The Master of Appeals


Derek Spada has once again won an appeal. His dedication to the clients of Basch & Keegan is unwavering. The time and energy he puts into writing briefs and motions on behalf of the firm’s clients proves this fact.

“I never give up for two reasons,” Derek explains. “First and foremost, I want to do the best job for our clients. Second, I hate to lose. When I win a case, it’s closure. I don’t really think about a case much after winning and move on to the next challenge. However, on the rare occasion when I lose a case, I think about it for days. I harp on the details of why the case was lost. These two reasons are why I fight so hard to win.”

This particular case has been ongoing for almost five years. Our clients are married and were both injured in a car collision. Both commenced a lawsuit against the negligent driver. After the completion of discovery, the Defendant moved for summary judgment on the serious injury threshold, which means that the defense claimed that the case should be dismissed because our clients were not injured sufficiently to proceed a case. We opposed the motion.

The Supreme Court denied the Defendant’s motion for the husband. We went on to settle his case for six-figures. However, the court dismissed the wife’s case. Derek appealed this decision on behalf of the wife.

Going back to the accident in 2017, the Defendant failed to yield the right of way and made a left turn in front of our client’s vehicle. Prior to the collision, our client was in very good health. She had no previous injuries to her neck, back or right shoulder, nor any physical limitations whatsoever. She was employed as pharmacist and her life changed dramatically after the collision.

Our client continued to experience pain in her neck, right and left shoulders. Despite attending physical therapy twice a week for six months, the symptoms in her neck back and shoulder progressively worsened over the months following the collision. She sought treatment from an orthopedic surgeon and began a course of pain management with injections. This provided some relief to her neck and right shoulder, but she continued to experience the same level of numbness and tingling in her right hand, which has persisted since the collision.

Our client returned to work as a pharmacist but struggled every day for months thereafter and had a sharp reduction in her productivity. She could not stand for prolonged times, could not reach the back of her workstation, could not operate the cash register, could not push down on safety caps for prescription bottles, could not pull filing cabinet drawers open, could not reach up on high shelves or life heavy objects. She basically had difficulty performing every aspect of her job for more than six months due to the pain she experienced from the crash.

In addition to the troubles at work after the collision, our client’s injuries adversely affected her at home as well. She struggled to complete household chores, such as vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, washing dishes, and handling laundry. In addition, she has been limited in engaging in physical activities with her children. Overall, she has experienced a diminution in her ability to enjoy life.

Multiple doctors noted that our client had serious injuries to her spine. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court credited one doctor’s unfounded opinion, overlooked the significance of the three-disc herniation’s, discounted recommendation for cervical surgery and dismissed her case.

Derek fought back. He wrote and filed an appeal, and then argued the case in Brooklyn where he stood in front of the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department.

After the case remained in the Appellate Division for two years, Derek received notice this week that he won the appeal. The case is reopened, and he will go back to Dutchess County to set a new trial date.

This is yet another victory for our client and the firm, and just one example of how Basch & Keegan will never give up and are always here to help.

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