Last week, Matthew J. Vitucci obtained the dismissal of a motor vehicle case in the Bronx. The facts were simple, our client’s tractor trailer rear ended the plaintiff’s work van in which he was a passenger. Mr. Vitucci conceded liability to defend various causation issues connected with plaintiff’s cervical fusion and shoulder surgery.
After the accident, plaintiff had extensive medical treatment including an emergency room visit with complaints of pain to his head, neck, and mid back. Following his release from the emergency room, plaintiff’s treatment included a chiropractor, an acupuncture specialist, a neurologist and an orthopedic surgeon. He underwent MRIs of his neck, mid back, lower back and brain. He was subsequently referred to a spinal surgeon who later performed a cervical discectomy and fusion. Plaintiff later underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his shoulder. Finally, plaintiff claimed to have sustained a traumatic brain injury which lead him to be forgetful and unable to find his doctors to attend medical appointments, which allegedly rendered him to be non-functional.
On direct examination, plaintiff testified that he could not return to work as a construction welder or continue his black belt training in karate. Plaintiff contended he had no source of income and basically sat around his house.
During a two-day cross examination of the plaintiff, in a rare real-life Perry Mason moment, it was revealed to the jury that the plaintiff and his common law wife had purchased and were in the process of renovating 6 buildings in a low income neighborhood for rental and that plaintiff had perjured himself by stating under oath that he and his wife lacked any income following the accident. Following the cross examination, plaintiff’s counsel moved to be relieved as counsel. Mr. Vitucci’s cross motion, for an order of dismissal premised upon plaintiff’s documented perjury on the stand, was granted. Immediately prior to the dismissal of the case, counsel had in court and was ready to call to the stand a renowned neuropsychologist who was prepared to testify that the plaintiff suffered from encephalopathy which rendered him cognitively as someone who is suffering from severe dementia. The last settlement demand was the policy limits.