The 64 year old legally blind, pedestrian crossing a major roadway, contended that the defendant underlying driver negligently failed to make adequate observations as he was turning onto the main roadway from a side street, striking him. The collision occurred at 6:30 a.m. as the plaintiff was crossing to get to the bus stop to travel to his place of employment at New Jersey City University. The plaintiff has a doctorate in Information Technology, and works as the director of computer services at the university.
The plaintiff lost consciousness as the result of the accident and was taken to the hospital where he was admitted for eight days. On the following day, he had an external fixator placed for a bicondylar tibial plateau fracture with severe lateral impaction. On the 6th day, he underwent an ORIF of the fracture. He was also treated for a concussion, multiple lacerations including to his scalp and eyelid, altered mental status and respiratory failure.
The plaintiff was then transferred to a rehab hospital where he stayed for 19 days.
The plaintiff used a wheelchair and then a walker during the next four months. During this time period he went up and down the stairs by using his arms sitting on his buttocks.
The plaintiff was also evaluated for a TBI and on testing he had deficits in visuospatial processing and executive functioning.
The plaintiff was able to return to work seven months after the accident and the defendant denied that he suffered any significant cognitive deficits.
The plaintiff maintained that his cognitive condition that he becomes confused and has problems sustaining attention. He becomes easily frustrated and reports anxiety in social settings and will avoid large group meetings.
The case settled prior to trial for the underlying driver’s $100,000 policy and $650,000 from the UIM carrier.
C.P. vs. R.I., 03-14.
Attorney for plaintiff : Charles A. Cerussi of Cerussi & Gunn, PC in Shrewsbury, NJ.