John Komar Gets a Defense Verdict in Brooklyn
John Komar achieved a defense verdict after a unified summary jury trial on November 10, 2022, before the Honorable Francois A. Rivera in Supreme Court, Kings County. We got the case on November 4th for jury selection scheduled for November 7th. The matter involved a 59-year-old former hospital worker who claimed that on August 21,2017 he was struck on the left thigh while he was standing at the back of his girlfriend’s Jeep Cherokee, facing the vehicle with rear hatch door open while he watched a recording he just made of a solar eclipse. He claims that John’s client, who did not testify at the trial, backed out of a parking space in a private parking lot and backed into him pinning his legs against the rear bumper of the Jeep Cherokee. John’s client, an Uber driver who rented a parking space in the parking lot, told the police that before he tried to move his car he asked the plaintiff to move the Jeep that was blocking his path, but the plaintiff refused. He then started to back up until he felt the plaintiff pounding on the rear of the vehicle to make him stop. The driver did not see contact with the plaintiff and believed he only tapped the Jeep’s rear bumper.
Plaintiff called the police and was transported from the scene to Wyckoff Hospital, his former employer, where he was examined and released with a bruise on his left thigh. The diagnosis was a crush injury. X-rays were negative. The hospital gave him some Motrin and sent him home. A few days later he called an attorney, and a week later he went to a facility in Queens that specializes in no-fault cases. At the new facility he was diagnosed with a left knee full thickness tear of the lateral and medial menisci, and a partial tear of the MCL. He had left knee arthroscopic surgery six months after the accident and total left knee replacement two years after that. He was also diagnosed with multiple cervical, thoracic, and lumbar herniations that required multiple steroid and trigger point injections followed by an L4-L5 anterior discectomy with fusion. He claimed at trial that he was still treating for his injuries. In defense of damages John focused on the lack of any serious injury findings in the hospital, and he revealed multiple references in the record to similar injuries sustained by the plaintiff in several prior accidents, which plaintiff admitted to, along with multiple findings by doctors on both sides of chronic degenerative conditions in the neck, back and left knee.
After hearing plaintiff’s testimony, including John’s cross-examination, and reviewing the medical submissions, the jury returned a verdict finding John’s client 100% at fault for the accident, but also found that the plaintiff’s alleged injuries were not caused by the accident, and that he failed to prove the accident caused a significant limitation or a consequential limitation of a body part, or an injury that prevented plaintiff from performing substantially all of his usual and customary activities for 90 days out of the first 180 days after the accident.