Published on:

New York City Music Producer Paralyzed in Hit-and-Run Crash Wins Jury Verdict and $23M Damages Award

A New York City music producer finally obtained closure and justice that was eight years in the making. Following a 2008 car accident that left him paralyzed, the producer sued the owner of the car involved in that hit-and-run crash. After extensive investigation to build his case, the producer went to trial and won, with the jury finding the car owner liable and handing the producer a $23.3 million damages award covering his past and future pain and suffering and future medical expenses, the New York Law Journal reported.

The victim, Charles Scott Harding, was a successful music artist and producer, having produced records for well-known artists like Brian McKnight and Crash Test Dummies. One night, having finished work at 3 AM, Harding took a cab home. Before Harding made it home, a 1999 Ford ZX2 ran a stop sign in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn and slammed into Harding’s cab. The injuries from the crash were so severe that they left Harding paralyzed from the chest down and required him to use a wheelchair going forward. The Ford’s driver drove away from the scene.

Shortly after the accident, the car’s owner, Wojciech Czmielewski, reported it stolen. Despite the challenges, Harding and his counsel proceeded forward against the vehicle owner. Their theory was that Czmielewski’s theft report was false, the car was never stolen, and the car was driven that night by Czmielewski’s 18-year-old son, Adrian.

They took the depositions of Czmielewski and the son. They also hired a team of retired police officers to investigate the incident. The investigators discovered that the ZX2 had no signs on it that would indicate someone had broken into it. They also obtained the testimony of a neighbor who saw the younger Czmielewski looking bruised and cut up in the days after the crash. All of this evidence was integral to their success because, if Harding had not been able to persuade the jury that the theft claim was bogus, the act performed by that thief would have likely been the type of intervening act by a third party that would have rendered Czmielewski not liable for Harding’s injuries.

Armed with their evidence from the investigation, Harding and his legal team called both Czmielewskis to the witness stand, getting the son to admit lying during his deposition. All of this evidence persuaded the jury, who found Czmielewski liable and assessed Harding’s damages award at $23.3 million. The damages award included $8 million for past pain and suffering, $12.5 million for future pain and suffering, and $2.8 million for future medical expenses.

Winning your personal injury case isn’t just about what happens at trial. A lot of what goes into a successful outcome derives from the preparation you and your legal team do in the days, weeks, and months before trial. The diligent Queens hit-and-run accident attorneys at Newman, Anzalone & Newman have been helping people injured in accidents for many years and know what it takes to achieve successful outcomes in personal injury cases. To schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified attorneys, contact us toll-free at 718-896-2700 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

How are hit-and-run drivers identified?, New York Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, May 16, 2016

What are my compensation options after a hit-and-run accident?, New York Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, April 4, 2015

Contact Information