Ponce v. O’Hara, et al. ATL-L-1080-21
A boat and trailer detached from the defendant’s vehicle and struck a van head on. A passenger in the van agreed to settle his case for $4,615,000 on December 13, 2021.
The collision occurred on June 21, 2019, on Route 206 in Hammonton, New Jersey. On that date, plaintiff was a rear passenger in a van traveling north. At the same time, defendant was traveling southbound trailering a 16-foot Boston Whaler behind his Toyota Sequoia. As the vehicles approached one another, the defendant’s trailer (with boat still attached) detached from the Toyota, causing it to launch into the northbound lane, striking the approaching van head-on.
As a result of the crash, plaintiff suffered severe spinal injuries, including a burst fracture at the T12 vertebrae with retropulsion of bone fragments, impingement on the conus, central herniation at L4-5, and Grade I anteriolisthesis and bilateral spondylosis L5-S1. Plaintiff was transported by helicopter to the trauma unit at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City, where he underwent an emergency T12 decompression with four level posterior fusion and fixation (T10-L2), performed by Dr. Fernando Delasotta. The spinal cord injury resulted in paraplegia of the lower extremities.
Plaintiff’s liability experts were George Meinschein P.E., of Meinschein Engineering; Michael Markushewski, BSMET, of ARCCA Inc.; Accident Reconstructionist Robert Clarke of Clarke’s A.R.E.A., LLC; Plaintiff’s damages experts were Dr. Fernando Delasotta, Linwood, NJ; William E. Harris, MBA, CVA of Forensic Damages LLC; Life Care Planning expert Valarie Parisi, RN, CRRN, CLCP, of Valpar Consultants; Occupational and Vocational Rehabilitation Expert Ellen Rader Smith, OTR, CVE, CPE