A painter, who suffered a debilitating spine injury while a passenger in his employer´s van, has settled his rear end accident injury claim for $875,000.
In July 2010, twenty-eight year old Gabrielle Nufris from Trenton in New Jersey was a passenger in a work van owned by his employer – DG Painting – travelling to a painting job. As the lights turned red at the intersection of Olden Avenue and Hamilton Avenue in Trenton the van came to a stop, and it was hit from behind by a car travelling at some speed.
Gabrielle suffered a spine injury in the accident, and he was taken to hospital where he was treated for a two-level disc herniation. Gabrielle had to undergo a fusion procedure to repair the damage to his herniated discs and, although he has been able to carry on working as a painter, Gabrielle still experiences pain in the base of his neck, is unable to crane his neck, and suffers from limited motion.
Yvens Joseph – the driver of the car that hit the work van – acknowledged that the rear end accident was caused by his carelessness, and he admitted liability for Gabrielle´s injuries. However, the negligent driver´s auto policy was limited to $15,000 and Gabrielle made an underinsured motorist rear end accident injury claim against Harleysville Insurance – his employer´s auto insurance company.
Following arbitration, Gabrielle was awarded $835,000 in settlement of his rear end accident injury claim; but, as the insurance policy had a provision allowing Harleysville to contest the nonbinding agreement, the insurance company demanded that the case went to a full court hearing for the assessment of damages.
A court hearing was scheduled for Gabrielle´s rear end accident injury claim to be heard by US Magistrate Judge Tonianne Bongiovanni at the US District Court for the District of New Jersey. However, prior to the court hearing taking place, an agreement was reached following discovery to settle Gabrielle´s rear end accident injury claim for $875,000.