July 22, 2016—BG&S associate Frank J. Gissaro secured a jury verdict in favor of his client in July after proving that the plaintiffs had pre-existing health conditions prior to the accident claim against the defendant.

In Yvette Negron and William Evertsen v. Henry Limousine, Ltd., Halim Abdul, Supreme Court, Bronx County, Index No. 309628/08, plaintiffs and co-workers Yvette Negron, 56, a social worker supervisor, and William Evertsen, 47, a social worker, were struck by a limousine while crossing a street. Negron claimed injuries of the knees, hand and spine. Negron underwent bilateral knee surgery on August 26, 2008. Evertsen claimed injuries of the spine, hip and feet. Evertsen sustained a contusion to the feet; cervical myofascitis; lumbar sacral myofascitis; and a hip contusion. Negron and Evertsen both claimed to suffer from emotional distress as a result of the accident.
As a result, Negron and Evertsen sued the driver of the limousine, Halim Abdul, and the company in which he was employed, Henry Limousine, Ltd.

But Gissaro argued that plaintiff Negron conceded to having preexisting degenerative knee damage that was asymptomatic, but medical records on two different occasions before the accident (September 2006 and October 2007) revealed that Negron was referred for further testing and treatment. Thus, Mr. Gissaro contended, plaintiff Negron was not asymptomatic. Gissaro offered a similar argument to counter plaintiff Negron’s claims of back injuries, as both in 1993 and in 2007, plaintiff had made complaints of back pain. Relating to plaintiff Negron’s claim of injury to the hand, defense counsel revealed through medical records that in late January 2008, she slammed her hands on a subway railing.

In the end, the jury rendered a unanimous vote on the liability in favor of the plaintiff. However, the jury rendered a 5-1 vote that defendant’s negligence did not cause Negron’s injuries; and a unanimous vote that defendant’s negligence did not cause Evertsen’s injuries.