On the afternoon of September 17, 2015, 37-year old John Rico Flores was driving home from work when he was struck by a Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) utility truck. The collision occurred at the intersection of the U.S. 9 South ramp and Albany Post Road in the city of Wappinger, New York.
Due to injuries he received in the collision, Mr. Rico Flores developed severe neck and shoulder pain. After medical and chiropractic treatments, the pain was not resolving, and Mr. Rico Flores sought the expertise of an orthopedic surgeon. In September 2017, Mr. Rico Flores underwent the first of two surgical procedures to correct his back pain. The following year, he received a surgical lumbar spine fusion. Prior to the injuries, Mr. Rico Flores had not missed a day of work as an electrician for White Plains Linen; he amassed three months of missed work prior to his first surgery and was released from his job after the second surgery. He has not been able to work since. His loss of mobility and constant pain interfere with his ability to continue working, and have created significant hardships in his everyday activities.
He filed suit against the MTA, claiming a loss of earnings exceeding $2,000,000. He was represented by Robert Vilensky of the law firm Ronemus & Vilensky, LLP. The defendant in the lawsuit claimed that Mr. Rico Flores was partially responsible for avoiding the collision, and that he was observed engaging in various activities after the injury and subsequent surgeries. The Supreme Court of Westchester County, NY rejected those claims, and with the help of mediator Joseph Erlich, Mr. Rico Flores was awarded a settlement of $2,000,000.