In a four-day jury trial in April 2019, in Middlesex County Superior Court, trial attorney Joseph M. Marabondo obtained a verdict in favor of his client, the Defendant, who was an unidentified vehicle.
Plaintiff filed an uninsured motorist claim alleging that he was the victim of a hit-and-run accident caused by the Defendant, a phantom vehicle. In support of his claim, the Plaintiff alleged that vehicle photographs revealed damage to the entire rear bumper of his vehicle. Plaintiff further alleged he sustained permanent injuries from this accident in the form of multiple cervical and lumbar herniations throughout his spine, which resulted in pain management treatment, including six epidural injections and a facet injection.
At trial, Joe successfully obtained testimony from a fact witness stating that he observed the rear of Plaintiff's vehicle strike a concrete barrier while Plaintiff’s vehicle was already out of control, which Joe used to explain the damage to the rear of Plaintiff's vehicle and contest the Plaintiff’s version of the accident.
In addition, Plaintiff called one of his treating doctors, who is board-certified in pain management and anesthesiology, as his expert. Joe cross examined Plaintiff’s expert at trial regarding degeneration seen in Plaintiff's cervical and lumbar imaging studies. Following the testimony of Plaintiff’s expert, Joe successfully moved to have Plaintiff’s claim for aggravated injuries to be dismissed, arguing Plaintiff failed to prove the extent of the aggravation, and thus, not appropriate for a jury to consider, pursuant to Edwards v. Walsh, 397 N.J. Super. 567 (App. Div. 2007) and Davidson v. Slater, 381 N.J. Super. 22 (App. Div. 2005).
After the Judge charged the jury to decide liability and damages, the jury agreed that Plaintiff failed to prove the phantom vehicle caused this accident, and returned a unanimous verdict of no cause in favor of Defendant. Thus, the jury did not consider any degree of Plaintiff’s injuries or whether the alleged injuries were proximately caused by this accident.