While some court systems have enabled the limited use of remote communication technology as they attempt to keep cases moving through their pipelines, other courts have ground to a halt amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The stoppage in trials, however, hasn’t stopped filings. And as we’re seeing in states like New York, injury victims continue to anxiously await their day in court as expenses resulting from their injuries pile up.
The New York Daily News profiled one such case in a recent post when they told the story of Daniel Moran and his wife Silvina. The two were riding a battery powered bicycle in the bike lane down Morgan Avenue in Williamsburg in 2019. A box truck operated by Frito-Lay turned into the lane and hit them. The event was caught on video.
The crash injured Daniel so severely that he was no longer able to work at his job at a local pizzeria. Without a sufficient source of income, the pair were forced out of their apartment as medical bills continued to pile up and force the couple even deeper into debt.
Moran’s lawsuit continues to sit pending in the New York court system and Frito-Lay hasn’t offered to pay the couple a dime for their injuries, lost wages, or the loss of their previously happy lives together.
The New York legislature has considered imposing interest rates on defendants in personal injury lawsuits that would go into effect from the moment the incident occurs. The move is an effort to pressure faster settlements, especially at a time when the court’s capacity is severely limited. The legislation has stalled in committee however, and one can only assume how much pressure legislators are under from lobbyists to keep the bill stalled for as long as possible.
In the meantime, the only thing plaintiffs like Daniel Moran can do is wait and hope for their day in court. “Before, we were happy together, and everything was good,” said Moran. “I know that COVID has made everything difficult…[but] I don’t think it’s right.”