News Brief

Stopnik, Lawless and Margolis Obtain Summary Judgment Based on Failure to Meet Serious Injury Threshold

July 21, 2021

Scott H. Stopnik (Partner-White Plains, NY | New York, NY), Patrick Lawless (Partner-New York, NY) and Bernice E. Margolis (Of Counsel-White Plains, NY | New York, NY) obtained summary judgment for a motor carrier corporation in Kings County Supreme Court. The plaintiff claimed multiple injuries after an accident between a vehicle owned by our client and the vehicle in which she was a passenger. The court had previously granted the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment solely to the extent that she was deemed an innocent passenger free from liability, with liability to be apportioned among the defendants at trial. Undeterred and in support of their motion, Scott, Pat and Bernice established that plaintiff suffered from chronic, long-standing degenerative arthritis of her neck and back and there was no evidence of a traumatic injury to her neck, lower back and shoulder as alleged. 

Scott, Patrick and Bernice were able to acquire summary judgment through the development of plaintiff’s pre-existing medical history in conjunction with expert testimony that convinced the judge the plaintiff failed to meet the serious injury threshold requirement of Insurance Law §5102(d). In their motion, they also highlighted the fact that plaintiff alleged to be confined to bed only one day within her Bill of Particulars, and testified that she could not recall if she lost any time from work. Her deposition testimony likewise did not establish that her alleged injuries prevented her from performing substantially all of the material acts constituting her customary daily activities during at least 90 out of the first 180 days following the accident.

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