Man hit by golf cart award, awarded $3.65 million in compensation.
A man who was injured by a golf cart at the Alpine Country Club was awarded $3.65 million in compensation by a Bergen County jury on July 19.
Plaintiff Mario Zaburski sued defendant Jerome Klein, the driver of the golf cart. The jury’s verdict consisted of $1 million in damages for pain and suffering, $150,000 for future medical expenses and $2.5 million for the economic wage losses.
Evan Lide of Stark & Stark in Lawrenceville, counsel to Zabruski, said: “The jury understood that when Mario Zaburski was struck by the golf cart, he sustained permanent injuries that would forever impact his capacity to work.”
According to the complaint, Klein’s cart hit Zabruski as he was walking away from the 9th hole on July 24, 2015. The cart hit his right knee, and the impact knocked him on his back. He sought medical attention after noticing leg instability a week after the accident.
A statement from the firm detailed the extent of Zaburski’s injuries: “An MRI showed two disc herniations and a preexisting condition of spondylothesis, which did not respond to epidural and pars injections. The spondylothesis, originally a latent condition, was rendered traumatic and symptomatic due to the injury caused by the golf cart driver. Consequently, due to the leg weakness and motor issues with his right leg, Mr. Zaburski required a spinal fusion of the disc herniations.
“He had taken time to recover via his employer’s disability benefit, and exhausted his time afforded by FMLA, when he was terminated from his position in November 2016, just three weeks before he was cleared to return to work. Mr. Zaburski had been a financial analyst with his employer for nearly 17 years at the time of his termination. Thereafter, his injuries prevented him from obtaining a similar position, and as an expert earning capacity witness testified at the trial, Mr. Zabruski’s earning capacity was significantly reduced, with a wage loss of $2.5 million.”
Lide said the defendant admitted liability but “heavily disputed the nature and extent of plaintiffs injuries.” He said, “They conceded that he suffered a knee injury but that it was a bruise and no big deal. They disputed the back injury because there were no immediate complaints of back pain.”
Chen v. Sathaye: A woman who sustained permanent injuries when she was struck and dragged by a vehicle while crossing the street in downtown Millburn settled her Essex County case for $1.97 million on June 13.
According to court documents and an attorney involved in the case, on Sept. 30, 2016, plaintiff Xiao Chen, then 53, was crossing Millburn Avenue at the intersection with Lackawanna Place when defendant Nirmal Sathaye, who was turning left from Millburn Avenue to Lackawanna Place, struck and dragged her 16 feet.
Sathaye would later say she didn’t see Chen in the crosswalk.
Chen sustained right arm fractures and underwent five surgeries; now has limited use of her right arm and cannot drive a car; and is now treated by a psychiatrist and medicated for anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress, said her lawyer, Richard Galex of Lomurro, Munson, Comer, Brown & Schottland in Freehold.
For 17 years prior the accident, Chen had worked as a database administrator. After the accident, she was out of work for several months but returned, though ultimately she was discharged in January 2018, causing her to lose medical benefits and a university scholarship for her son, and now is unable to return to work, Galex said.
The suit, filed in 2017, includes a loss-of-consortium claim on behalf of Chen’s husband, Frank Yu, who had a long-term illness and whom Chen had been caring for prior to the accident, Galex said, noting that a plaintiff expert set her economic losses at $1.18 million.
The parties went to arbitration, which on April 2 resulted in a finding that Sathaye had a duty to yield to Chen and was 100% liable for the accident, and an award of $2.5 million in damages, according to court documents.
The parties settled with Sathaye—insured through Allstate with an auto and umbrella policy—agreeing to pay $1.97 million. The court was notified June 12, and the settlement executed on June 13. Trial had been set for June 24.
Defense counsel, Stephanie Reynolds of the Cranford firm of Pamela Hargrove, didn’t return a call about the case.