$247,500 Settlement for Motor Vehicle Accident

The firm represented a 70-year-old man who was walking on an internal sidewalk at his place of employment when a car, driving by on the adjacent street, immediately and without warning, left the street, jumped the sidewalk/curb, and struck our client. The defendant driver claimed that she was not responsible for the accident because she had a heart attack right before the accident, which caused her to lose consciousness, causing her to lose control of her vehicle. Under these circumstances, the defendant alleged that she was not negligent as this was a “sudden emergency,” which New Jersey law recognizes as a defense to an allegation of negligence. The firm obtained all of the defendant’s medical records and in fact the defendant did have a cardiac event prior to the incident. After extensive review of the mountain of medical records, with an interventional cardiologist retained on behalf of the client, and extensive medical research, it was the clear opinion of the expert cardiologist that the type of cardiac event that the defendant experienced produces significant physical symptoms, for most patients, for as much as a number of minutes prior to the cardiac event. Since the defendant did not recall the events leading up to the incident, it was the opinion of the expert cardiologist that, more likely than not, she did have significant symptoms of an impending cardiac failure and to drive under these conditions was an extreme hazard to herself and the public. The case resolved before trial for almost the entire remaining insurance limits; settling for $247,500.