On January 21, 2012, Matthew Meyers was unloading items from the trunk of a livery vehicle double parked along the curb on 11th Avenue between 27th and 28th Streets in Manhattan when the driver of another vehicle drove her car into him, pinning him between the two cars. Mr. Meyers, then a 36 year old salesman for an apparel company, had been planning on attending a trade show at the “Tunnel Building.”

The “Tunnel Building”

At the close of evidence in the ensuing lawsuit, the trial judge granted plaintiff’s motion for judgment as a matter of law against the other driver and owner on the issue of liability. Thereafter, the Kings County jury awarded plaintiff pain and suffering damages in the sum of $6,500,000 ($2,000,000 past – six years, $4,600,000 future – 40 years).

In Meyers v. Delancey Car Service, Inc. (2d Dept. 2021), the award has been affirmed.

Here are the injury details:

  • bilateral crush injuries to lower extremities with bilateral tibial plateau and tibial spine avulsion fractures

  • comminuted  fractures of left distal femur with thigh degloving and right fibular head
  • resultant insensate right leg caused by complete occlusion of the right popliteal artery
  • total nine surgeries including open reduction internal fixation to left distal femur and left tibial plateau, external fixator and arthroscopic surgery to left knee, vein graft, fasciotomies, and  several debridements
  • one month in hospital plus three more months in rehabilitation facility
  • extensive scarring throughout both legs limiting ability to function in all walks of life
  • continuing pain, significant limp and need for numerous future surgeries including left total knee replacement and right ligament repair

Plaintiff’s wife was awarded (and the appellate court affirmed) loss of services damages in the sum of $700,000 ($300,000 past, $400,000 future) based upon testimony that she now has to care for their three young children, including one with special needs, clean the house and lift things.

Inside Information:

  • Plaintiff sued both drivers and owners. The other driver did not appear at trial but her counsel argued that the driver of the livery vehicle should be held fully liable because plaintiff should have been discharged along a curb and the other driver should not have double parked.
  • Plaintiff returned to work seven months after the accident.