Bronx Jury Rules Against Celebrity
My client was driving from his home in the Bronx along the West Side Highway in Manhattan with his wife in the front seat and their two children in the back. He was proceeding straight when a former NFL player and present sports radio personality decided to cut into his lane pushing my client’s car toward the barrier and causing him to lose control of his vehicle. The other driver’s celebrity did not exempt him from being judged like any other driver in a court of law by a jury in the Bronx.
Before trial, a judge had already decided that the other driver was 100% negligent. My client and his wife had both suffered serious neck (and back) injuries resulting in risky spinal surgeries and permanent physical injuries to these two young parents in their 30’s. The insurance company for the celebrity’s car claimed my client and his wife (she was represented by a colleague of mine) were exaggerating their injuries (despite undergoing spinal fusion surgeries) and offered very little money to settle before verdict. We went to trial before a jury in the Bronx.
It turned out that the key to the trial was my cross-examinations of the other driver’s medical expert and engineering expert. They both claimed that the accident did not cause serious injuries and could not have happened the way my client claimed it did. I had done extensive research on these “experts” and even found prior court transcripts wherein one of them had testified under oath to relevant matters which raised questions of his credibility.
They came off as biased witnesses who basically came to court as a major part of their incomes and almost always for the parties being sued (i.e., the insurance company paid for the defense experts as is the standard). My extensive preparation paid off. The jurors saw what was going on and at multiple points even laughed and smirked at the alleged “experts’ ” testimony. This, of course, bolstered my argument in summation that my client’s medical testimony and the live testimony offered by his surgeon about his pain and suffering and permanent limitations at trial were true.
The jury came back with a very substantial money verdict in favor of my client and his wife. Justice was served. The jurors in the Bronx were not fooled. They got it right as they usually do. That’s the beauty of the jury system. Real people from the community get to make the final decisions.
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