F&F# A07103, B07103, C07103
Amputated Left Lower Leg, Broken Left Arm
Injuries: Amputated Left Lower Leg, Broken Left Arm
Facts and Claim of Liability:
On August 11, 2009, at approximately 7:28 a.m., plaintiff was operating a 2006 Ducati motorcycle southbound on the New York State Thruway in Yonkers, New York when he collided with a 2003 Ford van that was stopped in the left lane due to an earlier accident with another car (which was also stopped in the left lane, ahead of the van). The center median dividing the north and southbound lanes of traffic featured a concrete barrier 2 ½ feet in height, on top of which was located a four foot tall chain link fence. The fence obstructed the vision of motorists driving south, particularly motorists in the left or inside lane. Without the presence of the fence on top of the median, one could see over the concrete median, allowing for ample time to observe a stopped vehicle, recognize that it was not moving, and safely and comfortably slow down, change lanes, or stop. However, because of the presence of the fence on top of the median, it was impossible for plaintiff to avoid colliding with the van that was stopped in the left lane ahead of him, because he had no warning before he was able to see the stopped vehicle, and not enough time to stop once he did.
Plaintiff was injured internally and externally in the body and limbs. His left lower leg was amputated instantly below the knee, and he sustained a broken left arm. As a result of his injuries, plaintiff has been crippled for life.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in New York State Court of Claims, arguing that defendant van owner Weldrite Mechanical Corp., defendant van driver, and second defendant car driver were careless, reckless, and negligent in the ownership, operation, control, maintenance, inspection, repair, management, supervision, and safety of the van and car, respectively. Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald also argued that defendant State of New York and New York State Thruway Authority were negligent in training and supervision, failing to clear the roadway, failing to respond to and to correct a known roadway hazard, and failing to provide proper and sufficient warning of a dangerous condition on the roadway. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendant van owner and defendant van driver for a total of $300,000.00, and second defendant car driver for a total of $100,000.00. Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald continues to pursue the claim against defendant State of New York and New York State Thruway Authority.