Motor Vehicle Cross Over Median Barrier Retrial On Liability Following Appeal Finds City 25% Liable Second Damages Trial One Plaintiff Suffers Psychological Injuries Wrongful Death Of Two Women In Mid-30s Zone Of Danger
VERDICT: $20,900,000 for Stanislaw Starczewski.
Breakdown: $ 20,000,000 for past pain and suffering; $900,000 for future pain and suffering. $12,400,000 for Estate of Iwona Starczewski. Breakdown: $ 10,000,000 for past pain and suffering; $400,000 for past loss of services; $2,000,000 for future loss of services. $220,000 for Estate of Glowacz. Breakdown: $40,000 for past loss of support; $180,000 for future loss of support. Jury: 3 male, 3 female.
In a retrial of liability before Judge Alan J. Saks in January 2002, the City of New York was found to be 25% liable (and former Deft. Robles was found 75% liable); therefore, Deft. is responsible for 25% of the verdicts in the instant action. See below.
XIX/36-5 Motor Vehicle Cross Over Median Barrier Retrial On Liability Following Appeal Finds City 25% Liable Second Damages Trial One Plaintiff Suffers Psychological Injuries Wrongful Death Of Two Women In Mid-30s Zone Of Danger
Stanislaw Starciewski, indiv., and as Adm. of the Est. of Iwona Starczewski; and Public Adm. of Westchester Co. for the Estate of Jolanta Glowacz v. City of New York 14592/89 1-week damages trial Verdict 2/15/02 Bronx Supreme; Judge: Dianne T. Renwick
Pltf. Atty: Harvey Weitz, Lawrence A. Wilson II, and Derek S. Sells of The Cochran Firm, Schneider, Kleinick, Weitz, Damashek & Shoot, Manhattan
Deft. Atty: Jennifer A. Coyne, assisted by Eric J. Berger, Asst. Corps. Counsel
This damages trial followed the retrial of liability arising out of a motor vehicle accident that took place on 7/12/87 while Pitt’s., all in their 30s, were traveling northbound on the Bronx River Pkwy. when their station wagon was struck by former Deft. Robles southbound car, which crashed over the median barrier. For a report of the first trial, see, The New York Jury Verdict Reporter, Volume XIII, Issue 42, Case 1. Pltf. s appeal of the trial court s dismissal of Deft. City during that trial (see, Gregorio v. City of New York, 246 A.D.2d 275, 677 N.Y.S.2d 119 ; see also, Judicial Review of Damages, at 9 JRD 81) reversed the lower court s decision, and remanded the matter for further proceedings. A retrial of the liability verdict in January 2002 resulted in the above-noted apportionment of liability at 25% against the City of New York. The instant trial concerned the issue of damages only.
Injuries: Stanislaw S. (34-year-old carpenter $20,900,000 award) psychological injuries including post-traumatic stress disorder; soft tissue injuries. Pltf. claimed zone of danger injuries, and claimed that he suffers from chronic depression. He treated with a psychiatrist for a few months following the accident. Pltf. s expert psychiatrist testified that Stanislaw suffers from survivor s guilt. Est. of Iwona S. (35-year-old homemaker $12,400, 000 award) multiple fractures to the skull and upper body. Pltf. s expert pathologist testified that decedent suffered 4 to 5 seconds of pre-impact terror, and was conscious for approximately 10-20 minutes following the accident, before she died. Deft. s pathologist opined that massive head trauma killed Pltf. or rendered her unconscious at the moment of impact. Est. of Glowacz (31-year-old nanny $220,000 award). multiple skull fractures and brain hemorrhage. The court ruled, before trial, that there would be no award made for her past pain and suffering. Demonstrative evidence: anatomical diagrams; photos of the accident scene and of the vehicles; model of the brain. Jury deliberation: 2 hours.
Pltf. Experts: Dr. Lone Thanning, pathologist, Oyster Bay; Dr. Mark Rubinstein, psychiatrist, Manhattan; Conrad Berenson, Ph.D., economist, Woodbury.
Deft. Expert: Dr. Charles Wetli, Suffolk County Medical Examiner.