$5,730,000-Auto Accident: Client Injured In An Automobile Accident By School Bus That Crossed A Double Yellow Line Striking Plaintiff’s Car

F&F# A01091


Jury Verdict
: $5,730,000.00

Settlement: $4,250,000.00 pursuant to pre-verdict high-low agreement


  • Injuries to the neck;
  • Fracture of the left arm;
  • Fracture and dislocated pelvis;
  • Fracture of the left thigh;
  • Fracture of the left knee;
  • Fracture of the right knee;
  • Fracture of the left lower leg;
  • Fracture of the left and right ankle;
  • Fracture of the right foot;
  • Fracture of the ribs; and
  • Collapsed lung.

Facts and Claim of Injury: This case was fully tried and involved a New York car and bus accident.  Prior to the jury verdict, Plaintiff and Defendant negotiated a high-low agreement. The “high” was $4,250,000 and the “low” was $2,000,000. Pursuant to the terms of the agreement the case was marked settled for $4,250,000 after the jury returned a total verdict of $5,730,000. Under the terms of the agreement, the jury’s verdict was not reduced to present value.

On September 6, 2001, around 8:30 a.m., the Plaintiff was a restrained driver traveling on the southbound lane of Route 9D, Garrison, New York.  At the same time and place, a school bus owned by the Defendant Owner was traveling on the parallel northbound lane of the same route, driven by the Defendant Driver.  The school bus changed lanes and swerved across the double yellow line hitting the Plaintiff’s car head on.

Immediately after the accident, the New York State Police and the Garrison Fire Department attended the scene.  The Plaintiff was removed from the vehicle by “Jaws of life” and was air lifted to Westchester Medical Center.  The school bus operator was ticketed for crossing the double yellow line.   Upon examination in the Emergency Room, it was revealed that as a direct result of the accident, the Plaintiff had sustained: (1) left first rib fracture, (2) left pneumothorax requiring closed thoracostomy, (3) right dislocated hip, (4) right posterior wall acetabulum fracture, (5) open left supracondylar/intercondylar distal femur fracture, (6) open right knee, (7) right Lisfranc fracture dislocation, (8) left tarsal navicula fracture, (9) left humeral diaphysis fracture, and (10) extraarticular laceration right elbow.

The Plaintiff was taken emergently to the operative suite where she underwent multiple procedures.  Subsequently, the Plaintiff was hospitalized for approximately two months, during which she went through numerous surgeries and treatment.  After her discharge from Westchester Medical Center, the Plaintiff continued to receive several outpatient procedures and started physical therapy and occupational therapy. The Plaintiff tried to go back to work, but was unable to perform the duties required as a phlebotomist due to the injuries and consequently resigned from her employment.

The Fitzgerald Law Firm argued that the Defendants were solely responsible for the accident, as (1) the Defendant Driver failed to keep right, drive in a safe and lawful manner and maintain control of the vehicle which violated the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law; (2) the Defendant Owner was negligent in its ownership, maintenance and supervision of the said vehicle.  The Fitzgerald Law Firm contended that the negligence of the Defendants resulted in the collision thereby causing serious, severe and permanent injuries to the Plaintiff.