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Stephen B. Toner Wins Defense Verdict In Damages Only Trial In New York County

Senior Partner, Stephen B. Toner, wins defense verdict in a “damages only” trial in New York County, in the Matter of Garter v. Perez, Index No. 154733/13. The plaintiff, a 50-year old former Executive Director of an international financial management company, was a passenger in our client’s vehicle traveling in Manhattan. The vehicle backed up to avoid traffic congestion and collided with another vehicle, which was behind our client’s vehicle. The plaintiff claimed that as a result of that impact, he sustained a torn labrum in his shoulder, requiring surgical repair, and several herniated lumbar and cervical spine discs, requiring steroid injections. The plaintiff’s medical experts also opined that the plaintiff may need a cervical fusion surgery in the future. The plaintiff won summary judgement on liability a year earlier, when the Court found our client was 100% negligent in causing the collision between the two vehicles. Therefore, the trial was limited to the plaintiff’s claimed injuries and damages.

Mr. Toner convinced the jury that the plaintiff’s claimed torn shoulder labrum was the result of pre-existing degenerative condition known as “swimmer’s shoulder”, and that the disc herniations in his neck and lower back were likewise the results of long standing degenerative conditions. The jury deliberated for a day and a half before returning a verdict in favor of our client, finding the plaintiff had not proven his case, and dismissing the plaintiff’s claims for damages against our clients.

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