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Woman Loses Child in Car Accident, NY Appellate Court Denies Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgement


The plaintiff in the case is Tiffany McKendry. She is represented by William L. Nikas, Esq. from Hudson Falls. The defendant in the case is Eileen D. Thornberry. She is represented by Sean A. Tomko, Esq. from the law offices of Taylor & Associates in Albany, New York.


This is a case involving a car accident. The defendant is moving for a summary judgment in the case and the plaintiff opposes this motion.

Case Background

On the ninth of December in 2002, the two parties crashed their vehicles on Jacob Street and 8th Street in the City of Troy.

The defendant moves for a summary judgment in the case on the grounds that the plaintiff did not sustain a serious injury according to the Insurance Laws.

The bill of particulars from the plaintiff lists the loss of an unborn child as the grounds for serious injury resulting from the accident.

Defendant Argument

The argument from the defendant relies on the testimony of the plaintiff where she stated that a physician’s assistant told her that losing her baby was not a result of the car accident. The defendant also submits a report from a physician that states that it is his opinion that the miscarriage of the plaintiff was not caused by the motor vehicle accident in question. A New York Injury Lawyer said the doctor also states that from conception through the sixth week of pregnancy, the pregnancy is in the embryonic stage and is not yet a fetus. He also states that the plaintiff was no more than a week pregnant.

Plaintiff’s Argument

The plaintiff argues that a pregnancy, no matter what stage, constitutes a fetus, which is the term used in the No Fault Statute of the Insurance Laws. The plaintiff also states that there is a triable issue raised in this case by submission from her doctor who states that based on medical probability, the miscarriage was caused by the accident in question.

Case Discussion

Granting a summary judgment is a drastic remedy in any type of legal matter. In order for the court to grant a summary judgment it must be clear that there are no triable issues of fact in the case at hand. In this case, a Queens Personal Injury Lawyer said the defendant must show that she is entitled to this judgment by matter of law. The defendant must provide a sufficient amount of evidence in order to demonstrate there are no material issues of fact in the case.

The no fault insurance law put in place by the state of New York was to help alleviate litigation and the amount of recovery for non economic losses in instances of serious injuries as the result of an accident. A Staten Island Personal Injury Lawyer said woman who loses her unborn child as the result of an accident has sustained a serious injury. While the argument of the word “fetus” is not clear in regard to the law, the woman should still be given the right to recovery from a negligent driver.

Court Order

In this case the motion for summary judgment is denied. The court believes that there is triable issue in this case. The defendant failed to supply enough evidence to constitute a ruling of summary judgment. The Court finds in favor of the plaintiff and the case will move on in court.

If you are involved in a car accident and suffer from injuries, it is best to contact a lawyer for advice. The law offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates can help guide you through any type of legal matter, including car accident cases. Our offices are located throughout New York City and you may contact us at any time to set up a free consultation.

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