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Permanent Facial Scarring

Settlement:   Melissa Stark, inf. over the age of 14, by p/n/g Maryann Stark v. Bernadette and Steven Hurst 08815/99
Case #:   XVII/8-49
Date:   Friday, March 19, 1999
Court:   Suffolk Supreme
Plaintiff Attorney:   Anthony T. Ballato, Massapequa
Facts:   This action settled for a total payment of $68,000. At approximately 3:45 PM on 7/13/98 Pltf., a 16-year-old student, was a front-seat passenger in Defts. vehicle as it traveled on Broadway Ave. in Sayville. Deft. Steven Hurst, the 18-year-old operator of the vehicle, struck the rear of a vehicle that was owned and operated by an unnamed third party. The air bag in Defts. car deployed upon impact. Deft. contended that at the time of the accident, Pltf. was not wearing a seat belt, thus causing her injuries. Pltf. contended that the adult Deft. should have directed his infant passenger to wear a seat belt, as required by Vehicle and Traffic Law ù1229-C(3).

Injuries: lacerations, abrasions, and bruising to the face, right arm, and chest with permanent discoloration and small scarring of the nose and cheek. Pltf. s condition has substantially improved since the accident, but the facial discoloration is still evident. Deft. argued that Pltf. failed to mitigate her damages. Demonstrative evidence: color photographs of the accident scene and of Pltf. s scars at different intervals. Offer: $ 12,500; demand: $75,000.

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