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Eita Pruss v. Infiniti of Manhattan, Inc., Infiniti Financial Services, Infiniti Financial LLC, Massamba Seck, Dennis C Blanchette, Jon-Paul Rorech and Stiffel, Nicolaus & Company Inc.

Case Name

Eita Pruss v. Infiniti of Manhattan, Inc., Infiniti Financial Services, Infiniti Financial LLC, Massamba Seck, Dennis C Blanchette, Jon-Paul Rorech and Stiffel, Nicolaus & Company Inc.

Type of Injury

HEAD INJURIES AND FRACTURES

Occupation

Student

Location

New York, New York

Verdict

The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement. Infiniti of Manhattan's primary insurer tendered its policy, which provided $5 million of coverage; Infiniti of Manhattan's excess insurer agreed to pay $3,875,000; Blanchette's insurer tendered its policy, which provided $100,000 of coverage; and Rorech's insurer tendered its policy, which provided $25,000 of coverage. Thus, the settlement totaled $9 million.

Verdict Amount

$9,000,000

Case Details

On Sept. 5, 2013, plaintiff Eita Pruss, 21, a student, was struck by a motor vehicle. The incident occurred on a median that separated Eastern Parkway, near its intersection at Kingston Avenue, in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. Dennis Blanchette was driving on the eastbound side of Eastern Parkway. When he reached the intersection, he began a left turn onto the northbound side of Kingston Avenue. His car’s right side was struck by a vehicle that was being driven by Massamba Seck, who was traveling on the westbound side of Eastern Parkway. Blanchette’s car was propelled onto the median, where it struck Pruss and other pedestrians. Pruss became pinned between the car and a pole. She suffered injuries of her back, a foot, her head, a knee, a leg, her pelvis, her sacrum and several ribs.

Pruss sued Blanchette; Seck; the owners of Seck’s vehicle, Infiniti Financial LLC, Infiniti Financial Services and Infiniti of Manhattan Inc.; and Seck’s employers Jon-Paul Rorech and Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. Inc. Pruss alleged that Blanchette and Seck were negligent in the operation of their respective vehicles, that Infiniti Financial LLC, Infiniti Financial Services and Infiniti of Manhattan were vicariously liable for Seck’s actions, and that Seck’s employers were liable because the accident occurred during Seck’s performance of his job’s duties.

Plaintiff’s counsel discontinued the claims against Infiniti Financial LLC, Infiniti Financial Services, and Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. The matter proceeded against Blanchette, Infiniti of Manhattan, Seck and Rorech.

Plaintiff’s counsel moved for summary judgment of liability. Justice Arlene Bluth ruled that each motorist was negligent with regard to the accident, but that a jury would have to apportion liability.

Plaintiff’s counsel contended that Blanchette should have yielded the right of way. They also claimed that Seck was speeding. They claimed that he was maintaining a speed of 51 mph, in an area in which the limit was 30 mph.