By Alba Acevedo
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Peter Sweeney listens as attorney Ray Panek (standing), of the law firm Elefterakis, Elefterakis & Panek, conducts a direct examination of the plaintiff in the motor vehicle accident trial Baa v. City of New York.
In 2011, Keisha Baa was driving a van along Third Avenue near the intersection of 39th Street, transporting adults as part of her duties as a home health aide. She claimed that she was unable to avoid hitting a city sanitation truck in front of her when it suddenly changed lanes. The city was found 100 percent liable for causing the accident; at issue in the trial was the determination of damages.
Baa alleged that she sustained serious injury in the rear-end impact with the truck. She claimed damages inclusive of six surgeries, involving her bilateral wrists, left hip, right knee, right shoulder and back. More conservative treatment measures, she claimed, did not alleviate her pain and discomfort. The 34-year-old plaintiff maintained that she has been unable to return to work since the accident.
Yair Goldstein (at right), of the New York City Law Department, disputed the allegation that all of Baa's injuries were caused by the 2001 accident, as the plaintiff had been involved in an earlier accident.
The month-long trial resolved before closing statements last week, with a $4 million settlement in Kings County Civil Term. Court reporter Hank Horowitz recorded the proceedings.