Motorist Hit By Semitrailer Wins $5 Million Settlement for Back Injuries
A motorist who alleged permanent back injuries from a rearend collision accepted $5 million to settle his Passaic County suit, Cito v. Yoder.
In August 2011, Jonas Yoder was driving a semitrailer through Clifton when he fell asleep at the wheel and rear-ended a vehicle driven by Daniel Cito.
Yoder, was returning to Pennsylvania from a 12:30 a.m. delivery in Brooklyn. He was travelling at least 55 mph at impact, says Cito’s attorney, David Mazie of Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman in Roseland.
Yoder admitted that, before leaving the poulterer’s plant, he struck his head while inspecting his truck and lost consciousness. He felt lightheaded but continued driving anyway, Mazie says.
Cito, now 40, sustained two vertebrae fractures and multiple herniated discs, requiring surgery. He has ongoing pain, and is disabled and unable to work, Mazie says.
In October, Superior Court Judge Anthony Graziano granted Cito summary judgment against Watkins on liability, finding that Yoder, though a contractor, was Watkins’ statutory employee.
On Jan. 15, Yoder agreed to pay $5 million after mediation with retired Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Mark Epstein, of counsel with Hoagland, Longo, Moran, Dunst & Doukas in New Brunswick. Trial had been scheduled for Feb. 3, Mazie says.
The defendants’ lawyer, Marc Jones of Cipriani & Werner in Marlton, did not return a call.
— By David Gialanella
Reprinted with permission from the January 27, 2014 edition of the New Jersey Law Journal© 2015 ALM Media Properties. LLC All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited.
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