On August 2, 2018, a state trooper was responding to a 911 call in the Town of Ulster when he drove his police car into the other lane of traffic and collided head-on with a car driven in the opposite lane of traffic by Kathryn Bradley-Chernis.

Ms. Bradley-Chernis, then 44 years old, claimed she sustained several injuries and she sued the trooper. In a bench trial, the Ulster County judge found that the trooper drove with reckless disregard for the safety of others and the matter then proceeded to a bench trial on damages.

The judge heard testimony from plaintiff and her treating physicians and he rendered a verdict awarding pain and suffering damages in the sum of $832,000 ($400,000 past – three and a half years, $432,000 future – 36 years).

Defendant appealed arguing that the award is excessive; however, the award was affirmed in Bradley-Chernis v. Zalocki (3d Dept. 2023).

Here are the injury details:

  • Rotator cuff and labral tears in shoulder requiring arthroscopic surgery to repair and leaving her with chronic pain and limited range of motion
  • Bulging disc and strains with chronic neck and back pain and limited ranges of motion
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (mental distress and anxiety)