Attorney Lia Mitchell Obtains Favorable Decision on Motion

Attorney Lia Mitchell obtains dismissal of a negligence action arising out of a motor vehicle accident.  The plaintiff was claiming a crushing injury to his right leg after a truck owned by the defendant and operated by a friend/associate, rolled into plaintiff pinning his leg against a column.  The plaintiff was treated at the emergency room for hi s injuries, and received further care from a physical therapist, primary care physician, and neurologist.  The plaintiff claimed he had a disfigurement to his right thigh; permanent numbness, cramping and spasms in the right leg; and ongoing sleep problems.

After the close of discovery, defendants moved for summary judgment on the basis plaintiff had not suffered a serious injury, with plaintiff opposing and cross-moving on liability.

The Court found defendants established plaintiff had not suffered a serious injury through the submission of plaintiff’s medical records, plaintiff’s own deposition testimony, and the findings and opinions of the neurosurgeon who conducted an examination of the plaintiff. This evidence showed the plaintiff had been able to resume his normal activities, including his job, shortly after the accident; had normal strength, reflexes and range of motion in his leg; and at most had a soft tissue injury with mild associated symptoms.  In addition, the plaintiff had only a small area of atrophy on his leg which could not be considered a significant disfigurement.

The Court further found the evidence submitted by the plaintiff in opposition to defendants’ motion was insufficient, evidence which included medical records, affidavits from the plaintiff and his treating neurologist, and a video clip which purported to show the plaintiff’s spasms.  The evidence did not support plaintiff’s argument of a serious injury, and the Court was not persuaded by the video as it was not clear who made the video and if it was an accurate depiction.  As such, the Court dismissed plaintiff’s action against the defendants in its entirety.

The full Decision and Order from Hon. Victor G. Grossman, J.S.C. of Dutchess County Supreme Court can be read here.