McDaniel v. Lawton

On April 10, 2002, the six-year-old male plaintiff was crossing Webster Avenue in the Bronx when a vehicle struck him. The driver did not stop and left the scene. Based on a tip from an independent witness, the police traced the license plate to the defendant. The defendant denied that he or his vehicle was involved in the collision. The plaintiff sustained a comminuted fracture of the distal tibia and fibula of his right leg. At trial, the independent witness acknowledged that he had not seen the license plate of the vehicle but that he had been given a piece of paper from an unnamed individual which contained the license plate number. The independent witness further testified that the vehicle was a dark color but that it had sped past him and that he did not see the accident. The plaintiff’s three cousins were with him at the time of the accident. His 13 year old cousin testified that he saw a maroon vehicle with tinted windows strike the plaintiff. The defendant testified that he was at work at the time of the accident. The defendant related that, as always, he had taken public transportation to work, that he was the only person who had keys to the vehicle, and that the vehicle was in the same place after work that he had left it that morning.


After a one-day trial and after deliberating for two hours, the jury returned a defense verdict.

Case Notes

Supreme Court of the State of New York – County of Bronx
Index No.: 026341/2002
Defense Verdict – January 10, 2006
Judge: Howard R. Silver
Responsible Partner: Lisa Kramer
Client: Jacob A. Lawton, Sr. (New York Central Mutual Fire Ins. Co.)
Opposing Counsel: Luccese, D’Ammora & Haag in White Plains, NY