Date of Settlement: August 9, 2012
Court: Supreme Court, Ulster County
Case Facts: On May 11, 2008, Jayleen Munoz (then 2 years and 8 months old) sustained serious and lifelong injuries when, as a passanger in an automobile, she was severely and permanently injured in a collision between two automobiles on the New York State Thruway (I-87) in the Town of Tuxedo, County of Orange and State of New York. The automobile owned by defendant, Lydia Tyner, and operated by defendant, Estevan W. Nembhard, collided with the rear of the stopped automobile owned and operated by defendant, Sharnique L. Reynolds, on the shoulder of the New York State Thruway in a northbound direction.
The infant plaintiff, Jayleen Munoz, sustained a right parietal skull fracture with subarachnoid hemorrhage, a severe traumatic brain injury and multiple, physical and cognitive disabilities. The infant plaintiff is completely disabled for the remainder of her life, according to life care plans prepared by both the defense and plaintiff’s experts. The injured plaintiff will require facility and institutional care when she reaches adulthood.
Immediately after the accident the injured plaintiff, Jayleen Munoz, received a medically necessary craniotomy to release pressure on her injured brain. Fragments of her skull actually entered into the brain tissue at the time of the collision.
At the time of the collision, defendant, Estevan W. Nembhard, was employed as a union organizer with the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) and was driving home from his work assignment on that day. Claims were set forth against the SEIU alleging that an employee/employer relationship existed at the time of the accident.
Unfortunately, Jayleen is dependent for almost all self care and activities of daily living. Jayleen cannot feed or cloth herself and she is unable to carry out basic activities of daily living, such as toileting and buttoning up her clothes.
After nearly four years of litigation and lengthy appeal process (see Grant vs. Nembhard et al) the matter was settled for $7,000,000.00. It is believed that the $7,000,000.00 recovery was one of the largest recoveries for an infant in Hudson Valley history. In order for the claims against the defendant SEIU to be successful, the law firm carried out investigations and depositions in no less than seven states, including but not limited to California, Florida, Ohio, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Maryland, as well as Washington D.C.