Man struck by SUV, claimed permanent shoulder injury

Posted on June 13, 2019
by We can Help Law
Settlement $400,000
Case Robert Clark v. John J. LaValle and Kevin A. LaValle, No. BER-L-000233-18
Court Bergen County Superior Court
Date 12/17/2018
Plaintiff Attorney(s) Michael S. Noonan, Clark & Clark, LLC, Freehold, NJ
Defense Attorney(s) Thomas B. Hight, Chasan Lamparello Mallon & Cappuzzo, PC, Seacaucs, NJ

Our Attorneys Obtain Compensation for Bergen County Car Accident Injury Victim

Facts & Allegations

On Nov. 18, 2016, plaintiff Robert Clark, 70, was struck by a sport utility vehicle. The incident occurred in a parking lot located at 651 Kinderkamack Road, in River Edge. Clark was propelled onto the ground, and he claimed that he suffered an injury of a shoulder. Clark sued the vehicle’s driver, John LaValle, and the vehicle’s owner, Kevin LaValle. Clark alleged that John LaValle was negligent in the operation of a vehicle. He further alleged that Kevin LaValle was vicariously liable for John LaValle’s actions. The claim against Kevin LaValle was dismissed. The matter proceeded against John LaValle.


  • aggravation of pre-existing condition;
  • closed reduction;
  • decreased range of motion;
  • fracture, humerus;
  • fracture, shoulder;
  • necrosis;
  • physical therapy;
  • rotator cuff, injury (tear);
  • shoulder, dislocation;
  • supraspinatus muscle/tendon, tear

Clark was taken by ambulance to a hospital where he was admitted. He was X-rayed and diagnosed with a dislocation of the right shoulder, of his dominant arm, and a fracture to the right humeral head. The next day, Clark underwent a closed reduction in attempt to relocate the shoulder, but it was unsuccessful. He was later discharged and came under the care of an orthopedic surgeon. In the ensuing weeks, Clark underwent an MRI and was diagnosed with a massive rotator cuff tear of the right shoulder, which included tears of the supraspinatus and infraspinatus tendons with avascular necrosis of the humeral head. He was further diagnosed with an aggravation of preexisting shoulder arthritis.

Clark was put on a course of physical therapy, which he treated for two months; his treatment consisted of exercise.

Throughout 2017, Clark regularly consulted with his orthopedic surgeon, who determined that Clark did not respond well to the therapy and required a shoulder replacement.

On March 8, 2018, Clark underwent surgery to replace his shoulder. He then treated with a few months physical therapy. Despite the shoulder replacement, Clark’s range of motion remained at 60 to 70 degrees, and he did not have much improvement in his strength and function.

In October 2018, Clark underwent a revision surgery. The procedure allegedly improved his strength and function with a slight improvement in his range of motion. At the time of settlement, he continued to consult with his surgeon and treat with home exercises.

In his report, Clark’s surgeon opined that he had reached maximum medical improvement. However, if his symptoms persist or worsen, he may require additional treatment, including injection therapy and possible surgical intervention, the expert determined.

Clark alleged that it has been difficult adjusting to the limited range of motion in his right shoulder, which has forced him to favor his non-dominant arm. Clark, who was retired at the time of the accident, has had to forego golfing, which he played avidly. Additionally, he is unable to physically interact with his grandchild and has difficulty performing certain household duties.

He sought damages for past and future pain and suffering. In his report, the defense’s expert in orthopedic surgery, who examined Clark, conceded that the accident caused Clark’s shoulder injuries and ongoing limitations.


The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement.
LaValle’s insurer agreed to pay $400,000, from a policy that provided a substantially greater amount of coverage.


Allstate Insurance Co. for both defendants

Plaintiff Expert(s)

Stephen G. Silver, M.D., orthopedic surgery, New York, NY (treating doctor; did not testify)

Defense Expert(s)

J. Mervyn Lloyd, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Westwood, NJ (did not testify)

Editor’s Note

This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s counsel. Defense counsel did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls.


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