Cortland karate instructor, severely injured by drunk driver, awarded $333K in lawsuit

CORTLAND, N.Y. – On a warm spring day in 2011, Troy Rodman parks his Ford pickup truck on South Main Street in downtown Cortland.

It was several hours before the Cortland County Dairy Parade was set to begin, and crews were getting ready to barricade the street.

Rodman was reaching into the back of his truck to grab some karate uniforms when a drunk driver drilled his truck from behind.

The impact caused the truck to hit Rodman, sending him 15 to 30 feet in the air.


This photo shows the damage incurred by the Subaru being driven by Frank DeAngles that crashed into Rodman's truck (photo provided)

Rodman suffered head, neck and back injuries and would be unable to return to work for the next 9 to 12 months, according to attorney Marty Lynn, who represented Rodman at his trial in state supreme court last week.

Rodman has been the owner of Bailey’s Karate on Homer Avenue for about 18 years, according to Lynn.

“From the moment he’s injured, his biggest concern is getting back to work at the karate studio,” Lynn said in an interview Monday (Rodman could not be reached for comment on this story).

Rodman’s trial concluded on Thursday, when a jury awarded him $333,220 in punitive damages.

Lynn, of the Syraucuse-based Lynn Law Firm, said the trial itself centered on Troy’s injuries and whether Frank DeAngles, the driver of the Subaru that crashed into Rodman's truck, should be held liable for them.

DeAngles, who was 21 at the time of the accident, was convicted on a DWI charge following the crash, Lynn said.

At the time of the accident, Rodman was reaching into the back of his truck to get karate uniforms to have students’ names printed on them, Lynn said.


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