Court Nixes $2M Award for Man in Fender-Bender

New trial ordered over 2009 accident
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 22, 2016 11:17 AM CST
Court Nixes $2M Award for Man in Fender-Bender
A gavel sits on a desk inside the Court of Appeals in Denver.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

A $2 million award has been tossed out in the case of a man who sued following a fender-bender in central New Jersey. reports a state appeals court on Wednesday called it a "clear miscarriage of justice" and ordered a new trial. Joseph Berkowitz was rear-ended in 2009 by Susan Soper. Court documents say neither vehicle was damaged and Berkowitz didn't immediately seek medical attention but later went to a hospital after he said his back hurt. Berkowitz wasn't forced to end his career as a wine salesman, but he testified the pain was so intense he thought about suicide and found himself unable to play with his kids.

The appeals court found that comments made by Berkowitz's attorney that his client was recommended for surgery were unsubstantiated by experts and should not have been allowed. The ruling also says the judge failed to postpone the 2014 trial when Soper suffered a medical emergency and could not attend. (More New Jersey stories.)

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