Personal Injury Verdicts
January 27, 2006. Case# 127724

Motor Vehicle

Car on road's shoulder struck while driver made 911 call

Settlement: $207,000.00

Case Type: Rear-ender, Motor Vehicle - Passenger, Motor Vehicle - Parked Car, Motor Vehicle - Lane Change, Motor Vehicle - Multiple Vehicle

Case: Jaime Paldino, an Infant Under the Age of Eighteen Years by Her m/n/g Mary Paldino, Mary Paldino, Indiv, Ronald Paldino and David Paldino v. Luis Peguero, Anthony Ladolcetta and Mathew J. Ladolcetta, No. 10261/03

Venue: Westchester Supreme, NY

Judge: Barbara G. Zambelli

Date: 01-27-2006



  • Christie L. McEvoy-Derrico; Law Offices of Christie L. McEvoy-Derrico, P.C.; Mamaroneck, NY, for Jaime Paldino, Mary Paldino, Ronald Paldino, David Trombetti

Expert: None



  • Anthony J. Keogh; White Plains, NY, for Anthony LaDolcetta, Mathew J. LaDolcetta
  • Joseph B. Failla; Vouté, Lohrfink, Magro & Collins; White Plains, NY, for Luis Peguero

Expert: None


  • Allstate Insurance Co. for Peguero
  • State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. for Anthony LaDolcetta and Mathew LaDolcetta

On Dec. 30, 2001, plaintiffs Mary Paldino, 36, a dance instructor, and Jaime Paldino, 16, a student, were passengers in a vehicle that was being driven by David Trombetti, 47, a locker room attendant, who was stopped on the north shoulder of the Taconic Parkway, at the Bryant Pond Road intersection, in Putnam Valley. As the plaintiffs were calling 911 to assist an injured motorist in the southbound lane, their vehicle's rear panel was struck by a trailing vehicle that was being driven by Anthony LaDolcetta. Moments before, LaDolcettas' vehicle was struck by a vehicle that was being driven by Luis Peguero. The Paldinos and Trombetti sustained multiple injuries.
Mary Paldino, acting individually and in her daughter's behalf, and Trombetti, sued LaDolcetta; his vehicle's owner, Mathew LaDolcetta; and Peguero. The plaintiffs alleged that Anthony LaDolcetta and Peguero were negligent in the operation of their respective vehicles and that Mathew LaDolcetta was vicariously liable for Anthony LaDolcetta's actions.
The LaDolcettas contended that they were forced into the plaintiffs' vehicle after being struck by Peguero's vehicle.
Peguero contended that Anthony LaDolcetta was negligent for making an unsafe lane change directly in front of him, preventing him from avoiding the accident.
The defendants also argued that the plaintiffs were negligent for stopping on the shoulder.

The trial was bifurcated, so damages were not before the court.
The plaintiffs were transported to Keller Army Community Hospital, in West Point. Mary Paldino was diagnosed with a cervical derangement and radiculitis. She did not have surgery. However, she underwent three months of biweekly physical-therapy sessions.
Jaime Paldino sustained bilateral tears to her anterior cruciate ligaments that required arthroscopic surgery. The surgery was followed by six months of biweekly physical-therapy sessions.
Trombetti sustained an anterior cruciate ligament impingement in his right knee and a torn rotator cuff in his right (dominant) shoulder. He underwent an arthroscopy to repair the torn rotator cuff, followed by three months of thrice-weekly physical-therapy sessions.
The plaintiffs claimed that they suffer ongoing pain and partial disabilities. They sought recovery of damages for their past and future pain and suffering. Mary Paldino's husband, John, presented a loss-of-services claim.
Defense counsel contended that the plaintiffs' injuries healed well and they did not suffer any range-of-motion limitations or disabilities.

Verdict Information: The jury rendered a plaintiffs' verdict. Peguero was assigned 60% liability, and the LaDolcettas were assigned a total of 40% liability. The parties subsequently agreed to a $207,000 settlement. Jaime Paldino received $125,000; David Trombetti received $65,000; and Mary Paldino received $17,000. Size of edior array:2

Editor's Comments: Peguero's counsel was offered an opportunity to contribute to this report, but declined to do so. Counsel for Anthony LaDolcetta and Matthew LaDolcetta did not respond to a faxed draft of this report and a phone call.
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