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Bronx accident lawyer wins $75,000 for rear end auto case

Bronx accident lawyer wins $75,000 for rear end auto case

Cleon N. Ioannides v. Operative Plasterers & Cement Mason’s Local 5 and Sperios S. Cocomos

No. 26774/04
Date of Verdict/Settlement: December 17, 2007


Car Crash Caused Spinal Injuries, Plaintiff Alleged


RESULT: Verdict-Plaintiff

The jury found that Ioannides’ damages totaled $75,000, all for his past pain and suffering.

Expert Witnesses:

Plaintiff: Arden Kaisman, M.D.; Pain Management; New York, NY

Defendant: Jonathan Glassman, M.D.; Orthopedics; Forest Hills, NY


Plaintiff: David J. DeToffol; trial counsel to Frekhtman & Associates; New York, NY (Cleon N. Ioannides)
Defendant: Rik Bachman; Thomas K. Moore; White Plains, NY (Operative Plasterers & Cement Masons’ Local 5, Sperios S. Conomos)

Judge: Norma Ruiz

Range Amount: $50,000-99,999

State: New York

County: Bronx

INJURIES: Ioannides refused medical attention at the scene of the accident. He ultimately claimed that he sustained herniations of his C5-6, L4-5 and L5-S1 intervertebral discs. He also claimed that he developed cervical and lumbar radiculopathy. He underwent about five months of physical therapy. He also underwent the administration of three epidural injections of steroid-based painkillers.

On April 10, 2004, plaintiff Cleon Ioannides, 43, a construction worker, was driving on 42nd Street, near its intersection at Broadway, in the Astoria section of Queens. When he reached the intersection, he stopped, in anticipation of a right turn onto Broadway. Before he could resume travel, his vehicle’s rear end was struck by a trailing vehicle that was being driven by Sperios Cocomos. Ioannides claimed that he sustained injuries of his back and neck.

Ioannides sued Cocomos and the owner of Cocomos’ vehicle, Operative Plasterers & Cement Masons’ Local 5. Ioannides alleged that Cocomos was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that Operative Plasterers & Cement Masons’ Local 5 was vicariously liable for Cocomos’ actions.

Ioannides claimed that he was stopped for several seconds when his car sustained a heavy impact from behind.
Defense counsel conceded liability. The trial addressed damages.

Ioannides contended that he suffers “paralyzing” episodes of pain that recur about every seven weeks. Surgery has been discussed. He also contended that his injuries prevented his performance of about one week of work.

Ioannides sought recovery of damages for his past and future pain and suffering.
Defense counsel contended that the crash produced a merely minor impact that could not have caused the injuries that Ioannides claimed to have sustained. However, repair records and photographs of the vehicles were precluded from evidence.

Defense counsel argued that the injuries could have preexisted the accident and that the lack of consistent treatment during the prior three years indicated that the injuries were not serious.

In response, Ioannides’ pain-management expert contended that any preexisting conditions were asymptomatic prior to the accident and that the impact, whether light or severe, could have caused the injuries.

During cross-examination, the defense’s expert orthopedist acknowledged that a rear-end impact of any severity can cause symptoms similar to the ones that Ioannides exhibited.


Travelers Property Casualty Corp. for both defendants
ALM Properties, Inc.
Bronx Supreme
PUBLISHED IN: VerdictSearch New York Reporter Vol. 25, Issue 32