his bill of particulars, plaintiff alleges that he sustained the following injuries which are alleged to be permanent: Cervical muscle spasm, cervical radiculopathy, neck painwith upper extremity weakness, lumbar radiculopathy, right and left shoulder pains with numbness and tingling, decreased range of motion of the cervical spine, low back pain with lower extremity weakness, subluxation of the cervical spine and lumbar spine, headaches, muscle spasm of the lumbar spine, decreased range of motion of the cervical and lumbar spine injury, mid back pain, dizziness, inability to sit or stand for prolonged periods of time, difficulty performing everyday activities such as bending, lifting, and sitting necessity for prescribed pain medications, necessity for physical therapy, sleep disturbances, cervical spine tenderness with restricted range of motion, lumbrosacral spine tenderness with restricted range of motion, necessity for extended physical therapy, unable to perform household chores and loss of enjoyment of life.

Plaintiff was involved in a prior motor vehicle accident in 2002 whereby he injured his neck, lower back, and shoulders. A Manhattan doctor said that, defendant claims that the injuries plaintiff complains of in this accident of 2008 are not causally related to the 2008 motor vehicle accident, but rather are permanent injuries resulting from the 2002 accident. Defendant has presented objective medical testing from 2002 in order to establish the preexisting injuries at the time of the 2008 accident. The MRI report dated February 25, 2002 indicated posterior disc bulge at L3-L4 and at L5-S1 impinging on the spinal injury canal. The report of August 29, 2002 indicated posterior disc bulges at C-5-6 and at C6-7 impinging on the anterior aspect of the spinal canal.. Therefore, plaintiff had bulging discs with impingement six years prior to the subject accident. Further, the nerve conduction examination performed on November 4, 2002 revealed abnormal results. The examining doctor states that “any scores falling in the abnormal range recognize a possible entrapment of the nerves and indicate that a problem exists.” The electromygram exam performed by plaintiff’s physician on November 20, 2002 after the prior accident was abnormal showing a mild right acute C6 radiculopathy. More recently, plaintiff’s treating Westchester chiropractor, issued a report dated March 16, 2010 in which she opined that plaintiff suffered a permanent consequential disability with regard to his cervical and lumbar spine and is unable to perform his normal activities of daily living as a result of the accident on August 24, 2002. Defendant claims that the evidence demonstrates that any permanent and consequential injuries and plaintiff’s inability to perform activities of daily living were a result of the prior accident in August 2002 and not the subject accident on January 18, 2008.

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