We recently achieved summary judgment in Federal Court in New York. This resulted in the dismissal of suit claiming personal injury in an accident with our client’s truck. Please email us for a copy of the decision.
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York held that the plaintiff failed to meet the level of medical proof New York law requires to maintain a suit for personal injury arising from a motor vehicle accident. The plaintiff brought suit as a result of an intersectional accident. He claimed various injuries due to the accident. He further claimed he underwent medical treatment and was unable to work for a period after the accident.
The Federal Court held that the proof was not sufficient. It noted that New York law provides that there is no right to recover for personal injuries from a vehicle accident except in the case of a “serious injury”. New York’s No-Fault Law defines what constitutes a “serious injury.” In our case, the plaintiff claimed that he came within the definition because he suffered a “significant limitation” and “permanent consequential limitation” as a result of the accident with our client’s truck. His evidentiary basis for these claims was that several doctors found that he had limitations of motion.
The Court rejected this argument. It noted that even if this was true, the plaintiff failed to support his claim with any objective evidence demonstrating that he suffered a serious injury. The plaintiff also claimed he suffered a “serious injury” by claiming he was suffered a nonpermanent injury because he was incapacitated for 90 of the 180 days following the accident. This 90-of-180 days requirement is among the definitions of a “serious injury” by the New York No-Fault Law. Plaintiff claimed that he met this definition because he was out of work and designated “disabled” by his doctor for 168 days following the accident.
The Court rejected this argument. First, it found that the doctor’s designation was contradicted by his designation of the plaintiff being “partially disabled” during the same period of time. Second, plaintiff presented no objective evidence to support the alleged disability.