Ronald Goldfaden

A pedestrian allegedly injured by a runaway car accepted $1 million on Dec. 1 to settle her suit against the driver, Masoumi v. Jacobsen.

Iris Jacobsen allegedly fell asleep at the wheel and drove across several yards in a Franklin Township neighborhood before hitting Zahra Masoumi, who was moving garbage cans to the sidewalk at her daughter’s home.

Plaintiff lawyer Ronald Goldfaden says Masoumi fractured five ribs, her pelvis and right shoulder blade and suffered a pulmonary contusion in the July 2012 accident. The broken ribs caused breathing problems. She underwent surgery but still has restricted shoulder motion, shortness of breath and occasional pain, says Goldfaden, of Blume, Goldfaden, Berkowitz, Donnelly, Fried & Forte in Chatham.

No lawsuit was filed in court, as Masoumi settled directly with Jacobsen’s carrier, Liberty Mutual. The claims adjuster was Lisa Kapscandi. Company spokesman Glenn Greenberg declined to comment.

Masoumi recovered about $800,000 in personal injury protection benefits from her own insurer, TD Insurance, for medical bills, Goldfaden says.

— By David Gialanella


Barry Packin

$900,000 in Medical Malpractice Suit

Freedman v. Moore: An orthopedic surgeon agreed on Nov. 14 to pay $900,000 to settle a Bergen County suit over alleged misdiagnosis of knee pain.

On May 29, 2008, Daniel Freedman, then 15, saw Dr. Michael Moore in Waldwick for right-knee pain that made walking difficult. Moore took an X-ray and diagnosed chondromalacia patella, a deterioration of the cartilage under the knee cap, says plaintiff lawyer Barry Packin, of Nagel Rice in Roseland.

On July 31, 2008, Freedman stumbled and suffered a slipped capital femoral epiphysis—a detachment of the vertical part of the femur from the part that meets the hip. Another orthopedic surgeon, Douglas Avella, pinned the bone back together that day, using a single screw, but the repair failed three weeks later, when the head of the femur rotated around the screw, says Packin.

After six more surgeries, Freedman has a two-inch leg-length discrepancy, his leg and foot are turned almost 90 degrees to the side, he walks with a limp and he faces a heightened risk of arthritic problems with his hip, Packin adds.

The settlement for $900,000 of Moore’s $1 million policy was aided by Superior Court Judge Brian Martinotti. It requires court approval because Freedman has Down syndrome.

The case will go forward against Avella. Packin alleges the surgeon should have used more than one screw and did not properly stabilize the bone.

Defense counsel Beth Hardy of Farkas & Donohue in Florham Park, for Moore, and Michael McBride of Mattia & McBride in Wayne, for Avella, did not return calls.

— By Mary Pat Gallagher


Robert Goodman

$900,000 for Auto Accident

Meyrowitz v. Peters-Todd’s Inc.: An Edison woman accepted $900,000 to settle a suit over back injuries she allegedly suffered when her car was rear-ended.

Catherine Meyrowitz was stopped at a red light on Park Avenue in Edison on May 17, 2011, when hit by a truck owned by Peters-Todd’s Inc. of Far Hills, a landscaping company, and driven by employee Joseph Alessi Jr.

Meyrowitz alleged she suffered cervical damage and extreme neck pain, had three surgeries and still has strength and mobility problems with her left arm, says her attorney, Robert Goodman of Woodbridge’s Palmisano & Goodman.

The case settled on Oct. 16 with Travelers Ins. Co., Peters-Todd’s carrier, after a conference before Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Jamie Happas. Before the settlement, Travelers had paid $75,000 to cover Meyrowitz’s medical expenses.

Travelers retained Kevin London of the office of William Staehle in Morristown. He did not return a call.

— By Michael Booth


James Dunn

$500,000 for Auto-Accident Injuries

Shivery v. Daiuto: A motorist settled for $500,000 in his Middlesex County suit over cervical-disc herniations he claimed he suffered in a crash.

George Shivery was turning left from Handy Street in New Brunswick on Sept. 7, 2011, when he collided with a van that was headed in the opposite direction and ran a red light.

Shivery, already afflicted with back and neck problems from prior injuries, was diagnosed with multiple cervical-disc herniations, says his lawyer, James Dunn of Levinson Axelrod in Hillsborough.

He was treated by chiropractic, orthopedic and pain management practitioners and then underwent an interior discectomy and cervical-disc fusion at C3-4, C4-5 and C5-6.

Shivery sued the van driver, David Daiuto, for negligence.

The defense contended that most of Shivery’s injuries were attributable to preexisting injuries and degenerative disc disease.

The case settled for $500,000 on July 19 after mediation with retired Superior Court Judge Robert Longhi, now of counsel at Mandelbaum Salsburg Lazris & Discenza in New Brunswick.

Defense attorney William Rada of Methfessel & Werbel in Edison declined to comment.

— By Jon Steiger (Verdict Search)