On June 6, 2016, at about 7:30 a.m., Barry Schneider was operating a motorized scooter at the intersection of two roads in Great Neck when he was struck by a turning car that failed to yield the right of way. Mr. Schneider, a 69 year-old accountant, was seriously injured and died four days later on June 10th.
Mr. Schneider’s widow sued both the other driver and the town (which was responsible for placing the stop line at the intersection and for maintaining the vegetation in the surrounding area). The Nassau County jury determined that both parties were at fault – the other driver, for violating the decedent’s right of way and the town, for allowing the vegetation to overgrow and block drivers’ views of the intersection.
The jury awarded damages for pre-death pain and suffering in the sum of $2,000,000 and the award was affirmed on appeal in Schneider v. Hanasab (2d Dept. 2022).
Here are the injury details:
- emergency transport to hospital where he was intubated and administered morphine for pain
- fractures of clavicle, scapula and nine ribs; hemothorax
- serious internal bleeding requiring multiple blood transfusions and placement of chest tube
- extensive bruising and hematoma
- fatal episode of respiratory distress due to blunt force trauma
The defendants argued that the pain and suffering award was excessive because Mr. Schneider’s pain was controlled with medication. Plaintiff’s medical expert, though, testified that Mr. Schneider was alert and conscious throughout his hospitalization, and endured difficulty breathing and extensive pain and suffering that was never fully regulated. The hospital record reflected that multiple times a day Mr. Schneider’s pain was six, seven and ten on a ten point scale (ten being the most severe pain).
- The jury also awarded $426,000 for seven and a half years of future loss of earnings, and $165,000 for medical expenses. These items were not challenged on appeal.