Motor Vehicle/Truck Accident
John E. Molinari represented a 40 year old woman who was a passenger in an SUV that was involved in a crash on the New Jersey Turnpike. The plaintiff was one of four passengers in the car that was being operated by the owner of the nail salon where all of the passengers were employed. The owner would pick up all of the passengers at one location, drive them to the nail salon approximately 45 minutes away, and then at the end of the day drive everyone back to the starting point. As a result of that driving arrangement, there was a determination in the Worker’s Compensation Court that the plaintiff was in the course of her employment at the time of the accident. Therefore, all of her medical bills were to be paid by her worker’s compensation carrier. However, she was barred from suing her employer in the Superior Court. Based upon the investigation of the New Jersey State Police, the host driver was completely responsible for the accident and the only driver that could be sued in Superior Court was the truck that collided with the host vehicle.
After taking numerous depositions, a theory of liability was developed against the truck driver and one week before the scheduled Trial date, at a settlement conference before the Court, the trucking company paid the plaintiff $975,000.00 of their $1,000,000.00. The plaintiff injured her neck and back in the accident and had multiple pain management injections before finally undergoing a one level anterior-cervical fusion.