NEW YORK, Jan. 31 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network — The N…

NEW YORK, Jan. 31 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network — The New York State Supreme Court entered judgment today against Budget Rent A Car for $20.3 million, following the company’s and its rental car operator’s concession of liability for a November 2000 lower Manhattan auto accident which paralyzed a 25-year-old pedestrian who was a successful businessman and is a graduate scholar athlete from the University of Pennsylvania. The judgment affirms the New York State law that
holds rental car companies responsible for the negligent actions of the
operators of their rented vehicles.

On November 29, 2000, the operator of the Budget rental car ran a red
light and struck a van which then careened into the crosswalk of Delancy and
Orchard Streets striking the pedestrian head on as he legally crossed Delancy
Street within the crosswalk. Kreindler & Kreindler LLP of New York City
represented the now-paralyzed victim.

The judgment follows a year of post-trial challenges by Budget to set
aside or reduce the $24.5 million December 2003 jury verdict. The trial
judge, Milton A. Tingling Jr., JSC, upheld $20.3 million, recognizing the
agonizing nature of the injuries and making it one of the highest such
verdicts returned and affirmed in New York State.

New York law holds the owner/rental car company responsible for the
negligent acts of its renters/operators, thereby protecting innocent
pedestrians, other injured parties and the general public. “Were it not for
this law, innocent victims of such serious events could be left without an
adequate remedy, and likely they would become a public charge without any
chance of experiencing what little quality of life remains, or the means to
obtain the necessary medical care and assistance they require,” said Marc S.
Moller, a senior partner at Kreindler & Kreindler and lead trial counsel.

“Further, while rental car companies would like to be relieved of liability
for the negligence of their customers, these same companies seek to profit
from anyone who presents a driver’s license and credit card without having any
regard for the renter’s driving qualifications. If rental car companies
employing a ‘know nothing system’ of intentional ignorance — where they do
not check or verify the driving records, criminal records, immigration status,
or viability of their customers — then choose to profit in these
circumstances, liability for driver negligence must be theirs as well.”

The court’s judgment includes compensation for the victim for past and
future loss of earnings, medical care, and pain and suffering. As a direct
result of this incident, the plaintiff’s spinal cord at level T6 was
dislocated, causing complete paraplegia from the chest down with total bowel
and bladder incontinence, as well as sexual dysfunction.

David Cook, a partner at the Kreindler firm and trial counsel, noted that
the plaintiff’s doctors testified, “this young man suffers from the worst of
all possible worlds. His spinal cord was dislocated, resulting in his
suffering the same catastrophic injuries had it been severed, but with the
added nightmare of unrelenting, incurable pain, as nerve fibers outside of the
spinal cord were not disconnected. The court has recognized the tragic facts
of this case which fully support the compensation awarded.”

About Kreindler & Kreindler LLP
Kreindler & Kreindler LLP ( is a leader in
representing plaintiffs in complex litigation. The firm has a large general
tort practice and has handled thousands of cases involving automobile
accidents; train and bus accidents; workplace accidents involving defective
machinery; construction site accidents; products liability, including
dangerously defective drugs; premises liability; and municipal and other
governmental liability for serious injury or death. Kreindler is the largest
aviation law firm representing plaintiffs in the United States, with a
worldwide reputation for successful prosecution of aviation cases. The firm
was founded in 1950. For more information contact: Marc Moller or David Cook
at 212-687-8181.

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