New York Jury Awards | Settlement Data and Sample Cases

New York City

Jury Verdict Research’s recent study finds that the compensatory median award for personal injury trials in New York is $287,628, dwarfing nationwide median is $34,550.

New York has favorable juries, particularly in its urban areas. But the reality is that this number is distorted by the lack of smaller and midsized car accident lawsuits. Under New York’s no-fault law, an insurance company is required to pay drivers, passengers, and pedestrians up to $50,000.00 for their legitimate economic and medical losses but does not provide for pain and suffering. Only permanent injuries cases can recover more than $50,000. This leads to fewer lawsuits in smaller cases – of which there are many – which increases the overall award in New York.

Below is a summary of recent reported settlements and verdicts in New York auto accident cases.  These cases should be used for informational purposes only and not as a guarantee of what your own case might be worth.

Mahabir v. Ramkissoon (2018 – Bronx) 

Accident: Plaintiff was driving through an intersection in the city when Defendant ran a red light at the cross street and violently t-boned Plaintiff’s vehicle into parked cars on the opposite side of the street. Plaintiff had 1 witness to support his version of the accident.

Injuries: Plaintiff alleged that he suffered a partial tear of his rotator cuff in the left arm which required physical therapy and then arthroscopic surgery with debridement.  Plaintiff missed 26 weeks of work and claimed that he suffered continuing pain and physical limitations. Defense disputed that Plaintiff actually torn his rotator cuff.

  • Verdict: The jury awarded Plaintiff total damages of $600,000.

DeMegilo v. Sweet Express LLC (2018 – Nassau County)

Accident: Plaintiff, a construction laborer, was stopped at a red light when he was rear-ended very hard by Defendant who was driving a large delivery truck.  Fault was fully conceded and damages were the only issue.

InjuriesPlaintiff did not go to the hospital or request any other medical treatment immediately after the accident and first sought treatment 2 days later.  Plaintiff alleged that he suffered partial tears of 2 ligaments in his left knee for which he underwent arthroscopic surgery and meniscectomy surgery. Plaintiff’s expert testified that he will eventually require knee replacement surgery. Plaintiff also claimed that he suffered a herniated disc with nerve impingement.  His injuries left Plaintiff on crutches for 2 months and required 12 weeks of physical therapy.  Plaintiff was also out of work for 6 months. The defense countered that the accident did not involve enough force to cause the alleged injuries and suggested that Plaintiff’s conditions were pre-existing issues.

  • Settlement: $375,000.  Settlement was reached with the insurance company, AIG, in pre-trial mediation.

Vasquez v. Bruckner Lumber & Supply Co. (2017 – Bronx)

Accident: Plaintiff was making a left turn in her sedan at a busy intersection in the Bronx with double left turn lanes.  Defendant was driving a delivery truck and also turning left in the adjacent lane.  Plaintiff alleged that Defendant strayed into her line and side-swiped her car.  Defendant contested liability and argued that Plaintiff was using her cell phone and not paying attention.

Injuries:  Following the accident Plaintiff was taken to a hospital and received minor treatment for pain in her back and left shoulder.  Plaintiff eventually claimed that she suffered a tear of her rotator cuff and glenoid labrum in the left shoulder.  Plaintiff also alleged disc herniations in her L3-4 and L5-S1 discs and a bulge in her L4-5 disc.  Treatment for the herniated discs involved 3 months of physical therapy.  The shoulder injuries allegedly required 2 arthroscopic surgeries and follow up therapy.

  • Settlement: $325,000.  Pre-trial mediation.

Tejeda v. Potts (2017 – Queens)

Accident: Plaintiff was hit in the side rear while making a left turn on a green arrow.  Defendant allegedly ran a red light. Defendant disputed this version of events but gave contradictory statements.

Injuries: Plaintiff alleged multiple disc herniations with nerve impingement and radiculopathy which required extensive therapy and eventually back surgery. Plaintiff alleged that he continued to experience pain which limited his physical activities.

  • Verdict: $1.1 million.

Schreiber v. John Willis Co. Inc. (2017 – Suffolk County)

Accident:  Plaintiff was stuck on the side at an intersection while Defendant was making a left turn and failed to yield right of way.  Defendant was arrested and charged with DUI.

Injuries: Plaintiff alleged L4-5 and L5-S1 disc herniations.  He underwent 2 years of physical therapy and epidural steroid injections. Plaintiff eventually had to have spinal fusion surgery followed by another 12 months of therapy.

  • Settlement: $925,000

Gubitosi v. Hyppolite (2017 – Suffolk County)

Accident:  Plaintiff was stopped at a red light when he was rear-ended by Defendant who was operating a taxi.  Fault was admitted.

Injuries:  Plaintiff alleged C3-4 and L4-5 disc herniations and a labrum tear in his hip. Plaintiff had 2 separate arthroscopic surgeries on either side of his hip.  The second surgery had to be repeated due to complications.  The back injuries were treated with physical therapy but Plaintiff contended that he will eventually require spinal fusion surgery.  The defense disputed the injuries and claimed that they were degenerative.

  • Verdict: $2.2 million

Ciullo v. Chen (2017 Queens)

Accident: Plaintiff was driving through an intersection in a parking lot when he was hit by Defendant who executed a poor turn without yielding implied right of way.

Injuries:  This case presented somewhat unique injuries because Plaintiff alleged that the accident aggravated or reinjured pre-existing injuries.  Specifically, Plaintiff had arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder 3 months before the accident and spinal fusion therapy on herniated discs a year earlier.  Plaintiff alleged that the accident compromised the spinal fusion and reinjured his recently repaired shoulder requiring additional surgery and therapy.

  • Verdict: $300,000.

Mead v. Guarasci (2017 Niagara County)

Accident:  Plaintiff, a stay at home mom in her late 20s, was hit on the side when Defendant ran a red light at an intersection.  Responsibility for the crash was admitted.

Injuries:  The accident fracture a bone in Plaintiff’s knee which had to be surgically repaired with rods and screws.  Plaintiff was in the hospital for 10 days and underwent months of physical therapy.  Plaintiff suffered continued pain and limp in her walk.

  • Settlement: $300,000. Pre-trial mediation.

Young v. Crouse (2017 Oneida County)

Accident:  Plaintiff, a 24-year-old electrician, was a passenger in truck that was rear-ended by Defendant shortly after coming to a stop at a stop sign.  Responsibility for the collision was admitted.

Injuries: Plaintiff did not seek treatment initially.  He eventually alleged C3-4 disc herniation and dis bulges of his C4-5 and C5-6 discs with spasms. Plaintiff’s treatment was limited to just 3 months of physical therapy.  Plaintiff was advised not to return to work and claimed to have continued pain in his neck. The defense contested the injuries.

  • Verdict: $250,000.

Fernandez v. Brookdale Hospital Medical Center (2016 Kings County)

Accident:  Defendant pulled out of his street parking spot without seeing Plaintiff who ran into Defendant’s hospital transport van.  Defendant contested fault and asserted that Plaintiff was speeding.

Injuries: Plaintiff claimed cervical and lumbar disc herniations.  After 10 weeks of physical therapy Plaintiff underwent spinal fusion surgery.  Plaintiff claimed to have continuing pain in his neck that limited his ability to work and would require him to retire early.  The defense contested the injuries as pre-existing and suggested that the car accident did not involve enough force to cause them.

  • Settlement: $2.5 million.

2014 Personal Injury Jury Verdicts in New York

Here are some older verdicts we posted before we updated the page.

  • July 2014, New York: $100,000 Settlement: A 46-year-old social worker entered a local deli in the Foxhurst section of the Bronx. Within just a few steps inside she tripped and fell over a cash register and fallen ceiling tiles. The owner of the deli was inspecting the building’s roof when the accident occurred, as the building had been burglarized the night before. She sustained multiple tears in her left knee, a left ankle strain, lacerations to her right knee, left elbow trauma and a sprain to her right foot’s big toe. She underwent arthroscopic surgery for her left knee, but was informed by her orthopedist that the knee’s condition will deteriorate and she will require a total knee replacement. The woman sued the deli owner, claiming the deli should have been closed and its door locked until the debris was cleared. Plaintiff claimed the Defendant’s negligence created a dangerous condition. Defendant argued a sign was posted indicating the deli was closed, but did acknowledge the door was unlocked. The matter continued to trial. But the parties agreed to a settlement during jury deliberation in the amount of $100,000.
  • May 2014, New York: $1,830,000 Verdict: A 30-year-old homemaker presented to a local hospital with complaints of difficulty breathing with chest and back spasms. The physician noted the woman had undergone a lobectomy earlier that month and suspected infection and consulted with her surgeon. The surgeon ordered a psychological study, which suggested the woman was suffering anxiety. After seeing no improvement, she returned six weeks later where a CT scan revealed an accumulation of air and fluid in her pleural cavity as well as a fistula that had developed between her lung and pleural cavity. Her surgeon conducted a procedure to address only the infection. Six weeks later she underwent a procedure to address the fistula which required an Eloesser flap – the creation of a fist-sized hole to allow access to her pleural cavity on the upper portion of her back by removing several ribs. The woman sued the surgeon for failing to diagnose her infection. Plaintiff claimed the infection should have been diagnosed during her first hospitalization when the examining doctor first suspected its presence. Plaintiff claimed had an antibiotic been administered and drainage performed, the infection would have been resolved. Defendant denied liability, claiming he appropriately managed her first hospitalization. A  jury found the Defendant negligent and awarded the Plaintiff $1,830,000.
  • May 2014, New York: $17,000 Verdict: A man was riding as a passenger in a vehicle that was traveling on East 28th Street in Sheepshead Bay. While stopped at the intersection with Avenue W, the vehicle was rear-ended. He sought treatment shortly after the collision for pain in his back, knees, neck, and shoulders. He was ultimately diagnosed with cervical and lumbar sprains, a partial tear in his right shoulder’s rotator cuff, and tears to his right knee. Eventually, he underwent a total replacement of his right knee. He sued the driver for negligent operation of his vehicle. Plaintiff claimed his injuries caused consistent pain and limitations. While the Defendant did not dispute liability, he contended Plaintiff did not sustain a serious injury. Defendant argued that Plaintiff’s injuries were minor and nothing more than soft tissue injuries. A Kings Supreme jury found for the Plaintiff and awarded him $17,000.
  • March 2014, New York: $4,873,703 Verdict: A 40-year-old man was experiencing recurrent falls and sought the opinion of a neurologist. A series of tests were conducted and the neurologist opined that the condition was a result of myasthenia gravis – a disorder that produces fluctuating fatigue and weakness of muscle. He prescribed the man a medication that stimulates the nerves and advised he will likely need to have his thymus removed to prevent the disorder from worsening. Two years later the man underwent removal of his thymus, was prescribed additional medication and required to undergo bi-weekly plasmapheresis sessions. Two years following his surgery he sought a second opinion. The second neurologist ruled the man’s falls were a product of cataplexy. His medications were progressively altered, and he found his falls ceased when the original treatment ceased. He sued the first neurologist for medical malpractice. Plaintiff claimed Defendant misdiagnosed his condition, which led to years of distress and unnecessary treatment. Plaintiff claimed his plasmapheresis treatment resulted in an infection that resulted in hospitalization. Defendant contended Plaintiff’s allegations and maintained he indeed suffered myasthenia gravis and claimed Plaintiff’s improvement was a result of the initial treatment. A New York Supreme jury found in favor of the Plaintiff for $4,873,703.08.
  • January 2014, New York: $225,000 Settlement: A 42-year-old man was driving on the westbound side of the Cross Bronx Expressway when he was rear-ended. He was taken by ambulance to St. Barnabas Hospital and treated for neck, back and shoulder pain. He was later diagnosed with cervical and lumbar disc bulges, as well as a sustained a tear of his right shoulder’s rotator cuff, which led to a development of tendinitis. His injuries required at least eight months of physical therapy, acupuncture, and epidural injections. He sued the driver and his insurer, Progressive, for negligence. Progressive did not contest liability and the parties agreed on a $225,000 settlement.