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VerdictSearch.com - Career Center
VerdictSearch.com
$13,000,000 Settlement v. State of New York
The Result Speaks for Itself
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
Farrell McManus
PUBLISHERS LETTER
4
TOP 25 NEW YORK SETTLEMENTS IN 2013
6
TOP 25 NEW YORK CASE SUMMARIES IN 2013
TOP 2013 SETTLEMENTS BY CATEGORY
8
33
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Motor Vehicle: Question Lights
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Government
Motor Vehicle: Rear End Collision
Insurance
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Motor Vehicle: Reversing
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Motor Vehicle: Bicycle
Motor Vehicle: Right Turn
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Motor Vehicle: Sideswipe
Motor Vehicle: Crosswalk
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Top New York Settlements of 2013
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VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
3
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
Dear Readers,
Welcome to Top Settlements New York 2013, a special section of the New York Law Journal encompassing settlements, mediations and
arbitrations.
The lawyers and law firms who are ranked in this special section represent the best of the best in 2013. Their zealous advocacy on
behalf of their clients is inspiring and deserving of our respect.
In addition to highlighting the Top 25 settlements, mediations and arbitrations reported to Verdict Search in 2013 we also break
down these listings by categories including Construction, Medical Malpractice, Premises Liability, Motor Vehicle and Workplace
Safety.
The following pages represent the passion, determination and skillful expertise of your colleagues. The work of these advocates in
2013 was outstanding and we salute them.
If you do not see a case you worked on last year, we encourage you to begin reporting your cases to VerdictSearch. You can submit a
case to VerdictSearch by telephone at 347.227.3236. For subscriptions to the VerdictSearch database of 175,000+ cases, call sales at
800.445.6823. VerdictSearch is second to none when it comes to verdict and settlement research and reporting. For over 40 years,
VerdictSearch has been the nation’s trusted source for news and research, providing legal and insurance professionals with the most
accurate, detailed case reports each week. You can find them online at www.verdictsearch.com
If you are interested in this topic, please remember that every Monday on page 5, the New York Law Journal runs a special Verdicts &
Settlements section in the paper highlighting recently submitted important or newsworthy cases.
Finally, I would like to extend a special thanks to the New York Law Journal sales, marketing and design teams as well as our
consultant on this project, Brian Corrigan, and his team. Their efforts enabled this fantastic supplement to come together despite
tight deadlines and a lot of changes by yours truly.
As always, if you have any thoughts on this program or any other we run here at the New York Law Journal please drop me a line. I
can be reached at [email protected]
I look forward to hearing from you!
Warm regards,
4
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
MEDIATED SETTLEMENTS
A SAMPLING OF CASES RESOLVED IN OUR PERSONAL INJURY DIVISION 2012-2013
DATE
AMOUNT
DATE
AMOUNT
DATE
AMOUNT
DATE
AMOUNT
DATE
AMOUNT
01-12-12
02-01-12
02-07-12
02-08-12
02-08-12
02-13-12
02-13-12
02-21-12
02-22-12
02-28-12
03-02-12
03-20-12
03-27-12
03-30-12
04-03-12
04-04-12
04-09-12
04-16-12
04-19-12
04-26-12
04-30-12
05-04-12
05-15-12
05-17-12
05-31-12
05-31-12
2,000,000
17,900,000
2,900,000
3,000,000
2,950,000
2,750,000
2,715,000
5,700,000
3,250,000
3,750,000
2,100,000
5,500,000
2,500,000
2,700,000
2,250,000
4,150,000
2,950,000
3,400,000
15,550,000
2,250,000
3,300,000
4,400,000
4,250,000
4,250,000
2,500,000
2,250,000
06-14-12
06-15-12
06-20-12
06-22-12
06-26-12
07-16-12
07-17-12
07-19-12
07-24-12
08-02-12
08-02-12
08-09-12
08-10-12
08-17-12
08-22-12
08-29-12
09-10-12
09-11-12
09-12-12
09-14-12
09-28-12
10-01-12
10-02-12
10-03-12
10-22-12
10-23-12
3,250,000
2,700,000
11,000,000
3,300,000
3,750,000
5,900,000
4,000,000
2,800,000
2,350,000
2,000,000
2,800,000
2,000,000
2,250,000
2,000,000
3,750,000
5,000,000
4,000,000
2,000,000
2,500,000
2,933,333
11,500,000
2,800,000
12,000,000
4,700,000
3,000,000
2,850,000
10-23-12
11-14-12
11-15-12
11-16-12
11-19-12
11-27-12
12-03-12
12-13-12
12-17-12
12-17-12
12-27-12
01-03-13
01-09-13
01-16-13
01-16-13
02-06-13
02-07-13
02-13-13
02-15-13
02-15-13
02-26-13
03-06-13
03-11-13
03-11-13
03-12-13
03-21-13
3,400,000
4,700,000
2,925,000
3,000,000
5,350,000
2,800,000
2,000,000
2,900,000
9,500,000
2,750,000
3,000,000
2,400,000
4,000,000
5,600,000
2,500,000
2,600,000
3,000,000
2,030,000
2,800,000
2,110,000
7,000,000
2,800,000
2,000,000
3,500,000
2,925,000
6,500,000
03-21-13
03-26-13
04-02-13
04-03-13
04-15-13
04-18-13
04-22-13
04-23-13
04-23-13
04-24-13
04-29-13
05-09-13
05-10-13
05-14-13
05-16-13
05-20-13
05-30-13
06-03-13
06-07-13
06-18-13
07-09-13
07-19-13
07-24-13
07-25-13
08-02-13
08-07-13
4,300,000
4,200,000
3,000,000
2,175,000
2,950,000
2,100,000
3,750,000
2,500,000
3,000,000
2,000,000
2,025,000
3,500,000
2,050,000
6,000,000
2,950,000
2,300,000
3,000,000
6,350,000
2,225,000
3,000,000
2,750,000
2,000,000
2,000,000
2,300,000
3,300,000
2,300,000
08-12-13
08-13-13
08-13-13
08-14-13
08-16-13
08-19-13
09-19-13
08-14-13
08-16-13
09-19-13
09-20-13
09-23-13
09-24-13
09-30-13
10-07-13
10-08-13
10-16-13
10-21-13
11-14-13
11-18-13
11-26-13
12-04-13
12-05-13
12-09-13
12-10-13
12-11-13
4,000,000
2,500,000
2,800,000
2,500,000
4,750,000
2,100,000
2,800,000
2,500,000
4,750,000
3,500,000
2,900,000
2,365,000
3,000,000
2,450,000
2,100,000
2,400,000
3,475,000
7,500,000
2,000,000
2,650,000
2,600,000
3,000,000
2,500,000
2,400,000
2,000,000
4,400,000
In addition to administering a wide variety of cases, including complex commercial and employment matters for more than
50% of the Fortune 100 companies, NAM also settles a significant number of personal and catastrophic injury matters. In
fact, in 2011 alone, NAM’s personal injury division resolved more than $1billion dollars of such cases in New York State.
The Better Solution
®
122 East 42nd Street, Suite 803, New York, New York 10168
Additional Locations: Garden City, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Westchester and Buffalo (800) 358-2550 | www.namadr.com
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
TOP 25 NEW YORK SETTLEMENTS IN 2013
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
1
Gardener v. City of
New York & Gardener v.
State of New York
1/2/13
Bronx Supreme &
Court of Claims, NY
Speeding: Car crash killed six; inadequate median
barrier blamed
Jeff S. Korek, New York, NY of Gersowitz, Libo & Korek, P.C.; Eric J. Buckvar, $22,194,000
New York, NY of Buckvar & Buckvar; Robert Harnick, New York, NY of
Harnick & Harnick
2
Rutland v. State of
New York
6/5/13
Court of Claims,
Rochester
Motor Vehicle: Road's defect led to paralyzing neck
injury, bicyclist claimed
Victor L. Mazzotti, Albany, NY of Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP
$13,000,000
3
Alpirez v. WBB
Construction Inc.
12/4/13
New York Supreme
Demolition: Large falling pipe struck Plaintiff in the
head causing fall from 12 ft scaffold.
Marc J. Rothenberg, Esq., of The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP
$11,500,000
4
Figueroa v. NYCH & HC
1/14/13
Bronx Supreme
Failure to Diagnose: Child's apnea led to hypoxia,
damage of brain, suit alleged
Robert J. Genis, Bronx, NY of Sonin & Genis
$7,000,000
4
Estate of Mata v.
3/5/13
Woodbourne Arboretum Inc.
Suffolk Supreme
Labor Law: Bystander killed during workers' repair
of irrigation device
Robert S. Kelner, Gerard K. Ryan, Jr. & Gail S. Kelner, New York, NY of
Kelner & Kelner
$7,000,000
6
Dolan v. New York
Presbyterian Hospital
6/3/13
New York Supreme
Labor Law: Hoisting accident caused spine, shoulder Kenneth Sacks & Daniel Weir, New York, NY of Sacks & Sacks, LLP
injuries, worker claimed
$6,350,000
7
Gallagher v. Resnick
8/14/13
Kings Supreme
Masonry supplier fell off roof. Summary judgment
on Labor Law 240(1) granted on appeal.
David H. Mayer, New York, NY of Sacks & Sacks LLP
$6,200,000
8
Stallone v. Plaza
Construction Corp.
5/9/13
New York Supreme
Accidents: Crane's ladder slippery and dangerous,
worker claimed
David H. Perecman & Adam M. Hurwitz, New York, NY of The Perecman Firm,
PLLC; Paul W. Cutrone, Douglaston, NY of Law Offices of Paul W. Cutrone
$6,000,000
8
Chan v. Railex LLC
1/17/13
Kings Supreme
Improper loading of truck led to paralyzing injury,
worker alleged
William J. Ryan, New York, NY of Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP
$6,000,000
10
Marca v. Andrew James
Interiors
12/5/13
Queens Supreme
Bicycle: Intoxicated bicyclist struck by van.
Police report adverse to plaintiff.
Kenneth Wilhelm, New York, NY of Law Office of Kenneth A. Wilhelm
$5,600,000
11
Hodor v. Kooyker
5/30/13
New York Supreme
Speeding: Motorist not mindful of wet road, injured Paul J. Edelstein & Glenn K. Faegenburg, Brooklyn, NY of The Edelsteins,
passenger claimed
Faegenburg & Brown LLP; Judah Z. Cohen, New York, NY of Judah Z.
Cohen, PLLC; Daniel A. Thomas, New York, NY of Daniel A. Thomas, P.C.
$5,500,000
12
Aguilar v. Alonzo
4/25/13
Kings Supreme
Multiple Vehicle: Trucker's inattentiveness led to
fishtailing, accident, suit alleged
$5,000,000
Alan S. Ripka, Esq.
Trial Lawyer
I am proud to have achieved
the Top NY Settlements in 2013
$2,400,000 – Ranked 3rd in Medical Malpractice
$2,000,000 – Ranked 5th in Medical Malpractice
$1,000,000 – Ranked 8th in Medical Malpractice
Headquarters
Empire State Building
350 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10118
NapoliBern.com
646.381.7065
[email protected]
Personal Injury • Medical Malpractice • Wrongful Death
6
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
Sharon A. Scanlan, Newburgh, NY of Jacoby & Meyers; Lorenzo J. Tasso,
Long Island City, NY
AMOUNT
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
TOP 25 NEW YORK SETTLEMENTS IN 2013
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
12
Estate of Burgio v.
Leroy Holding Co. Inc.
5/7/13
Niagara Supreme
Tired trucker crossed line, caused fatal crash, suit
alleged
John J. Fromen, Jr., Buffalo, NY of John J. Fromen Attorneys At Law, P.C.
$5,000,000
14
Muriqi v. Charmer
Industries Inc.
4/16/13
Bronx Supreme
Workplace Safety: Fall through shelf caused
disabling injuries, worker claimed
Scott Occhiogrosso & Daniel P. O'Toole, New York, NY of Block, O'Toole &
Murphy, LLP
$4,650,000
15
Cruz-Acosta v. 15 Fort
Washington Avenue Housing
Development Fund Corp.
1/16/13
Bronx Supreme
Proper equipment would have prevented fall,
worker claimed
Jacob Oresky, Bronx, NY of Jacob Oresky & Associates, PLLC
$4,500,000
16
Geiger v. Consolidated
3/1/13
Edison Co. of New York Corp.
New York Supreme
Worker fell out of truck, injured brain, spine,
shoulder
David H. Mayer & Kenneth Sacks, New York, NY of Sacks & Sacks
$4,300,000
17
Wallner v. County of Ulster
7/31/13
Ulster Supreme
County, town ignored recurrent road hazard,
plaintiff claimed
Terrence E. McCartney, New York, NY of Rheingold, Valet, Rheingold,
McCartney & Giuffra LLP
$4,000,000
18
Young v. Singh
2/1/13
Queens Supreme
Railroad Crossing: Samaritan hurt when train hit
and toppled disabled rig
Stephen J. Murphy & Christina Mark, New York, NY of Block O'Toole &
Murphy, LLP
$3,925,000
19
Clarke v. AKHK Brooklyn
Restaurant, LLC
12/3/13
Kings Supreme
Labor Law: Plaintiff injured shoulder and neck after
falling off scaffold.
David H. Perecman, New York, NY of The Perecman Firm, PLLC
$3,600,000
20
Camacho v. Salem
5/1/13
Dutchess Supreme
Obstetrics: Botched delivery resulted in developmen- Brian Brown, New York, NY of Zaremba Brownell & Brown PLLC
tal delays and autism spectrum disorder.
$3,500,000
21
Hadden v. Boxberger
1/7/13
Ulster Supreme
Roofer claimed icy conditions necessitated scaffold
or harness
Joseph E. O'Connor, Kingston, NY of Mainetti, Mainetti & O'Connor, P.C.
$3,350,000
22
Mejias v. Ceva Logistics
U.S. Inc.
10/5/13
Queens Supreme
Trucking: Makeshift fix of truck's lift gate led to
accident, suit alleged
Jonathan S. Damashek, New York, NY of Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, PC
$3,050,000
23
Diaz v. City of New York
7/23/13
Bronx Supreme
Speeding: Plaintiff claimed she was struck by
speeding police vehicle
Steven Smedresman, New York, NY of Law Office of Steven Smedresman
P.C. and Alan R. Chorne, Esq., New York, NY
$3,000,000
23
Berisha v. 1957 Bronxdale
Corp.
3/7/13
Bronx Supreme
Apartment: Toddlers burned by water falling off
unsecured stove, plaintiff alleged
Ylber Albert Dauti, New York, NY of The Dauti Law Firm, P.C.
$3,000,000
25
Sanchez v. Lonero Transit
Inc.
4/9/13
Bronx Supreme
Broadside: Vehicular accident caused spinal injury,
plaintiff claimed
Daniel P. O'Toole & Frederick C. Aranki of Block, O'Toole & Murphy, LLP, New
York, NY, trial counsel to Elliot Ifraimoff & Associates, P.C., Forest Hills, NY
$2,925,000
The Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan firm is located in New York City and specializes
in personal injury law. The law firm consists of 4 experienced attorneys and 10
assistants, investigators, interpreters and secretaries. We have obtained more than
100 recoveries of $1,000,000 or more for our clients.
THE #8 SETTLEMENT
IN NEW YORK STATE IN 2013
Congratulations to Partner Bill Ryan for securing this family’s future
through his efforts.
475 Park Avenue South, Suite 2800 New York, NY 10016 | Phone - (212) 685-7411 | www.newyorkconstructionaccidentfirm.com
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
7
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
TOP 25 NEW YORK CASE SUMMARIES IN 2013
Number One
Motor Vehicle
Motor Vehicle — Transportation — Government — Wrongful Death
Car crash killed six; inadequate median
barrier blamed
AMOUNT$22,194,000 combined settlement for all plaintiffs in
two related matters
TYPESettlement
Case
Gardener v. City of New York & Gardener v. State of New York
VENUE
Bronx Supreme Court and NYS Court of Claims
Judge
Alison Y. Tuitt, Bronx County Supreme Court
Hon. Faviola Soto, NYS Court of Claims
Date
January 2, 2013
Injury
Type(s)
leg - fracture, fracture, femur
head - head, closed head injury
brain - coma, brain damage, traumatic brain injury
other - death, hematoma, unconsciousness, physical therapy
surgeries/treatment - open reduction, internal fixation
mental/psychological - cognition, impairment, memory, impairment
Plaintiff(s) Felicia Green, Howard Raymond, Sandra Gardener, Brenda G. Peters,
Shatora Gardener, Eleanor Blackwell, Estate of Aysia Green, Estate of
Brendan Daye, Estate of Jamel Gardener, Estate of Derrick Gardener,
Estate of Keywann Gardener, Estate of Jeremiah Blackwell
Plaintiff
Attorney(s) Jeff S. Korek; Gersowitz, Libo & Korek, P.C.; New York, NY,
Eric J. Buckvar; Buckvar & Buckvar; New York, NY,
Robert Harnick; Harnick & Harnick; New York, NY
Plaintiff
expert(s)
Wayne Gordon Ph.D.; Neuropsychology; New York, NY;
Ronald Simon M.D.; Trauma; Bronx, NY;
Charles Kincaid Ph.D.; Vocational Rehabilitation; Hackensack, NJ
Jeffrey Siedenberg Ph.D.; Economics; Riverdale, NY
Michael Lipton M.D., Ph.D.; Neuroradiology; New York, NY
Nicholas Bellizzi P.E.; Engineering; Holmdel, NJ
Defendant(s) City of New York, (in Bronx Supreme)
Estate of Keywann Gardener (in Bronx Supreme)
State of New York (in NYS Court of Claims)
Facts & Allegations On July 9, 2006, plaintiff’s decedent Keywann Gardener, 23, was
driving on the southbound side of the Bronx River Parkway, in the West Farms section of
the Bronx. Plaintiff Howard Raymond, 20, a student, and plaintiff’s decedents Jeremiah
Blackwell, 43, Brendan Daye, 18, Derrick Gardener, 23, Jamel Gardener, 14, and Aysia
Green, 8, were passengers.
Keywann Gardener lost control of his car while he was approaching the interchange at
177th Street. The car mounted a 2-foot-tall cement barrier that separated the southbound
and northbound sides of the parkway, traveled some 200 feet, struck a light post, and
landed on the road’s northbound side, where it collided with a van and a car. Blackwell,
Daye, Derrick Gardener, Jamel Gardener, Keywann Gardner and Green sustained fatal
injuries. Raymond sustained injuries of his head and a leg.
Raymond’s guardian and the estates of Blackwell, Daye, Derrick Gardener, Jamel
Gardener and Green sued Keywann Gardener and the Bronx River Parkway’s maintainer,
the city of New York. The plaintiffs alleged that Keywann Gardener was negligent in the
operation of his vehicle, that the city was negligent in its maintenance of the parkway and
that the city’s negligence created a dangerous condition that caused the accident.
In a subsequent filing, Keywann Gardener’s estate sued the city of New York. The estate
alleged that the city was negligent in its maintenance of the parkway. The estate further
alleged that the city’s negligence created a dangerous condition that caused the accident.
8
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
These two NYS Supreme Court cases were consolidated. The plaintiffs’ expert engineer
opined that the barrier, which was constructed in 1948, was not of sufficient height to stop
or redirect vehicles that were headed toward oncoming traffic. A similar fatal accident
occurred some 19 years prior to the instant accident, and, as such, plaintiffs’ counsel
contended that the city was aware that the barrier was inadequate. Plaintiffs’ counsel
also presented two employees of the New York City Department of Transportation, which
maintains the city’s roads. The witnesses claimed that they had notified supervisors that
the barrier was inadequate. They also opined that the barrier, given its small size, could
have acted as a ramp.
The city’s counsel contended that the barrier was of state-of-the-art quality. They
claimed that the accident was solely a result of Keywann Gardener driving erratically
and failing to maintain a safe speed. Gardener’s estate’s counsel contended that the city’s
counsel could not establish that Gardener was speeding. He claimed that an adequate
barrier would have prevented the accident.
Summary judgment rulings established that Gardener was negligent in the operation
of his vehicle and that the city was negligent in its failure to address the adequacy of the
barrier.
Plaintiffs’ suit against New York State advanced substantially the same allegations as
against the City in the Bronx Supreme Court matters.
Injuries/Damages Blackwell, 43, Daye, 18, Derrick Gardener, 23, Jamel Gardener, 14,
and Green, 8, were believed to have died immediately from head injuries. Their respective
estates sought recovery of wrongful-death damages. Blackwell’s widow and the mothers
of the other decedents presented derivative claims.
Keywann Gardener, 23, sustained a fatal injury, though he was alive when he was
rescued from his vehicle. He was placed in an ambulance, and he was transported to a
hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His estate sought recovery of wrongful-death
damages that included damages for his pain and suffering.
Howard Raymond sustained an injury of his head and a fracture of the distal region of
his right leg’s femur. He became comatose. He was placed in an ambulance, and he was
transported to Jacobi Medical Center, in the Bronx. His fracture was addressed via open
reduction and internal fixation. His coma lasted several weeks, and his hospitalization
lasted 40 days. He subsequently underwent about eight weeks of inpatient physical
therapy.
Raymond’s counsel contended that his client sustained brain damage causing
impairment of attentiveness, executive functions, memory and other cognitive functions.
Counsel claimed that Raymond undergoes occupational therapy and requires assistance of
many of his everyday activities. He also claimed that Raymond, a high school senior at the
time of the accident, had expected to play college basketball. He contended that Raymond
cannot attend college, play basketball or obtain gainful employment. He also contended
that Raymond’s condition will eventually necessitate the retention of a residential aide.
Raymond sought recovery of past and future medical expenses, the cost of future
residential care, past and future lost earnings, and damages for past and future pain and
suffering.
Defense counsel contended that Raymond is employable. They also contended that he
will not require a residential aide.
Result
Bronx County Supreme Court matter The city negotiated several pretrial settlements. Daye’s estate recovered $300,000; Derrick Gardener’s estate recovered $499,000;
and Green’s estate recovered $150,000. However, those agreements did not resolve the
settling plaintiffs’ claims against Keywann Gardener’s estate.
During the trial, the parties negotiated settlements that resolved the remaining claims.
The city agreed to pay a total of $10.5 million. Blackwell’s estate recovered $700,000;
Jamel Gardener’s estate recovered $400,000; Keywann Gardener’s estate recovered
$400,000; and Raymond recovered $9 million. Keywann Gardener’s estate’s insurer
agreed to tender its policy. The payment is expected to comprise six payments of $20,000:
one to Raymond and one to each of the five estates.
The pretrial and in-trial settlements totaled $11,569,000. The in-trial settlements were
finalized in conjunction with a settlement of a companion case against the state of New
York, which also maintained the Bronx River Parkway. That case was filed in the New
York State Court of Claims, and it was settled via a payment of $10,625,000. Thus, the
plaintiffs’ total recovery was $22,194,000. The companion case can be found at ALM
No. 214312.
NYS Court of Claims matter The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement. The state
agreed to pay $10,625,000. Blackwell’s estate recovered $700,000; Daye’s estate recovered $75,000; Derrick Gardener’s estate recovered $75,000; Jamel Gardener’s estate
recovered $350,000; Keywann Gardener’s estate recovered $350,000; Green’s estate
-Continued on p10
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
-Continued from p8
recovered $75,000; and Raymond recovered $9 million. The settlement was finalized in
conjunction with a settlement of a companion case against the city of New York, which
also maintained the Bronx River Parkway. That case was filed in the Bronx County
Supreme Court, and it was settled via a payment of $11,569,000. Thus, the claimants’
total recovery was $22,194,000. The companion case can be found at ALM No. 214086.
Editor’s comment This report is based on an article that was published in the New
York Times, information that was provided by claimants’ counsel and information that
was provided by defense counsel.
Number Two
Premises Liability
Recreation — Transportation — Government — Dangerous Condition of Public Property
Road’s defect led to paralyzing neck injury,
bicyclist claimed
AMOUNT$13,000,000
TYPESettlement
Case
Rutland v. State of New York
VENUE
Court of Claims, Rochester
Judge
Philip J. Patti
Date
June 5, 2013
Injury
Type(s)
neck - neck, fusion, cervical
surgeries/treatment - decompression surgery
paralysis/quadriplegia - quadriplegia
Plaintiff(s) Joanne Rutland (Male),
Walter Rutland, Jr. (Male, 49 Years)
Plaintiff
Attorney(s) Victor L. Mazzotti; Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP; Albany, NY,
for Joanne Rutland, Walter Rutland, Jr.
Plaintiff
expert(s)
Mindy Shah M.D.; Geriatrics; Rochester, NY;
Eugene Camerota P.E.; Accident Reconstruction; Syracuse, NY
Jerome Thomas P.E.; Highway/Street Design; Albany, NY
Joseph Carfi M.D.; Physical Medicine; New Hyde Park, NY
Stephen Kates M.D.; Orthopedic Surgery; Rochester, NY
William Blanchfield Ph.D.; Economics; Utica, NY
Defendant(s) State of New York
Facts & Allegations At about 7:20 p.m. on July 30, 2008, claimant Walter Rutland
Jr., 49, a computer engineer, was bicycling on the westbound shoulder lane of Roosevelt
Highway, in Kendall. While he was approaching the intersection at Kendall Road, he
decelerated and veered toward the right, to avoid a vehicle that was approaching from
behind. He fell off of his bicycle, landed on the ground and sustained injuries of his neck.
Rutland sued Roosevelt Highway’s maintainer, the state of New York. He alleged that
the state was negligent in its maintenance and repair of the road. He further alleged that
the state’s negligence created a dangerous condition that caused his accident.
The accident occurred within two weeks of the completion of a repaving of Roosevelt
Highway. Rutland claimed that his fall was a result of his bicycle’s front tire having
encountered a drop-off that separated the newly resurfaced section and a fringe that had
not been resurfaced. He estimated that the road’s main surface was 2.5 inches higher than
the fringe. Witnesses described the defect as “deteriorated,” “rutted,” “spalled” and “a
small pothole.”
The court heard testimony by a maintenance supervisor employed by the New York
State Department of Transportation, which oversaw the resurfacing project. The witness
acknowledged that the drop-off would have been repaired had he noticed it. Testimony
also indicated that workers had inspected and repaired other defects of the road during
the weeks that preceded the accident.
10
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
Defense counsel noted that Rutland regularly bicycled on Roosevelt Highway and
had been aware of the ongoing resurfacing project. He contended that the resurfacing
project was properly performed and that the alleged defect was a minor condition
that was not hazardous to bicyclists. He suggested that the accident was a result of
the bicycle’s front tire having released because of a defective condition of the bicycle,
which Rutland had modified.
Injuries/Damages The trial was bifurcated. Damages were not before the court.
Rutland sustained damage of the C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6, and C7 levels of his spine. He
was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital, in Rochester. After two days had passed,
he underwent decompression and fusion of the damaged portion of his spine, but he had
already sustained permanent damage that causes incomplete quadriplegia. Rutland retains
limited ambulatory ability: He can traverse distances of about 25 feet. He claimed that his
disability prevents his performance of most of his everyday tasks. He also claimed that he
cannot resume work. He requires extensive medical treatment.
Rutland sought recovery of a total of $5.2 million for past and future medical expenses,
a total of about $1.7 million for past and future lost earnings, and unspecified damages
for past and future pain and suffering. Rutland’s wife sought recovery of damages for
loss of services.
Result On Oct. 13, 2012, Judge Philip Patti ruled that both parties were liable for the
accident. The state was assigned 90 percent of the liability, and Rutland was assigned 10
percent of the liability, based on what Patti deemed a defective condition of Rutland’s
bicycle.
During the week that preceded the scheduled start of the trial’s damages phase, the
parties negotiated a settlement. The state agreed to pay $13 million.
Editor’s comment This report is based on court documents and information that
was provided by claimants’ counsel. Defense counsel did not respond to the reporter’s
phone calls.
Number Three
workplace
Worker/Workplace Negligence — Fall from height
Laborer sustained brain, eye damage after fall
from scaffold
AMOUNT$11,500,000
TYPESettlement
Case
Alpirez v. WBB Construction Inc.
VENUE
New York Supreme
Judge
George J. Silver
Date
December 4, 2013
Injury
Type(s)
Brain damage
Eye Injury
Plaintiff
Attorney(s) Marc J. Rothenberg, Esq. of The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP
Plaintiff
expert(s)
Linda Lajterman, R.N., C.L.C.P., life care planning, Ramsey, NJ
Alan M. Leiken, Ph.D., economics, Stony Brook, NY
Facts & Allegations On Feb. 11, 2008, plaintiff Alejandro Alpirez, 37, a laborer,
worked at a demolition site that was located at 1107 Broadway, in Manhattan.
During the course of the day, Alpirez and a co-worker were directed to cut a pipe
that was suspended from a high ceiling. The task necessitated their use of a scaffold
and a chain saw. A rope was placed around the pipe, to secure it while it was being
cut. The pipe’s supporting device broke while Alpirez was cutting the pipe. The pipe
swung downward, and it struck Alpirez’s head and the scaffold. Alpirez fell off of
the scaffold, plummeted about 12 feet and landed on his head. He sustained injuries
of his face and head.
Alpirez sued the project’s general contractor, WBB Construction Inc.; the premises’
owners, 1107 Broadway LLC, 1107 Broadway Mezz I LLC, 1107 Broadway Mezz II
-Continued on p12
The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP Wins $11.5 Million
on behalf of Injured New York Construction Worker
Marc Rothenberg, Partner in The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP, won an $11.5 million settlement
at trial for construction worker Alejandro Alpirez in Alpirez v. WBB Construction, Inc. et al. The
settlement is one of the largest awards in New York this year for an individual construction worker.
On February 11, 2008, Mr. Alpirez, then 37, suffered a severe traumatic brain injury on a construction site when an improperly-secured large metal pipe broke from the ceiling, hit him in the head
and caused him to fall from an unsecure scaffold to the ground, landing on his head. Mr. Alpirez
sustained a traumatic brain injury, lost the sight in his right eye and suffered numerous other disabling neurological and cognitive impairments.
The suit Mr. Rothenberg brought on behalf of Mr. Alpirez charged Tessler Developments LLC and
1107 Broadway LLC (the building owners) and WBB Construction, Inc. (the general contractor) with
negligence. Those defendants brought in Mr. Alpirez’s employer — All Waste Interiors LLC — as a
third party defendant. In addition to the $11.5 million settlement, Mr. Rothenberg secured a total
waiver of a more-than $300,000 Workers’ Compensation lien for Mr. Alpirez.
The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP has obtained has obtained numerous multi-million-dollar
verdicts, settlements and awards for its catastrophically injured clients. The Rothenberg Firm
specializes in personal injury and wrongful death cases in New York, New Jersey, and
Pennsylvania. For more than 40 years, The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP has exclusively represented
victims of serious injury and their families in a wide variety of contexts, helping to rebuild their
shattered lives. The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP maintains offices in New York City; Hackensack, NJ;
Cherry Hill, NJ; Lakewood, NJ; and Philadelphia, PA.
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
-Continued from p10
VENUE
Judge
Bronx Supreme Court
Douglas E. McKeon
LLC and Tessler Developments LLC; and the premises’ former owners, 200 Fifth Avenue
Associates LLC and 200 Fifth LLC. Alpirez alleged that the defendants violated the
New York State Labor Law.
Evidence established that 200 Fifth Avenue Associates and 200 Fifth had sold the
premises prior to the accident, so those parties were dismissed.
The remaining defendants impleaded Alpirez’s employer, All Waste Interiors LLC. The
first-party defendants alleged that All Waste Interiors controlled and directed Alpirez’s
work functions.
Alpirez claimed that his fall was a result of the scaffold’s platform having been struck
by the falling pipe. He contended that one of the platform’s two planks fell and that,
as a result, the structure shook and moved. Plaintiff’s counsel claimed that the scaffold
should have been secured and that its platform should have been protected by a railing.
He contended that a municipal investigator immediately inspected the scaffold and
determined that the lack of railings constituted a hazard.
Alpirez also claimed that he was not provided a harness, a lanyard or any other
equipment that could have prevented his fall or injuries. He further claimed that a suitable
anchorage point was not available for the attachment of a harness or lanyard, if one had
been provided. During a deposition, a representative of All Waste Interiors acknowledged
that the company had not provided safety equipment for every worker at the site.
Plaintiff’s counsel contended that the incident stemmed from an elevation-related
hazard, as defined by Labor Law § 240(1), and that Alpirez was not provided the proper,
safe equipment that is a requirement of the statute. He also contended that the site was
not properly safeguarded, as required by Labor Law § 241(6).
Defense counsel contended that eight safety harnesses were available at the work site
during the day of the accident, but that Alpirez did not use one. They also contended
that the site’s supervisors were not aware that Alpirez was not using a harness. All Waste
Interiors’ counsel contended that the company’s employees had been directed to use
harnesses.
Plaintiff’s counsel moved for summary judgment of liability, and the motion was
granted. The matter proceeded to damages.
Date
January 14, 2013
Injury
Type(s)
brain - brain damage
other - contracture
mental/psychological - cognition, impairment
pulmonary/respiratory - apnea, hypoxia
paralysis/quadriplegia - spastic quadriplegia
Injuries/Damages fracture, orbit; fracture, facial bone; brain damage; traumatic brain
injury; craniotomy; open reduction; internal fixation; vision, partial loss of; cognition,
impairment; memory, impairment; concentration, impairment; hearing, partial loss of
Alpirez sustained fractures of orbital bones, which form the eye’s sockets. He also
sustained damage of his brain. He was placed in an ambulance, and he was transported
to St. Vincent’s Hospital, Manhattan. He underwent a craniotomy, and his fractures were
addressed via open reduction and internal fixation. His hospitalization lasted more than
two weeks.
Alpirez’s fractures resulted in the permanent loss of his right eye’s vision. His brain’s
injury resulted in permanent impairment of his audition and permanent impairment of
cognitive functions that include his concentration, his expressiveness and his memory.
Plaintiff’s counsel contended that Alpirez will develop dementia. He claimed that Alpirez
will require increasing residential care and assistance that will eventually necessitate
institutionalization.
Alpirez sought reimbursement of a workers’ compensation lien that exceeded $300,000.
He also sought recovery of his past and future medical expenses, his past and future lost
earnings, and damages for his past and future pain and suffering.
Result The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement. The defendants’ insurers agreed to
pay $11.5 million. The settlement also included a waiver of Alpirez’s workers’ compensation lien.
Editor’s comment This report is based on court documents, information that was
provided by plaintiff’s counsel and information that was provided by All Waste Interiors’
counsel. Counsel of 200 Fifth Avenue Associates and 200 Fifth was not asked to contribute, and the remaining defendants’ counsel did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls.
Number Four
Medical Malpractice
Failure to Treat — Failure to Diagnose
Child’s apnea led to hypoxia, damage of brain,
suit alleged
Plaintiff(s) Amber Rose Figueroa (Male, 4 Months)
Plaintiff
Attorney(s) Robert J. Genis; Sonin & Genis; Bronx, NY, for Amber Rose Figueroa
Defendant(s) New York City Health and Hospitals Corp.
Facts & Allegations In August 1995, plaintiff Amber Figueroa, a 4-month-old girl,
was transported to Jacobi Medical Center, in the Bronx. Amber’s mother reported that
Amber’s respiration had stopped during the child’s sleep. A doctor opined that the child
had choked.
In October 1995, Amber was returned to Jacobi Medical Center. Amber’s mother
reported another instance of Amber’s respiration having stopped during the child’s sleep.
A doctor opined that the incident was a benign episode of deep respiration.
During a later portion of October 1995, Amber was returned to Jacobi Medical Center.
Amber’s mother reported another instance of Amber’s respiration having stopped during
the child’s sleep. Doctors determined that the event caused hypoxia that damaged the
infant’s brain. Amber suffers resultant spastic quadriplegia.
Amber’s mother claimed that Amber’s hypoxic event was an episode of sleep apnea.
She contended that the condition caused the prior interruptions of Amber’s respiration,
and she claimed that it should have been diagnosed during the first examination by Jacobi
Medical Center’s doctors. She contended that proper treatment could have prevented
Amber’s hypoxic event.
Amber’s mother, Melissa Figueroa, acting individually and as Amber’s parent and
natural guardian, sued Jacobi Medical Center’s operator, New York City Health and
Hospitals Corp. The plaintiffs alleged that Jacobi Medical Center’s staff failed to promptly
diagnose the condition that caused Amber’s hypoxia, that the staff’s failure constituted
malpractice, and that New York City Health and Hospitals was vicariously liable for the
actions of Jacobi Medical Center’s staff.
Plaintiffs’ counsel contended that many infants experience sleep apnea, and he
claimed that Amber’s mother did not report symptoms that suggested that Amber was
suffering the condition. He contended that the condition should have been diagnosed
during Amber’s first presentation to Jacobi Medical Center. He claimed that the child
could have received a monitor that would have signaled a prolonged interruption of
its respiration.
Defense counsel contended that Amber did not suffer sleep apnea. He also contended
that Amber’s mother did not report symptoms that suggested that Amber was suffering
the condition.
Injuries/Damages Plaintiffs’ counsel claimed that Amber suffered hypoxia that was a
product of an episode of sleep apnea. The hypoxic event caused damage of Amber’s brain,
and Amber suffers residual impairment of her cognition. She also suffers residual spastic
quadriplegia, though surgeries relieved several contractures that stemmed from that
condition. Amber requires the use of a wheelchair, and plaintiffs’ counsel contended that
Amber will require lifelong aid. He also contended that Amber’s condition will prevent
her pursuit of a meaningful career.
Amber’s mother sought recovery of Amber’s past and future medical expenses, damages
for Amber’s future loss of earnings, and damages for Amber’s past and future pain and
suffering. She also presented a derivative claim.
Defense counsel contended that Amber’s impairment is not a product of sleep apnea.
Result The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement. New York City Health and Hospitals
agreed to pay $7 million.
Editor’s comment This report is based on information that was provided by
plaintiffs’ counsel. Defense counsel did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls.
AMOUNT$7,000,000
TYPESettlement
Case
Figueroa v. NYCH & HC
12
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
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2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
-Continued from p12
Number Four
Wrongful Death
Worker/Workplace Negligence — Labor Law
Bystander killed during workers’
repair of irrigation device
AMOUNT$7,000,000
TYPE
Case
VENUE
Judge
Mediated Settlement
Estate of Mata v. Woodbourne Arboretum Inc.
Suffolk County Supreme Court
Hon. John DiBlasi
Date
March 5, 2013
Injury
Type(s)
head - fracture, skull
brain - traumatic brain injury, internal bleeding
other - death, laceration, crush injury
Plaintiff(s) Estate of Ciro A. Mata (Male, 35 Years)
Mata’s family collected workers’ compensation benefits in the wake of his death,
so Mata’s estate was legally barred from pursuing a lawsuit against Litwin. However,
the remaining defendants’ counsel contended that they were alter egos of Litwin. As
such, he claimed that Mata was a “special employee” of Woodbourne Arboretum and
Woodbourne Cultural Nurseries and therefore legally barred from suing those entities.
In response, the estate’s counsel contended that Woodbourne Arboretum, a nonprofit
corporation, could not legally commingle its assets with profit-making ventures. They also
contended that Litwin, Woodbourne Arboretum and Woodbourne Cultural Nurseries
maintained separate payrolls and staffs.
The estate’s counsel moved for summary judgment of the claims that alleged violations
of Labor Law 240(1) and 241(6). The direct defendants’ counsel moved for summary
judgment of the claim that Mata’s estate was legally barred from suing his clients. Judge
John J.J. Jones Jr. denied both motions and dismissed the claims that alleged violations of
Labor Law 240(1) and 241(6).
Injuries/Damages Mata sustained crush-induced fractures of each side of his skull. He
also sustained lacerations of his brain. He died at the scene of the accident.
Mata, 33, was survived by a wife and three 2-month-old children. Mata’s annual
earnings typically approximated $40,000, and his employer provided a rent-free residency
that enhanced the value of Mata’s employment.
Mata’s estate sought recovery of wrongful-death damages that included Mata’s past
and future lost earnings, the estate’s past and future loss of household services, and
Mata’s children’s loss of parental guidance. The estate also sought recovery of damages
for Mata’s pain and suffering, but Jones dismissed that claim, based on medical reports
that suggested that Mata died instantaneously.
Defense counsel contended that Mata was not a skilled worker and that, as such, he
may have had difficulty sustaining his earnings. They also contended that Mata’s earnings
were mostly self-consumed, leaving little for his estate.
Plaintiff
Attorney(s) Robert S. Kelner, Gail S. Kelner & Gerard K. Ryan Jr.; Kelner &
Kelner; New York, NY, for Estate of Ciro A. Mata
Result The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement, which was finalized via the guidance
of mediator John DiBlasi, of National Arbitration and Mediation Inc. The primary insurer of Woodbourne Arboretum and Woodbourne Cultural Nurseries tendered its policy,
which provided $1 million of coverage; their excess insurer agreed to pay $2.5 million;
and Litwin’s insurer agreed to pay $3.5 million. Thus, the settlement totaled $7 million.
Plaintiff
expert(s)
Ronnie Spiegel ; Real Estate; Merrick, NY
Thomas Fitzgerald Ph.D.; Economics; Mount Vernon, VA
Editor’s comment This report is based on court documents and information that
was provided by plaintiff’s counsel. Defense counsel did not respond to the reporter’s
phone calls.
Defendant(s)
Leonard Litwin,
Glenwood Management Corp.,
Woodbourne Arboretum Inc.,
Woodbourne Cultural Nurseries Inc.
Facts & Allegations On June 28, 2005, plaintiff’s decedent Ciro Mata, 33, a gardener,
worked at a storage garage that was located at 221 Old East Neck Road, in Melville. The
garage was typically used by employees of a nearby nursery and a nonprofit corporation
that was creating an arboretum at the nursery. Employees of the nursery and the nonprofit
corporation were repairing a mobile irrigation cannon whose weight exceeded 2,000
pounds. The three-wheeled device’s rear axle had been removed, so the device was being
supported by jacks. The device tipped while a worker was attempting to move it, and it
fell onto Mata. Mata sustained a fatal injury of his head.
Mata’s estate sued the nursery, Woodbourne Cultural Nurseries Inc.; the nonprofit
corporation, Woodbourne Arboretum Inc.; and a company that was believed to have
managed and/or owned the premises on which the accident occurred, Glenwood
Management Corp. The estate alleged that the defendants violated the New York State
Labor Law.
Glenwood Management and Woodbourne Cultural Nurseries impleaded Mata’s
employer, Leonard Litwin, who was Woodbourne Arboretum’s president. Glenwood
Management and Woodbourne Cultural Nurseries alleged that Litwin was vicariously
liable for Mata’s work activities.
Glenwood Management was ultimately dismissed. The matter proceeded against the
remaining defendants.
The estate’s counsel claimed that the accident occurred while Mata was acting as a
spotter for the workers who were repairing the irrigation cannon. They also claimed that
the workers had requested Mata’s assistance and that, since Mata was not directing the
work or following a superior’s orders, he thusly could not be assigned comparative fault.
They contended that the incident stemmed from an elevation-related hazard, as defined
by Labor Law 240(1), and that Mata was not provided the proper, safe equipment that
is a requirement of the statute. They also contended that the defendants violated Labor
Law 200, which defines general safety requirements. They further contended that the
defendants failed to provide proper safeguards, as required by Labor Law 241(6).
Labor Law 240(1) is not applicable to incidents that occur during routine maintenance
or work that does not involve a significant alteration of a building, and defense counsel
contended that Mata was injured during a task that was a matter of routine maintenance.
Defense counsel also contended that Labor Law 241(6) was inapplicable because the
accident did not occur during construction, demolition or excavation work.
14
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
Number Six
Construction
Accidents — Labor Law
Hoisting accident caused spine, shoulder injuries,
worker claimed
AMOUNT$6,350,000
TYPESettlement
Case
Dolan v. New York Presbyterian Hospital
VENUE
New York County Supreme Court
Judge
Milton A. Tingling Jr.
Date
Injury
Type(s)
June 3, 2013
back - fracture, fracture, T3, fracture, T4, fusion, lumbar, fracture,
vertebra, fracture, T3, fracture, T4, herniated disc, lumbar, herniated
disc at L4-5, herniated disc at L5-S1, herniated disc, thoracic,
herniated disc at T3-4
neck - fracture, fracture, C6, fracture, C7, fusion, cervical, fracture,
vertebra, fracture, C6, fracture, C7, herniated disc, cervical, herniated
disc at C4-5, herniated disc at C5-6, herniated disc at C6-7
other - bone graft, facetectomy, chiropractic, SLAP lesion/tear,
physical therapy, compression fracture
shoulder - glenoid labrum, tear
neurological - radiculopathy
surgeries/treatment - discectomy, arthroscopy, laminectomy,
laminectomy, lumbar, decompression surgery
-Continued on p16
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TOP 30 NEW YORK VERDICTS
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
Loja v. Lavelle
Jan 27
Westchester Supreme
Landscaper hit by car
while unloading trailer,
lost leg
Jonathan Rice, Dobbs Ferry, NY $11,192,399
of Grant and Longworth, LLP
AMOUNT
Wooden Plaque
glossy Prints
Digital license
In PrInt, DIgItal, anD IntegrateD MeDIa.
www.almreprints.com
Scan barcode to get a quote.
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
Number Seven
-Continued from p14
workplace
Plaintiff(s) Gerard Dolan (Male, 46 Years),
Leslie Dolan (Male)
Slips, Trips & Falls — Worker/Workplace Negligence — Labor Law
Plaintiff
Attorney(s) Kenneth Sacks & Daniel Weir; Sacks & Sacks, LLP; New York, NY,
for Gerard Dolan & Leslie Dolan
Fall from roof caused disabling injuries,
worker claimed
Plaintiff
expert(s)
AMOUNT$6,200,000
Ronald Missun Ph.D.; Economics; Louisville, KY
Douglas Wayne; Life Care Planning; Richmond, VA
Defendant(s) Cornell Iron Works,
Bovis Lend Lease LMB Inc.,
New York-Presbyterian Hospital
Facts & Allegations At about 6 a.m. on Dec. 31, 2007, plaintiff Gerard Dolan, 46, a
glasser, worked at a construction site that was located at 525 E. 68th St., in Manhattan.
Glass panels had been delivered to the work site, and Dolan’s duties included the
supervision of the process of hoisting those panels to an upper level of a building that was
being constructed. During the course of that task, Dolan was struck by the hoisting sling.
He claimed that he sustained injuries of his back, his neck and his shoulders.
Dolan sued the premises’ owner, New York-Presbyterian Hospital; the construction
project’s general contractor, Bovis Lend Lease LMB Inc.; and one of the project’s
subcontractors, Cornell Iron Works Inc. Dolan alleged that the defendants violated the
New York State Labor Law.
Dolan claimed that the accident was a result of glass panels having been improperly
loaded into the hoisting sling. He claimed that the sling swung uncontrollably when one
of the panels shifted.
Dolan’s counsel contended that the incident stemmed from an elevation-related
hazard, as defined by Labor Law 240(1), and that Dolan was not provided the proper,
safe equipment that is a requirement of the statute. He moved for summary judgment of
liability, and the motion was granted. The matter proceeded to damages.
Injuries/Damages Dolan was placed in an ambulance, and he was transported to New
York-Presbyterian Hospital. He claimed that he was suffering pain that stemmed from his
back, his neck and his shoulders. His hospitalization lasted several days.
Dolan ultimately claimed that he sustained herniations of his C4-5, C5-6, C6-7, L4-5,
L5-S1 and T3-4 intervertebral discs; fractures of his C7 and T4 vertebrae; a fracture of
his spine’s C6 facet joint; a compression fracture of his T3 vertebra; a tear of his left,
nondominant shoulder’s glenoid labrum; and a tear of the superior aspect of his right
shoulder’s glenoid labrum. The latter injury is commonly termed a “SLAP lesion.” He also
claimed that he developed residual radiculopathy.
Dolan initially underwent chiropractic manipulation and physical therapy, but he
claimed that the treatment did not resolve his pain. On Jan. 26, 2010, he underwent
decompressive surgery that included a discectomy, which involved the excision of the
anterior portion of his C6-7 disc; corpectomies, which involved the removal of portions
of his C6 and C7 vertebrae; fusion of his spine’s C6-7 level; and the implantation of
stabilizing hardware. On May 19, 2011, he underwent decompressive surgery that
included a laminectomy, which involved the partial excision of his L4 and L5 vertebrae;
a facetectomy, which involved the decompression of roots of spinal nerves; a discectomy,
which involved the excision of his L4-5 disc; fusion of the corresponding level of his spine;
and the implantation of an allograft: bony matter harvested from a cadaver. On Jan. 9,
2012, he underwent arthroscopic surgery that addressed his right shoulder. On June 14,
2012, he underwent arthroscopic surgery that addressed his left shoulder.
Dolan claimed that he suffers permanent residual pain and limitations that prevent his
resumption of work. He undergoes chiropractic manipulation and physical therapy. He
sought recovery of a total of $6,117,358 for past and future medical expenses and lost
earnings and a total of about $4 million for past and future pain and suffering. His wife
presented a derivative claim.
The defense’s expert neurologist submitted a report in which he opined that Dolan’s
injuries were degenerative conditions that predated the accident.
Result The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement. The defendants’ insurers agreed to
pay a total of $6.35 million.
Editor’s comment This report is based on court documents, information that was
provided by plaintiffs’ counsel and information that was provided by defense counsel.
16
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
TYPESettlement
Case
Gallagher v. Resnick
VENUE
Kings Supreme Court
Judge
Kenneth P. Sherman
Date
Injury
Type(s)
August 14, 2013
back - fracture, fracture, T4, fracture, T5, fracture, vertebra, fracture,
T4, fracture, T5, fracture, transverse process, herniated disc, thoracic
head - head, headaches, fracture, skull
neck - fracture, vertebra, fracture, transverse process, herniated disc,
cervical, herniated disc, thoracic
brain - brain damage, traumatic brain injury
chest - fracture, rib
other - gastrostomy, hemicraniectomy, decreased range of motion
shoulder - fracture, fracture, scapula, shoulder impingement, rotator
cuff, injury (tear)
face/nose - fracture, facial bone, fracture, orbit
hand/finger - finger, finger, dislocation, fracture, finger
sensory/speech - vertigo
arterial/vascular - hemorrhage
surgeries/treatment - open reduction, internal fixation, decompression
surgery, tracheostomy/tracheotomy
mental/psychological - mental/psychological, amnesia, anxiety,
depression, cognition, impairment, memory, impairment
pulmonary/respiratory - respiratory, pneumothorax, collapsed lung
Plaintiff(s) Philip Gallagher (Male, 50 Years),
Mary Katherine Gallagher (Male)
Plaintiff
Attorney(s) Kenneth Sacks & David H. Mayer; Sacks & Sacks, LLP; New York,
NY, for Philip Gallagher, Mary Katherine Gallagher
Defendant(s) S. Donadic Inc.,
Scott N. Resnick,
Coffey Contracting Inc.
Facts & Allegations On April 23, 2009, plaintiff Philip Gallagher, 50, the owner of
a business that produced masonry materials, visited a renovation site that was located
at 293 W. Fourth St., in Manhattan. Gallagher intended to perform measurements that
would allow proper creation of masonry materials that he had agreed to provide. During
the course of that work, he fell off of the roof of a four-story structure. He plummeted
about 10 feet, landed on a lower roof, and sustained injuries of his back, his face, a finger,
his head, a lung, his neck, several ribs and a shoulder.
Gallagher sued the premises’ owner, Scott Resnick, the renovation project’s general
contractor, S. Donadic Inc., and a subcontractor that had been hired to perform masonry
work, Coffey Contracting Inc. Gallagher alleged that the defendants violated the New
York State Labor Law. He also alleged that the defendants negligently created a dangerous
condition that caused his accident.
Gallagher’s counsel ultimately discontinued the claim against Resnick. The matter
proceeded against the remaining defendants.
Gallagher claimed that his head’s injury caused amnesia that prevents his recollection of
the events that led to the accident, but his counsel contended that the incident was a result
of the defendants’ failure to provide proper equipment. Gallagher’s counsel contended that
guardrails should have been installed around the perimeter of the roof, that the defendants
provided an improperly constructed ladder that was too short to allow safe access to the
roof and that a scaffold would have allowed safe access. They also contended that the
defendants did not provide a safety harness, a hard hat, or any other device that could have
prevented Gallagher’s fall and/or injuries. They claimed that the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration investigated the accident and blamed a lack of similar equipment.
Gallagher’s counsel contended that the incident stemmed from an elevation-related
hazard, as defined by Labor Law 240(1), and that Gallagher was not provided the proper,
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safe equipment that is a requirement of the statute. They also contended that the site was
not properly safeguarded, as required by Labor Law 241(6). They further contended that
the defendants violated Labor Law 200, which defines general safety requirements.
Defense counsel noted that Labor Law 240(1) is not applicable to incidents that occur
during routine maintenance or work that does not involve a significant alteration of a
building, and they contended that simple measurement of a job site does not constitute a
significant alteration of a building.
Defense counsel also noted that Labor Law 241(6) is not applicable to incidents that
occur during work that does not involve construction, demolition or excavation, and they
argued that Gallagher’s accident did not occur during such work.
Each party moved for summary judgment of liability. Judge Laura Lee Jacobson
dismissed the claims that alleged violations of Labor Law 240(1) and 241(6), but she ruled
that a jury would have to assess the remaining claims. Gallagher’s counsel appealed, and
the appellate division, Second Department, reversed. The Second Department determined
that the defendants were liable via application of Labor Law 240(1). The matter proceeded
to damages.
Injuries/Damages Gallag her sustained a fracture of his skull’s temporal bone; a
fracture of an orbital bone, which forms an eye socket; fractures of transverse processes
of his T4 and T5 vertebrae; a fracture of his right, dominant shoulder’s scapula; a tear of
the same shoulder’s rotator cuff; a dislocation and fracture of his left hand’s forefinger;
herniations of discs of his spine’s cervical and thoracic regions; and fractures of several
ribs. One fractured rib caused a pneumothorax: the collapse of a lung. His head’s injuries
resulted in hemorrhages and damage of his brain. He also developed impingement of his
right shoulder.
Gallagher was placed in an ambulance, and he was transported to a hospital. He
immediately underwent a decompressive hemicraniectomy. After a week had passed, he
underwent a tracheostomy and a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy, which involved the
insertion of a tube that provided access to his stomach. His hospitalization lasted two weeks.
On June 10, 2009, Gallagher underwent a cranioplasty. He also underwent open
reduction and internal fixation of the fracture of his left hand’s forefinger.
Gallagher claimed that his brain’s damage causes residual impairment of his
attentiveness, his executive functions, his organizational skills, his memory and other
elements of his cognition. He also claimed that he suffers retrograde amnesia, chronic
headaches and vertigo. He undergoes neurological therapy.
Gallagher further claimed that he suffers a severe residual diminution of his back’s
range of motion, a severe residual diminution of his right shoulder’s range of motion,
residual impairment of his respiration and severe limitation of his left hand’s ability to
grasp objects. He also claimed that he is largely bedridden and works only sporadically.
He undergoes pain management, but he claimed that he will likely require surgeries that
could involve the removal of vertebrae and/or fusion of a portion of his spine.
Gallagher also claimed that his residual effects caused anxiety and depression. He
undergoes psychological therapy.
Gallagher sought recovery of past and future medical expenses, past and future lost
earnings, and damages for past and future pain and suffering. His wife sought recovery
of damages for loss of companionship, consortium and services.
Defense counsel contended that Mr. Gallagher achieved a good recovery. They also
contended that Gallagher can resume work.
Result The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement. The defendants’ insurers agreed to
pay a total of $6.2 million.
Editor’s comment This report is based on court documents, information that
was provided by plaintiffs’ counsel and information that was provided by S. Donadic’s
counsel. Coffey Contracting’s counsel did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls, and
Resnick’s counsel was not asked to contribute.
Number Eight
Construction
Accidents — Labor Law — Scaffolds and Ladders — Slips, Trips & Falls
Crane’s ladder slippery and dangerous,
worker claimed
AMOUNT$6,000,000
TYPESettlement
Case
Stallone v. Plaza Construction Corp.
VENUE
New York County Supreme Court
Judge
Lucy A. Billings
Date
May 9, 2013
Injury
Type(s)
other - physical therapy
shoulder - rotator cuff, injury (tear), subscapularis muscle, tear,
shoulder, rotator cuff, injury (tear), supraspinatus muscle/tendon, tear
Plaintiff(s) Michelle Stallone (Male),
Michael V. Stallone (Male, 45 Years)
Plaintiff
Attorney(s) David H. Perecman & Adam M. Hurwitz; The Perecman Firm, PLLC;
New York, NY, for Michelle Stallone, Michael V. Stallone
Paul W. Cutrone; Law Offices of Paul W. Cutrone; Douglaston, NY,
for Michelle Stallone, Michael V. Stallone
Plaintiff
expert(s)
Ian Stein M.D.; Neurology; Great Neck, NY
Marc Grusensky M.D.; Psychiatry; Commack, NY
Mary English PT; Physical Therapy; Northport, NY
David Payne M.D.; Radiology; New York, NY
David Gazzaniga M.D.; Orthopedic Surgery; Newport Beach, CA
Rajen Naidoo M.D.; Orthopedic Surgery; Loxahatchee, FL
Kristin Kucsma M.A.; Economics; Livingston, NJ
Richard Schuster Ph.D.; Vocational Rehabilitation; White Plains, NY
Russell Warren M.D.; Orthopedic Surgery; New York, NY
Jonathan Boxer M.D.; Internal Medicine; Huntington, NY
Defendant(s)
Related Cos. Inc.,
Related Cos. L.P.,
Abington Properties,
Plaza Construction Corp.,
17th and 10th Associates LLC,
Taconic Investment Partners LLC,
Livingston Electrical Associates Inc.
Facts & Allegations At about 5:20 a.m. on Feb. 6, 2007, plaintiff Michael Stallone,
45, a union-affiliated engineer who operated tower cranes, worked at a construction
site that was located at 450 W. 17th St., in Manhattan. Stallone slipped while he
was descending a ladder that was affixed to one side of a tower crane. He fell off of
the ladder, plummeted some 14 feet and landed on a steel deck. He claimed that he
sustained an injury of a shoulder.
Stallone sued the construction project’s general contractor, Plaza Construction
Corp.; a subcontractor that installed the crane’s electrical system, Livingston Electrical
Associates Inc.; and the premises’ owners, 17th and 10th Associates LLC, Abington
Properties, Taconic Investment Partners LLC, The Related Cos. Inc., and The Related
Cos. L.P. He alleged that the defendants violated the New York State Labor Law.
Stallone claimed that the accident was a result of cold, dark conditions. The crane
and its ladder were typically heated and illuminated electrically, but the electrical
system was not functioning at the time of the accident. Stallone also claimed that the
ladder’s rungs were small and slippery. His counsel contended that the rungs should
have been corrugated, dimpled or knurled or that a skid-resistant material should have
been applied. Stallone further claimed that he was not provided a safety line or any
other equipment that could have prevented his fall or his injuries.
Stallone’s counsel contended that the incident stemmed from an elevation-related
hazard, as defined by Labor Law 240(1), and that Stallone was not provided the
proper, safe equipment that is a requirement of the statute. They also contended
that the defendants failed to provide proper safeguards, as required by Labor Law
241(6), and that the defendants violated Labor Law 200, which defines general safety
requirements.
Defense counsel contended that the work site was reasonably safe and that the
accident was a result of Stallone’s decision to descend the ladder during dark conditions.
Injuries/Damages Stallone did not seek immediate medical attention, though he did
not complete a full day of work. After 91 days had passed, he presented to a doctor.
A subsequent MRI scan revealed that Stallone was suffering a partial tear of his left
shoulder’s supraspinatus tendon, which is an element of the rotator cuff. Stallone
claimed that the injury was a product of the accident.
On Sept. 20, 2007, Stallone underwent arthroscopic surgery that addressed his left
shoulder. The surgeon reported having observed a massive rupture of the rotator cuff,
a tear of the rotator cuff’s subscapularis muscle, a tear of the supraspinatus tendon, and
near-complete retraction of the tendons that covered the shoulder’s acromioclavicular
and humeral components. The damage could not be repaired, so Stallone underwent
a second surgery, a latissimus dorsi transfer, in which one of his chest’s muscles was
reconfigured to provide support for his left shoulder. Stallone subsequently underwent
about 36 months of physical therapy.
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Stallone claimed that he suffers residual pain and severe residual limitations that prevent
his resumption of physical labor. He has not worked since September 2007. He also
claimed that his residual effects hinder his performance of his everyday activities.
Stallone sought recovery of past and future lost earnings and damages for past and
future pain and suffering. His wife presented a derivative claim.
Defense counsel contended that Mr. Stallone exaggerated the extent of his injuries and
limitations. They also contended that Stallone aggravated his initial injury by continuing
to work for several months.
Result After the trial’s first day, the parties negotiated a settlement. Livingston Electrical
Associates’ insurer agreed to pay $1,625,000, and the remaining defendants’ insurer
agreed to pay $4,375,000. Thus, the settlement totaled $6 million.
Editor’s comment This report is based on court documents and information that
was provided by plaintiffs’ counsel. Defense counsel did not respond to the reporter’s
phone calls.
Number Eight
workplace
Worker/Workplace Negligence — Transportation — Trucking
Improper loading of truck led to paralyzing
injury, worker alleged
AMOUNT$6,000,000
TYPE
Case
VENUE
Judge
Mediated Settlement
Chan v. Railex LLC
Kings Supreme Court
Allen Hurkin-Torres
Date
January 17, 2013
Injury
Type(s)
neck - fracture, fracture, C5, fracture, vertebra, fracture, C5
paralysis/quadriplegia - quadriplegia
The direct defendants’ counsel contended that the pallets were properly wrapped. They
claimed that the accident was a result of unloading that occurred at Top City Produce.
They also claimed that Chan failed to exercise due caution.
Injuries/Damages Chan sustained a burst fracture of his C5 vertebra. The injury
resulted in permanent quadriplegia.
Chan was placed in an ambulance, and he was transported to Bellevue Hospital Center,
in Manhattan. He has been confined to a nursing facility since being released from the
hospital.
Chan sought recovery of past and future medical expenses, past and future lost earnings,
and damages for past and future pain and suffering. His wife presented a derivative claim.
Result The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement, which was finalized via the guidance of mediator Allen Hurkin-Torres, of Jams. Top City Produce’s insurers agreed
to pay a total of $5,775,000; Railex’s insurer agreed to pay $150,000; and Leroy
Dedicated Logistics’ insurers agreed to pay a total of $75,000. Thus, the settlement
totaled $6 million. Chan also expects to recover lifelong workers’ compensation
benefits.
Editor’s comment This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiffs’
counsel, Leroy Dedicated Logistics’ counsel and Top City Produce’s counsel. Railex’s
counsel did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls, and A&J Produce’s counsel was
not asked to contribute.
Number Ten
Motor Vehicle
Bicycle
Intoxicated bicyclist struck by turning van.
Police report adverse to plaintiff
AMOUNT$5,600,000
TYPESettlement
Case
Marca v. Andrew James Interiors
VENUE
Queens Supreme Court
Judge
Darrell L. Gavrin
Date
January 16, 2013
Plaintiff(s) Wan Yuan Chan (Male, 49 Years),
Kwan Ting Chan (Male, 50 Years)
Injury
Type(s)
Brain injury; skull fractures; quadraplegia
Plaintiff
Attorney(s) William J. Ryan; Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP; New York, NY
Plaintiff(s)Segundo Marca, as guardian of the person and property of Luis Marca
Defendant(s)
Railex LLC,
A&J Produce Corp.,
Top City Produce Inc.,
Leroy Dedicated Logistics Inc.
Facts & Allegations On April 6, 2010, plaintiff Kwan Ting Chan, 50, a laborer,
was unloading a tractor-trailer that was parked on Division Place, near its intersection
at Morgan Avenue, in the East Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. During the course of
the work, Chan’s head was struck by a box that had fallen off of a pallet. He sustained
a paralyzing injury of his neck.
Chan sued the tractor-trailer’s owner, Leroy Dedicated Logistics Inc.; the owner of the
facility whose workers loaded the tractor-trailer, Railex LLC; and another entity that was
believed to have been involved in the loading of the tractor-trailer, A&J Produce Corp.
Chan alleged that the defendants were negligent in their loading of the tractor-trailer. He
further alleged that the defendants’ negligence caused his accident.
Chan’s counsel ultimately discontinued the claim against A&J Produce. The remaining
defendants impleaded Chan’s employer, Top City Produce Inc. The first-party defendants
alleged that Top City Produce’s workers were negligent in their unloading of the tractortrailer. The first-party defendants further alleged that Top City Produce’s negligence
caused the accident.
Chan’s counsel contended that the tractor-trailer contained several pallets, each of
which supported 60 boxes with individual weights of about 30 pounds. He claimed
that the boxes were supposed to be secured by plastic wrap and cardboard corner
panels, but that one box fell off of a pallet and struck Chan. He also claimed that
Leroy Dedicated Logistics failed to ensure that the pallets were properly secured
within the truck.
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VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
Plaintiff
Attorney(s) Kenneth A. Wilhelm, New York, NY; The Law Office of
Kenneth A. Wilhelm
Defendant(s) Andrew James Interiors, Inc and Daniel Cardenas
Facts & Allegations Plaintiff, guardian of the person and property of Luis Marca
(Marca), sought damages for personal injuries sustained by Marca in an automobile
accident allegedly caused by defendants’ negligence. Marca was riding a bicycle wearing
a helmet when he was struck by a van owned by Andrew James Interiors and operated
by its employee, Daniel Cardenas. Marca was removed from the scene of the accident
to the hospital by ambulance. Marca sustained serious brain damage rendering him
unable to speak.
The Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm commenced suit on behalf of plaintiff in
Queens Supreme Court (31734/2009) and ultimately secured a settlement of $5,600,000
on January 16, 2013.
The police report stated: “Witness who is bicyclist’s brother states they were both
traveling S/B (southbound) on Jun. Blvd. (Junction Boulevard) on their bikes when
bicyclist made quick left causing him to be struck by vehicle 1.” A blood test administered
at the hospital revealed injured plaintiff’s blood alcohol level exceeded the legal limit.
The victim suffered severe brain damage and was rendered paraplegic as a result of the
accident.
The defense claimed that the victim did not wear a helmet. Mr. Wilhelm said his firm
hired a biomechanical expert who determined that a helmet could not have prevented the
victim’s injuries because it would not have extended down to cover the area of his skull
that was fractured in the incident. “The expert also determined that the fracture in the
back of the skull meant he was hit in the rear by a motor vehicle,” Wilhelm said. “The
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hospital record also showed no injuries to the left side of his body, which we said, would
occur if the injured person had made a quick left in front of the van. If that were true,
there would have been injuries to the left and also the right side of the body when he hit
the ground.”
Injuries/Damages The victim suffered severe brain damage and was rendered
paraplegic as a result of the accident. Plaintiff’s biomechanical expert determined that a
helmet could not have prevented the victim’s injuries because it would not have extended
down to cover the area of his skull that was fractured in the incident. “The expert also
determined that the fracture in the back of the skull meant he was hit in the rear by a motor
vehicle,” Wilhelm said. “The hospital record also showed no injuries to the left side of his
body, which we said, would occur if the injured person had made a quick left in front of
the van. If that were true, there would have been injuries to the left and also the right side
of the body when he hit the ground.”
Result The case pending in Supreme Court, Queens County was settled for 5.6 million dollars which, plaintiff’s counsel reports, represents more than 93% of all available
insurance.
Editor’s comment This report is based on court documents, information that was
provided by plaintiffs’ counsel.
Number Eleven
Motor Vehicle
Speeding — Passenger — Single Vehicle — Weather Conditions
Motorist not mindful of wet road, injured
passenger claimed
AMOUNT$5,500,000
TYPESettlement
Case
Hodor v. Kooyker
VENUE
New York County Supreme Court
Judge
George Silver
Date
Injury
Type(s)
May 30, 2013
knee - medial meniscus, tear
neck - fracture, fracture, C5, fusion, cervical, fracture, vertebra,
fracture, C5
other - bone graft, massage therapy, physical therapy, hardware
implanted, decreased range of motion
Plaintiff(s) Michael Hodor (Male, 30 Years)
Plaintiff
Attorney(s) Paul J. Edelstein & Glenn K. Faegenburg; The Edelsteins, Faegenburg
& Brown LLP; Brooklyn, NY
Daniel A. Thomas; Law Offices of Daniel A. Thomas, P.C.; New York,
NY
Judah Z. Cohen; Law Office of Judah Z. Cohen, PLLC;
New York, NY
Plaintiff
expert(s)
Defendant(s)
John Bendo M.D.; Orthopedic Surgery; New York, NY
Barry Root M.D.; Physical Medicine; Glen Cove, NY
Robert Gotlin ; Physical Medicine; New York, NY
Stuart Kahn M.D.; Physical Medicine; New York, NY
Matthew Zepnick ; Investigation; New York, NY
Willem Kooyker,
Terence R. Kooyker
Facts & Allegations At about 1 a.m. on July 18, 2009, plaintiff Michael Hodor,
30, a technologist, was a passenger of a car that was being driven by Terence Kooyker,
who was traveling on Amsterdam Avenue, near its intersection at West 72nd Street, in
Manhattan. Kooyker lost control of the vehicle, and the vehicle mounted a sidewalk and
struck a lamppost. Hodor claimed that he sustained an injury of his neck.
Hodor sued Kooyker and the vehicle’s owner, Willem Kooyker. Hodor alleged that
Terence Kooyker was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Hodor further alleged that
Willem Kooyker was vicariously liable for Terence Kooyker’s actions.
Hodor claimed that the accident occurred during wet conditions. He further claimed
that Terence Kooyker was speeding and not exercising due caution.
Kooyker claimed that he lost control while attempting to avoid a taxi that had veered
into the immediate path of his car. Defense counsel attempted to invoke the emergency
doctrine, which prevents the attachment of liability to motorists who reasonably and
prudently respond to a sudden, unexpected emergency that necessitates a speedy reaction.
Injuries/Damages Hodor was placed in an ambulance, and he was transported to New
York-Presbyterian Hospital, in Manhattan. He underwent minor treatment.
Hodor, who suffers skeletal dysplasia, commonly known as “dwarfism,” ultimately
claimed that he sustained a fracture of his C5 vertebra. He also claimed that the injury
caused instability of his spine’s C4-5 level. On Sept. 9, 2009, he underwent surgery
that involved fusion of several levels of his spine’s cervical region, the implantation of
stabilizing hardware and the application of a graft of bony matter.
Hodor claimed that he was unable to perform any physical activities during the six months
that followed the surgery. After having resumed physical activity, Hodor began to report that
his knees were painful. An MRI scan revealed that he was suffering a tear of his right knee’s
medial meniscus. Hodor’s dysplasia had caused severe degeneration of the knee, but Hodor
claimed that the torn meniscus was a result of physical stress caused by the fracture of his spine.
He subsequently underwent massage therapy, physical rehabilitation and physical therapy.
Hodor did not work during the six months that followed his surgery. After a period
in which he worked from his home, he returned to the office, though he claimed that he
could not perform certain strenuous tasks.
Hodor claimed that he suffers residual pain and a residual diminution of his neck’s
range of motion. He further claimed that he requires additional treatment that could
include surgery that would address his spine and/or his right knee.
Hodor sought recovery of future medical expenses and damages for past and future
pain and suffering.
Defense counsel contended that Hodor’s fracture was a result of a congenital condition
that predated the accident and had necessitated three prior fusions of Hodor’s spine. He
claimed that Hodor’s post-accident surgery was an extension of the prior fusions and was
not related to any trauma that Hodor may have sustained during the accident. He also
contended that Hodor’s right knee’s tear was not related to the accident.
Defense counsel further contended that Hodor achieved a good recovery. He claimed
that Hodor has resumed all of his pre-accident work duties and that Hodor exaggerated
the extent of his future medical needs.
Result The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement. The defendants’ insurer agreed to
pay $5.5 million.
Editor’s comment This report is based on information that was provided by
plaintiff’s counsel. Defense counsel did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls.
Number Twelve
Motor Vehicle
Multiple Vehicle
Trucker’s inattentiveness led to fishtailing,
accident, suit alleged
AMOUNT$5,000,000
TYPESettlement
Case
Aguilar v. Alonzo
VENUE
Kings Supreme Court
Judge
George Silver
Date
April 25, 2013
Injury
Type(s)
leg - fracture, fracture, femur, crush injury, leg
chest - fracture, rib
other - prosthesis, fracture, sacrum, physical therapy, pins/rods/screws,
intramedullary fixation
pelvis - fracture, pelvis
amputation - leg, leg (below the knee)
surgeries/treatment - open reduction, internal fixation
pulmonary/respiratory - lung, puncture
gastrointestinal/digestive - bowel/colon/intestine, perforation
Plaintiff(s) Juan Sanchez (Male),
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Osmin Aguilar (Male, 30 Years)
Plaintiff
Attorney(s) Lorenzo J. Tasso, Long Island City, NY, for Juan Sanchez, Osmin Aguilar
Sharon A. Scanlan; Jacoby & Meyers; Newburgh, NY,
for Juan Sanchez, Osmin Aguilar
Plaintiff
expert(s)
Jerry Lubliner M.D.; Orthopedics; New York, NY
Defendant(s)
Clara Alonzo,
Osmin Aguilar,
Auguste Shurland,
Pai Trucking Corp.,
Juan Sanchez [defense],
Juan Sanchez [liability],
Salem Truck Leasing Inc.
Facts & Allegations On June 29, 2005, plaintiff Osmin Aguilar, 30, a trucker, was
driving on the northbound side of the Van Wyck Expressway, in Queens. His truck
collided with the rear end of a preceding truck that was being driven by plaintiff Juan
Sanchez, who was braking to avoid a stopped vehicle that was being operated by Auguste
Shurland. The impact crushed the cabin portion of Aguilar’s truck, which later struck a
road barrier. Aguilar sustained injuries of a leg, his intestines, his lungs, his pelvis, his
sacrum and several ribs.
Aguilar sued Sanchez; the lessor of Sanchez’s truck, Salem Truck Leasing Inc.;
Shurland; and the owner of Shurland’s vehicle, Clara Alonzo. Aguilar alleged that
Sanchez and Shurland were negligent in the operation of their respective vehicles. Aguilar
further alleged that the remaining defendants were vicariously liable for the actions of
the drivers of their respective vehicles.
In a subsequent filing in Queens County Supreme Court, Sanchez sued Aguilar and the
owner of Aguilar’s truck, Pai Trucking Corp. Sanchez alleged that Aguilar was negligent
in the operation of his vehicle. Sanchez further alleged that Pai Trucking was vicariously
liable for Aguilar’s actions.
The cases were consolidated in Kings County Supreme Court, but Sanchez’s claim was
ultimately dismissed.
Aguilar claimed that Sanchez’s vehicle fishtailed and initiated the collision. His counsel
contended that Sanchez was not maintaining a proper lookout or due caution. Aguilar
also claimed that Shurland had stopped on the expressway after being involved in a
collision with another vehicle. Aguilar’s counsel contended that Shurland should have
driven onto the expressway’s shoulder.
Sanchez claimed that Shurland stopped suddenly and unexpectedly. Sanchez’s counsel
attempted to invoke the emergency doctrine, which prevents the attachment of liability
to motorists who reasonably and prudently respond to a sudden, unexpected emergency
that necessitates a speedy reaction.
Sanchez also claimed that Aguilar failed to exercise due caution, and he denied having
initiated the collision with Aguilar’s truck. Sanchez’s accident-reconstruction expert
agreed that Aguilar caused the collision.
Shurland claimed that he suddenly stopped when another motorist veered into his
immediate path. He also claimed that he attempted to drive onto the expressway’s
shoulder.
Injuries/Damages Aguilar sustained crush-induced fractures and injuries of the lower
portion of his left leg, a fracture of the same leg’s femur, fractures of his pelvis, a fracture
of his sacrum, and fractures of several ribs. He also sustained puncture wounds of his
intestines and lungs.
Aguilar was placed in an ambulance, and he was transported to New York Hospital
Queens, in the Flushing section of Queens. He underwent immediate surgery that was
intended to save the lower portion of his left leg, but the procedure was not successful.
During the ensuing day, he underwent a below-the-knee amputation of the leg. His
left femur’s fracture was addressed via open reduction and the internal fixation of an
intramedullary rod. His hospitalization lasted about four weeks, and he subsequently
underwent about four weeks of inpatient physical rehabilitation and therapy.
Aguilar received a prosthetic device for his left leg, and, some 13 months after the
accident, he resumed trucking. He quit about two years later, and he worked sporadically
thereafter.
Aguilar sought recovery of damages for past and future pain and suffering.
Result The jury rendered a mixed verdict: It found that Sanchez was liable for the accident, and liability was not assigned to Alonzo or Shurland.
During the fourth day of the trial’s damages phase, the parties negotiated a settlement.
Sanchez’s primary insurer tendered its policy, which provided $1 million of coverage, and
Sanchez’s excess insurer agreed to pay $4 million. Thus, the settlement totaled $5 million.
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VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
Editor’s comment This report is based on information that was provided by the
attorney who handled Aguilar’s suit and by Sanchez’s defense counsel. Counsel of
Alonzo and Shurland did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls, and the remaining
attorneys were not asked to contribute.
Number Twelve
Motor Vehicle
Wrongful Death — Head-On — Center Line — Driver Fatigue — Multiple Impact — Multiple Vehicle
Tired trucker crossed line, caused fatal crash,
suit alleged
AMOUNT$5,000,000
TYPESettlement
Case
Estate of Burgio v. Leroy Holding Co. Inc.
VENUE
Niagara County Supreme Court
Judge
Ralph A. Boniello III
Date
Injury
Type(s)
May 7, 2013
hip - fracture, hip
leg - fracture, fracture, femur
back - fracture, fracture, L4, fracture, T1, fracture, T2, fracture, T3,
fracture, T4, fracture, T5, fracture, vertebra, fracture, L4, fracture, T1,
fracture, T2, fracture, T3, fracture, T4, fracture, T5
head - ear, eardrum, perforation, fracture, skull, TMJ/
temporomandibular joint
neck - fracture, fracture, C5, fracture, C6, fracture, C7, fracture,
vertebra, fracture, C5, fracture, C6, fracture, C7
brain - coma, brain damage, traumatic brain injury
chest - fracture, rib
other - death, laceration, physical therapy, comminuted fracture,
fracture, displaced
wrist - fracture, wrist
dental - dental, fractured teeth
pelvis - fracture, fracture, pubic ramus
shoulder - fracture, fracture, scapula, fracture, clavicle, rotator cuff,
injury (tear), subscapularis muscle, tear
epidermis - degloving
face/nose - fracture, nose, fracture, septum, facial laceration, fracture,
facial bone, fracture, sinus
hand/finger - fracture, finger
arterial/vascular - artery, severed/tear
surgeries/treatment - open reduction, internal fixation
mental/psychological - zone of danger, cognition, impairment
Plaintiff(s) Ashley C. Burgio (Male, 22 Years),
Jillian M. Burgio (Male, 17 Years),
Estate of Rosanne M. Burgio (Male, 49 Years)
Plaintiff
Attorney(s) John J. Fromen Jr.; John J. Fromen Attorneys At Law, P.C.;
Buffalo, NY
Plaintiff
expert(s)
Christopher Puckett ; Accident Reconstruction; Buffalo, NY
Defendant(s)
James V. Nessia,
City of Lockport,
Roger F. LaRoach,
Casa Imports Inc.,
Leroy Holding Co. Inc.,
Toyota Motor Credit Corp.,
Estate of Randall P. Burgio
Facts & Allegations On Sept. 4, 2007, plaintiff Ashley Burgio, 22, a student, her
sister, plaintiff Jillian Burgio, 17, a student, and their mother, plaintiff’s decedent
Rosanne Burgio, 49, a salon’s owner, were passengers of a sport utility vehicle that
was being driven by Rosanne Burgio’s husband, Randall Burgio, who was traveling
on the northbound side of Niagara Falls Boulevard, near its intersection at Ward
2013
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Road, in the city of Niagara Falls. The Burgios’ sport utility vehicle was involved in
a head-on collision with a southbound tractor-trailer that was being driven by James
Nessia. The SUV spun, and it was struck by a southbound sanitation truck that
was being driven by Roger LaRoach. Randall and Rosanne Burgio sustained fatal
injuries. Ashley Burgio sustained injuries of her back, her head, her jaw, her neck,
several ribs, several teeth and her shoulders. Jillian Burgio sustained injuries of her
back, an eardrum, her face, a finger, her head, a hip, her nose, her pelvis, several
teeth and a wrist.
Ashley Burgio, Jillian Burgio and their mother’s estate sued Mr. Burgio’s estate; the
lessor of Mr. Burgio’s vehicle, Toyota Motor Credit Corp.; Nessia; the owners of Nessia’s
tractor-trailer, Casa Imports Inc. and Leroy Holding Co. Inc.; LaRoach; and the owner
of LaRoach’s truck, the city of Lockport. The plaintiffs alleged that Mr. Burgio, Nessia
and LaRoach were negligent in the operation of their respective vehicles. The plaintiffs
further alleged that Toyota Motor Credit was vicariously liable for Mr. Burgio’s actions,
that Casa Imports and Leroy Holding were vicariously liable for Nessia’s actions, and
that the city of Lockport was vicariously liable for LaRoach’s actions.
Toyota Motor Credit was dismissed. The matter proceeded against the remaining
defendants.
Plaintiffs’ counsel claimed that Nessia crossed Niagara Falls Boulevard’s center line
and initiated the first collision. He contended that Nessia may have been fatigued, given
that Nessia was concluding a 12-hour-long delivery shift when the collision occurred.
He also noted that Nessia possessed less than 12 months of experience operating a
tractor-trailer, and he contended that the accident may have been a result of Nessia’s
inexperience. Jillian Burgio reported that she saw the rig approaching her father’s SUV
on the wrong side of the road.
Plaintiffs’ counsel also claimed that the second collision was a result of LaRoach
having tailgated Nessia’s rig. A witness agreed that LaRoach was closely following the
rig. The plaintiffs’ expert engineer opined that LaRoach would have been able to avoid
the plaintiffs’ SUV if he had been maintaining a safe following distance. The plaintiffs’
accident-reconstruction expert submitted a report in which he expressed a similar
opinion.
LaRoach claimed that he was not tailgating. LaRoach’s counsel contended that
LaRoach prudently responded to a sudden, unexpected emergency that necessitated a
speedy reaction.
Nessia contended that Mr. Burgio crossed Niagara Falls Boulevard’s center line and
initiated the collision. His counsel submitted a report that was created by a police officer
who investigated the accident. The report indicated that Burgio crossed the center line.
Injuries/Damages Ashley Burgio sustained open, depressed fractures of her skull;
fractures of her C5, C6, C7 and L4 vertebrae; a comminuted fracture of her right, dominant
shoulder’s scapula; a tear of the same shoulder’s subscapularis tendon, which is an element
of the rotator cuff; a fracture of her left shoulder’s clavicle; and fractures of seven ribs. Her
head’s injury caused damage of her brain. She also sustained lacerations of arteries of her
brain, dislocations of several teeth, an injury of her jaw’s temporomandibular joint, and
miscellaneous avulsions and lacerations.
Burgio was placed in an ambulance, and she was transported to Erie County Medical
Center, in Buffalo. She underwent open surgery that addressed the injuries of her skull and
brain. The procedure included reduction and internal fixation of her skull’s fractures. Her
hospitalization lasted about 30 days. She subsequently underwent physical rehabilitation
and therapy.
Burgio claimed that she suffers residual pain and residual impairment of her cognition.
She also claimed that her brain’s damage caused behavioral changes. She sought recovery
of a total of $4.5 million for past pain and suffering, future pain and suffering, and zoneof-danger damages that stemmed from the trauma of seeing her parents die.
Jillian Burgio sustained a fracture of her skull; a degloving laceration of her
scalp; other lacerations of her head; fractures and lacerations of her face and nose,
including fractures of her maxillary sinuses and nasal septum; a perforation of her
left eardrum; and fractures of several teeth. Her head’s injuries caused damage of
her brain and a resultant coma. Burgio also sustained fractures of her T1, T2, T3,
T4 and T5 vertebrae; a comminuted, displaced fracture of her right hip’s femur; an
avulsion fracture of her pelvis’s pubic symphysis; a fracture of her pelvis’s left inferior
pubic ramus; a fracture of her pelvis’s right superior pubic ramus; a fracture of her
left, nondominant hand’s fifth finger; and fractures of her left wrist’s navicular bone,
scaphoid bone and radial styloid process, which is a projection that arises from the
edge of the wrist’s radius bone.
Burgio was placed in an ambulance, and she was transported to Erie County Medical
Center. She underwent open reduction and internal fixation of the fractures of her face and
right hip. Her hospitalization lasted about 30 days. She subsequently underwent physical
rehabilitation and therapy.
Burgio claimed that she suffers residual pain and residual impairment of her cognition.
She also claimed that her brain’s damage caused behavioral changes. She contended that
she cannot endure prolonged periods in which she is standing and that, as a result, she
had to abandon her intention to pursue a career as a hairstylist.
Burgio sought recovery of a total of $5.55 million for past pain and suffering, future
pain and suffering, and zone-of-danger damages that stemmed from the trauma of seeing
her parents die.
Rosanne Burgio sustained a fatal injury. She died immediately.
Burgio, 49, was survived by her daughters. Burgio’s estate sought recovery of wrongfuldeath damages that included a total of $1.9 million for past and future loss of earnings and
household services, $2 million for her daughters’ loss of parental guidance, and $750,000
for her pre-death terror.
Defense counsel contended that Ashley and Jillian Burgio achieved remarkable
recoveries.
Result The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement. Casa Imports’ primary insurer tendered its policy, which provided $1 million of coverage; Casa Imports’ excess insurer
agreed to pay $4 million; Mr. Burgio’s insurer agreed to pay $300,000; and the city of
Lockport’s insurer agreed to pay $700,000, from a policy that provided $1 million of
coverage. Thus, the settlement totaled $5 million. Ashley and Jillian Burgio will split the
money that remains after the payment of fees and costs.
Mr. Burgio’s estate commenced a separate action against LaRoach, the city of
Lockport, Nessia, Casa Imports and Leroy Holding. That case was discontinued as a
condition of the settlement of the instant matter.
Editor’s comment This report is based on an article that was published by The Buffalo
News, information that was provided by plaintiffs’ counsel, and information that was
provided by counsel of Casa Imports, the city of Lockport, Leroy Holding and Nessia.
Counsel of Randall Burgio’s estate declined to contribute.
Number Fourteen
workplace
Workplace Safety — Slips, Trips & Falls — Fall from Height — Worker/Workplace Negligence
Fall through shelf caused disabling injuries,
worker claimed
AMOUNT$4,650,000
TYPESettlement
Case
Muriqi v. Charmer Industries Inc.
VENUE
Bronx Supreme Court
Judge
Mitchell J. Danziger
Date
April 16, 2013
Injury
Type(s)
hip - labrum, tear (hip)
back - fusion, lumbar, herniated disc, lumbar, herniated disc at L4-5
chest - fracture, rib
other - necrosis, SLAP lesion/tear, physical therapy
shoulder - glenoid labrum, tear, rotator cuff, injury (tear)
surgeries/treatment - arthroscopy, debridement, decompression surgery
Plaintiff(s) Enver Muriqi (Male, 38 Years)
Plaintiff
Attorney(s) Daniel P. O’Toole & Scott Occhiogrosso; Block, O’Toole & Murphy,
LLP; New York, NY, for Enver Muriqi
Plaintiff
expert(s)
Alan Leiken Ph.D.; Economics; Stony Brook, NY
Andrew Merola M.D.; Orthopedic Surgery; Astoria, NY
Joseph Carfi M.D.; Physical Medicine; New Hyde Park, NY
Defendant(s) Charmer Industries Inc.,
P & P Construction and Painting Corp.
Facts & Allegations On Sept. 17, 2008, plaintiff Enver Muriqi, 38, a construction
worker, worked at a warehouse that was located at 1950 48th St., in the Astoria section of
Queens. The warehouse was being renovated, and Muriqi was removing pipes that were
situated beneath the building’s ceiling. He claimed that he fell off of a shelf while he was
attempting to access one of the pipes. He contended that he fell some 10 feet, landed on
a lower shelf and sustained injuries of his back, a hip, several ribs and a shoulder.
Muriqi sued the premises’ owner, Charmer Industries Inc., and the renovation project’s
general contractor, P & P Construction and Painting Corp. Muriqi alleged that the
defendants violated the New York State Labor Law.
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VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
21
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Number Fifteen
-Continued from p21
Muriqi claimed that he had not been provided a scaffold, a ladder or any other safe
means of accessing the pipes that had to be removed. He contended that a set of shelves
provided the only access to the pipes. He claimed that a portion of the top shelf had been
removed and replaced by cardboard, and he contended that he fell when he stepped onto
the cardboard.
Muriqi’s counsel claimed that the incident stemmed from an elevation-related hazard,
as defined by Labor Law 240(1), and that Muriqi was not provided the proper, safe
equipment that is a requirement of the statute.
Defense counsel challenged Muriqi’s credibility. They contended that Muriqi could
not produce a witness to corroborate the manner in which the accident occurred, and
they claimed that he described an alternate scenario to a doctor who treated his resultant
injuries.
Muriqi’s counsel moved for summary judgment of liability, and the motion was
granted. The matter proceeded to damages.
Injuries/Damages Muriqi attempted to return to his home, but he summoned an
ambulance before reaching his destination. He was transported to a hospital, where
doctors determined that he was suffering fractures of several ribs. Muriqi claimed that
the fractures were a result of the accident. He was prescribed painkillers, and he was
discharged with instructions to present to his doctor.
Muriqi claimed that he also sustained a herniation of his L4-5 intervertebral disc, a tear
of his left hip’s labrum, a tear of his left, dominant shoulder’s rotator cuff and a tear of
the superior aspect of the same shoulder’s glenoid labrum. The latter injury is commonly
termed a “SLAP lesion.”
Muriqi contended that he was bedridden during the six weeks that followed the
accident. He initially underwent physical therapy, but he claimed that the treatment did
not resolve his pain. On Nov. 5, 2009, he underwent arthroscopic surgery that addressed
his left hip. The procedure included delamination of cartilage, debridement of necrotic
tissue, decompression of the hip’s joint and an osteoplasty, which involved a repair of
the hip’s femoral component. On Feb. 27, 2012, he underwent arthroscopic surgery that
addressed his left shoulder. The procedure included a repair of the shoulder’s labrum,
decompression of the shoulder’s subacromial region and debridement of necrotic tissue.
On May 30, 2012, he underwent fusion of his spine’s L4-5 level.
Muriqi claimed that his pain persists. He undergoes physical therapy several times a
week. He also undergoes pain management. He contended that his treatment will continue
indefinitely. He claimed that his pain prevents his resumption of work and many of his
everyday chores. Muriqi’s treating orthopedist submitted a report in which he opined that
Muriqi will require additional fusion of his spine’s lumbar region and fusion of a portion
of the spine’s cervical region. The doctor also opined that Muriqi’s condition may decline
to a level that necessitates Muriqi’s use of a motorized scooter.
Muriqi sought recovery of past and future medical expenses, past and future lost
earnings, and damages for past and future pain and suffering.
Defense counsel did not dispute that Muriqi sustained fractures of ribs, but they
contended that the fractures resolved without residual effects. They claimed that the
remaining injuries were not related to the accident.
The defense’s expert orthopedist submitted a report in which he opined that Muriqi’s
left hip’s injury was a degenerative condition that predated the accident. He also opined
that Muriqi’s spinal injury was nothing more than a sprain and/or strain and that the
injury has resolved.
The defense’s expert neurologist submitted a report in which he opined that a physical
examination indicated that Muriqi exaggerated the residual effects of his injuries.
Result The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement. P & P Construction and Painting’s
insurer agreed to pay $3.9 million, and Charmer Industries’ insurer agreed to pay
$750,000. Thus, the settlement totaled $4.65 million.
Editor’s comment This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s and defense counsel.
Verdict Resources
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22
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
workplace
Workplace Safety — Slips, Trips & Falls — Fall from Height — Worker/Workplace Negligence
Proper equipment would have prevented fall,
worker claimed
AMOUNT$4,500,000
TYPESettlement
Case
Cruz-Acosta v. 15 Fort Washington Avenue Housing
Development Fund Corp.
VENUE
Bronx Supreme Court
Judge
Robert E. Torres
Date
Injury
Type(s)
January 16, 2013
back - fracture, vertebra, herniated disc, lumbar
head - fracture, skull
knee - knee derangement, anterior cruciate ligament, tear
neck - fracture, vertebra, herniated disc, lumbar
chest - fracture, rib
other - lysis, adhesions, resection, facetectomy, physical therapy,
reconstructive surgery, foraminectomy/foraminotomy
shoulder - shoulder
face/nose - fracture, jaw, fracture, mandible, fracture, facial bone,
fracture, mandible
sensory/speech - vision, impairment, hearing, partial loss of
surgeries/treatment - arthroscopy, debridement, laminectomy,
laminectomy, lumbar, decompression surgery
mental/psychological - depression
Plaintiff(s) Ruben Cruz-Acosta (Male, 31 Years)
Plaintiff
Attorney(s) Jacob Oresky; Jacob Oresky & Associates, PLLC; Bronx, NY
Defendant(s)
14K Management Inc.,
Expo Development Corp.,
Shamas Construction Co. Inc.,
15 Fort Washington Avenue Housing Development Fund Corp.
Facts & Allegations On Sept. 7, 2006, plaintiff Ruben Cruz-Acosta, 31, a
construction worker, worked at a renovation site that was located at 15 Fort Washington
Ave., in Manhattan. Cruz-Acosta was instructed to repair the brick exterior of a highrise building, and the task necessitated his use of a rope-suspended scaffold. The scaffold
tipped when Cruz-Acosta stepped onto it, and he fell off of the device. He plummeted six
stories, and he landed on a sidewalk. He sustained injuries of his back, his face, his head,
his jaw, a knee, a rib and his shoulders.
Cruz-Acosta sued the premises’ owner, 15 Fort Washington Avenue Housing
Development Fund Corp.; the premises’ manager, 14K Management Inc., which was also
the project’s general contractor; and a subcontractor that hired him, Expo Development
Corp. Cruz-Acosta alleged that the defendants violated the New York State Labor Law.
The defendants impleaded Cruz-Acosta’s employer, Shamas Construction Co. Inc. The
first-party defendants alleged that Shamas Construction controlled and directed CruzAcosta’s actions. They sought contractual indemnification.
Cruz-Acosta claimed that he was not provided a harness, a lifeline or any other
equipment that could have prevented his fall. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that the
incident stemmed from an elevation-related hazard, as defined by Labor Law 240(1),
and that Cruz-Acosta was not provided the proper, safe equipment that is a requirement
of the statute.
Defense counsel contended that a harness and lanyard had been provided, but that
Cruz-Acosta declined to use the devices. They also contended that Cruz-Acosta should
not have stepped onto the scaffold until a co-worker had confirmed that the scaffold
was secure.
Injuries/Damages Cruz-Acosta sustained a fracture of his mandible, other fractures
of his face and skull; a fracture of a vertebra of his spine’s lumbar region; a herniation of
an intervertebral disc of his spine’s lumbar region; internal derangement of his left knee; a
partial tear of the same knee’s anterior cruciate ligament; a fracture of a rib; and injuries
of his shoulders.
2013
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Cruz-Acosta was placed in an ambulance, and he was transported to a hospital.
He underwent reconstructive surgery that addressed the fractures of his face, and his
hospitalization lasted more than a week.
On Oct. 23, 2007, Cruz-Acosta underwent arthroscopic surgery that addressed his left,
nondominant arm’s shoulder. The procedure included decompression of the shoulder’s
subacromial region, resection of the distal region of the shoulder’s clavicle, lysis of
adhesions and the debridement of damaged tissue.
On April 30, 2008, Cruz-Acosta underwent arthroscopic surgery that addressed his
left knee.
On June 10, 2008, Cruz-Acosta underwent arthroscopic surgery that addressed his
right arm’s shoulder. The procedure included decompression of the shoulder’s subacromial
region, resection of the distal region of the shoulder’s clavicle, lysis of adhesions and the
debridement of damaged tissue.
On Jan. 12, 2010, Cruz-Acosta underwent decompressive surgery that addressed the
injuries of his spine. The procedure included laminectomies, which involved the partial
excision of his L4 and L5 vertebrae; a facetectomy, which involved the decompression of
a root of a spinal nerve; and a foraminotomy, which involved the enlargement of passages
that house spinal nerves.
Cruz-Acosta has also undergone physical therapy and rehabilitation since the conclusion
of his hospitalization. He claimed that he suffers significant residual pain and discomfort,
and he contended that he regularly uses painkilling patches. He also claimed that he has
experienced blurring of his vision, depression, impairment of his audition, nightmares and
sleeplessness. He contended that he cannot resume work, and he also contended that he
will require residential assistance and extensive surgery.
Cruz-Acosta sought recovery of $278,250.91 for past medical expenses, $7,656,370
to $8,154,422 for future medical and residential-care expenses, $120,744 for past lost
earnings, $1,517,100 for future lost earnings, and damages for past and future pain and
suffering.
Defense counsel contended that Cruz-Acosta exaggerated the extent of his injuries.
They claimed that he can resume work and that he may not need additional surgery.
Result The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement. Expo Development’s insurer
agreed to pay $1 million; 15 Fort Washington’s insurer agreed to pay $1 million; 14K
Management’s primary insurer agreed to pay $1 million; and 14K Management’s excess
insurer agreed to pay $1.5 million. Thus, the settlement totaled $4.5 million.
Editor’s comment This report is based on information that was provided by
plaintiff’s counsel and counsel of 14K Management, 15 Fort Washington Avenue
Housing Development Fund and Expo Development. Shamas Construction’s counsel
did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls.
Number Sixteen
workplace
Worker/Workplace Negligence — Slips, Trips & Falls — Fall from Height — Labor Law
Worker fell out of truck, injured brain, spine,
shoulder
AMOUNT$4,300,000
TYPE
Case
VENUE
Judge
Mediated Settlement
Geiger v. Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Corp
Development Fund Corp.
New York County Supreme Court
Robert Adams
Date
March 1, 2013
Injury
Type(s)
back - fracture, fracture, L2, fracture, L3, fracture, L4, fracture, L5,
fracture, T3, fracture, T4, fracture, T8, fracture, T9, fracture, T10,
fracture, T11, fracture, vertebra, fracture, L2, fracture, L3, fracture,
L4, fracture, L5, fracture, T3, fracture, T4, fracture, T8, fracture,
T9, fracture, T10, fracture, T11, fracture, spinous process, fracture,
transverse process, lumbar disc, damage (non-herniation)
head - head
neck - fusion, cervical, fracture, vertebra, fracture, spinous process,
fracture, transverse process, herniated disc, cervical, herniated disc at
C5-6
brain - brain damage, subdural hematoma, traumatic brain injury,
diffuse axonal brain injury
chest - fracture, rib
other - fracture, sacrum, physical therapy, epidural injections,
compression fracture, decreased range of motion
shoulder - fracture, fracture, scapula, glenoid labrum, tear, rotator
cuff, injury (tear)
surgeries/treatment - discectomy
mental/psychological - emotional distress, cognition, impairment,
memory, impairment
Plaintiff(s) Michael Geiger (Male, 45 Years)
Plaintiff
Attorney(s) Kenneth Sacks & David H. Mayer; Sacks & Sacks; New York, NY
Defendant(s) Consolidated Edison Company of New York Inc.
Facts & Allegations On June 30, 2010, plaintiff Michael Geiger, 45, a timberman,
worked at an excavation site that was located on West 37th Street, alongside its
intersection at Seventh Avenue, in Manhattan. Workers were removing a 600-pound
steel frame. The object was attached to a backhoe, lifted and placed in the cargo area
of a dump truck, but it became stuck in the truck. Geiger ascended a pair of railings
that were attached to the side of the truck, stood atop a load of wood planks that had
previously been loaded into the truck and attempted to free the frame. He fell out of the
truck, plummeted about 12 feet and landed on a concrete walkway. The frame fell onto
him. He claimed that he sustained injuries of his back, his head, his neck, several ribs,
his sacrum and a shoulder.
Geiger sued the site’s owner, Consolidated Edison Company of New York Inc. He
alleged that Consolidated Edison violated the New York State Labor Law.
Geiger claimed that he was instructed to climb into the truck’s bed and free the frame.
He contended that the backhoe’s operator loosened the chain that was securing the frame
and that the frame snapped toward him and knocked him out of the truck.
Geiger’s counsel contended that Geiger should not have been directed to enter the
truck’s bed. They also contended that the frame should have been broken into smaller,
more manageable parts before being loaded into the truck. Alternatively, they contended
that the frame should have been guided via use of a “tag line,” which is the basic
equivalent of a leash that allows a worker’s control of a hoisted object. They claimed
that the accident stemmed from an elevation-related hazard, as defined by Labor Law
240(1), and that Geiger was not provided the proper, safe equipment that is a requirement
of the statute.
Defense counsel contended that Geiger independently decided to climb into the truck’s
bed, rather than using one of several ladders that were available. A witness reported that
Geiger was not struck by the frame; that Geiger simply lost his balance, grabbed the
frame to secure himself and fell out of the truck.
Defense counsel also contended that the accident was not a result of an elevationrelated hazard but horizontal movement of the hoisted frame.
Geiger’s counsel moved for summary judgment of liability, but the motion was denied.
Injuries/Damages Geiger was transported to a hospital, where he underwent about 14
days of observation and treatment.
Geiger ultimately claimed that he sustained an injury of his head; compression fractures
of his T3 and T4 vertebrae; fractures of the spinous processes of his T8, T9, T10 and
T11 vertebrae; fractures of transverse processes of his L2, L3, L4 and L5 vertebrae; a
fracture of his sacrum; fractures of several ribs; a herniation of his C5-6 intervertebral
disc; compression of his L4-5 and L5-S1 discs; a comminuted fracture of his left shoulder’s
scapula; a tear of the same shoulder’s glenoid labrum; and a tear of the same shoulder’s
rotator cuff. His head’s injury caused a subdural hematoma and a diffuse axonal injury,
which involves widespread lesions of the brain’s white matter.
Geiger claimed that he was bedbound during the six months that followed the accident.
In March 2011, he underwent surgery that included a discectomy, which involved the
excision of his C5-6 disc, and fusion of the corresponding level of his spine. He also
underwent the administration of epidural injections of steroid-based painkillers and about
three years of physical therapy.
Geiger claimed that his surgery resolved some of his neck’s pain. He contended that his
back and left shoulder are also painful and that he suffers a residual diminution of his
left shoulder’s range of motion. He claimed that he must undergo fusion of a portion of
his spine’s lumbar region. He also contended that his brain’s injury resulted in changes of
his behavior, impairment of his memory and emotional distress. He contended that his
residual injuries prevent his resumption of work.
Geiger sought recovery of a total of $10 million for past and future medical expenses,
past and future lost earnings, and past and future pain and suffering. His wife presented
a derivative claim.
Result The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement, which was finalized via the guidance
of mediator Robert Adams, of National Arbitration and Mediation Inc. Consolidated
Edison’s insurer agreed to pay $4.3 million.
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VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
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-Continued from p23
several times a day and that sand and salt had been applied to the road shortly before
the accident.
Editor’s comment This report is based on court documents, information that was
provided by plaintiffs’ counsel and information that was provided by defense counsel.
Injuries/Damages Wallner sustained a depressed fracture of her skull’s frontal bone,
a fracture of her nose, a fracture of her nasal septum, a fracture of an orbit, which is a
lower component of an eye’s socket, a fracture of each supraorbital rim, which is an upper
component of an eye’s socket, and a fracture of a zygomatic arch, which is the prominence
of a cheek.
Wallner was placed in an ambulance, and she was transported to Westchester Medical
Center, in Valhalla. She underwent closed reduction of the fractures of her nose and nasal
septum, open reduction and internal fixation of the fractures of her frontal bone and
supraorbital rims, elevation of the depressed area of her skull, a ventriculostomy, which
involved the drainage of brain fluid, a tracheotomy and a gastrostomy, which involved the
insertion of a tube that provided access to her stomach.
Wallner’s hospitalization lasted until Jan. 5, 2011, when she was transferred to a
rehabilitative facility. After 19 days had passed, she was returned to the hospital. Her
hospitalization concluded on Feb. 4, 2011.
Wallner claimed that her head’s injury caused damage of her brain and resultant
impairment of her memory and other elements of her cognition, that her abdomen remains
painful, that her residual effects are permanent, and that they prevent her resumption of
work. She also claimed that she cannot operate a motor vehicle.
Wallner sought recovery of past and future lost earnings and damages for past and
future pain and suffering.
The defense’s vocational-rehabilitation expert submitted a report in which he opined
that Wallner can obtain employment that would provide earnings that would approximate
her pre-accident earnings. The defense’s expert neurologist examined Wallner and
concluded that Wallner does not experience neurological deficits related to the accident.
Number Seventeen
Motor Vehicle
Roadways — Dangerous Condition — Government
County, town ignored recurrent road hazard,
plaintiff claimed
AMOUNT$4,000,000
TYPESettlement
Case
Wallner v. County of Ulster
VENUE
Ulster County Supreme Court
Judge
Gerald W. Connolly
Date
July 31, 2013
Injury
Type(s)
head - fracture, skull
brain - brain damage, traumatic brain injury
other - gastrostomy, ventriculostomy, closed reduction
abdomen - abdomen
face/nose - fracture, nose, fracture, septum, fracture, facial bone,
fracture, orbit, fracture, cheekbone, fracture, zygomatic arch
surgeries/treatment - open reduction, internal fixation, tracheostomy/
tracheotomy
mental/psychological - cognition, impairment, memory, impairment
Result During the selection of a jury, the parties negotiated a settlement. Ulster County
agreed to pay $3.9 million, and the town of Rosendale agreed to pay $100,000. Thus,
the settlement totaled $4 million.
Editor’s comment This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s
counsel and the settling defendants’ counsel. Arif’s counsel was not asked to contribute.
Number Eighteen
Plaintiff(s) Jessica L. Wallner (Male, 25 Years)
Motor Vehicle
Plaintiff
Attorney(s) Terrence E. McCartney; Rheingold, Valet, Rheingold, McCartney &
Giuffra LLP; New York, NY, for Jessica L. Wallner
Pedestrian — Railroad Accident — Railroad Crossing — Tractor-Trailer
Plaintiff
expert(s)
L. McCracken Jr., P.E.; Accident Reconstruction; Raleigh, NC
Anila Thomas ; Neurology; Valhalla, NY
Thomas Cullinan Ph.D.; Neuropsychology; Williamsport, PA
Kenneth Reagles Ph.D.; Vocational Rehabilitation; Syracuse, NY
Nicholas Bellizzi ; Accident Reconstruction; Holmdel, NJ
Defendant(s) Ulster County,
Razwaan M. Arif,
Town of Rosendale
Facts & Allegations On Dec. 8, 2010, plaintiff Jessica Wallner, 25, a customer-service
clerk, was driving on the westbound side of Creek Locks Road, near its intersection at
Webster Lock Road, in Rosendale. Her vehicle skidded off of the road and flipped into a
ditch. Wallner sustained injuries of her face, her head and her nose.
Wallner sued the adjoining premises’ owner, Razwaan Arif; Creek Locks Road’s
owner, the town of Rosendale; and the road’s maintainer, Ulster County. Wallner alleged
that Arif was negligent in the maintenance of his premises, that the remaining defendants
were negligent in their maintenance of the road and that the defendants’ negligence
created a dangerous condition that caused her accident.
Wallner claimed that her vehicle skidded on sand and water that had drained off
of Arif’s driveway, onto the street. One of Wallner’s accident-reconstruction experts,
Nicholas Bellizzi, submitted a report in which he opined that the runoff created a
hazardous condition on the road. Wallner’s counsel contended that the defendants had
conducted inspections of recurrent runoff and had attempted several repairs of the
problem. As such, he claimed that the defendants had actual and constructive notice of
the hazard that caused Wallner’s accident.
The defense’s expert engineer submitted a report in which he opined that Wallner
was maintaining an excessive speed, given the curving nature of the road in the area
in which the accident occurred. Ulster County’s counsel contended that Wallner could
not prove that her accident was a result of any specific condition of the road. He also
contended that Ulster County employees inspect the subject area of Creek Locks Road
24
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
Samaritan hurt when train hit and toppled
disabled rig
AMOUNT$3,925,000
TYPE
Case
VENUE
Judge
Mediated Settlement
Young v. Singh
Queens Supreme Court
Hon. Allen Hurkin-Torres
Date
February 1, 2013
Injury
Type(s)
arm - fracture, fracture, ulna, fracture, radius, fracture, humerus
hip - fracture, hip, fracture, acetabulum
back - fracture, vertebra, fracture, transverse process
neck - fracture, vertebra, fracture, transverse process
chest - fracture, rib
other - plate, diastasis, fracture, sacrum, physical therapy, pins/rods/
screws, comminuted fracture, fracture, displaced, decreased range of
motion, occlusion, brachial artery
wrist - wrist
pelvis - fracture, fracture, pubic ramus
shoulder - fracture, shoulder
surgeries/treatment - open reduction, external fixation, internal
fixation
Plaintiff(s) Courtney L. Young (Male, 44 Years)
Plaintiff
Attorney(s) Stephen J. Murphy & Christina Mark; Block O’Toole & Murphy, LLP;
New York, NY, for Courtney L. Young
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
Plaintiff
expert(s)
James Loumiet ; Railroad; Independence, MO
Defendant(s)
Mar-Los I LP,
Surjit Singh,
Mar-Los I LLC,
Mar-Los II LP,
Mar-Los II LLC,
Martin Shevell,
Jaswinder Singh,
Fast Freight Cargo Inc.,
Marlyn Warehousing Corp.,
Long Island Rail Road Co.,
General Insulation Co. Inc.,
Waste Management of New York, L.L.C.
Facts & Allegations On Feb. 23, 2009, plaintiff Courtney Young, 44, a mechanic,
observed that a tractor-trailer was stuck on the railroad track that crosses Greenpoint
Avenue, near its intersection at Railroad Avenue, in the Long Island City section of
Queens. Young approached the rig and attempted to assist the driver, Surjit Singh.
Moments later, the rig was struck by a locomotive. The tractor fell onto Young, and
Young sustained injuries of an arm, his back, a hip, his pelvis, his sacrum, a shoulder
and several ribs.
Young sued Singh; the rig’s owners, Fast Freight Cargo Inc. and Jaswinder Singh;
the employer of the locomotive’s operator, Long Island Rail Road Co.; and several
owners, former owners and users of properties that abutted the railroad crossing,
General Insulation Co. Inc., Marlyn Warehousing Corp., Mar-Los I LLC, Mar-Los I
LP, Mar-Los II LLC, Mar-Los II LP, Martin Shevell and Waste Management of New
York, L.L.C. Young alleged that Surjit Singh and the locomotive’s driver were negligent
in the operation of their respective vehicles, that Fast Freight Cargo and Jaswinder
Singh were vicariously liable for Surjit Singh’s actions, that Long Island Rail Road was
vicariously liable for the actions of the locomotive’s driver, that the remaining defendants
were negligent in their maintenance of the railroad crossing, and that those defendants’
negligence created a dangerous condition that contributed to the accident.
Long Island Rail Road cross-claimed against Mar-Los I LLC, Mar-Los I LP, Mar-Los
II LLC and Mar-Los II. The railroad sought contractual indemnity.
Waste Management of New York was dismissed via summary judgment, and Young’s
counsel discontinued the claims against Marlyn Warehousing and Shevell. Young’s
counsel also discontinued the claims against Mar-Los I LLC, Mar-Los I LP, Mar-Los II
LLC and Mar-Los II, but those parties remained in the suit as third-party defendants.
Young claimed that the rig’s undercarriage was stuck in the ground that surrounded the
railroad track. He also claimed that the rig’s wheels were stuck on black ice. A witness
reported seeing the wheels futilely spinning on ice. Young’s counsel contended that Surjit
Singh negligently attempted to cross the track without having ensured that he could safely
do so. They also contended that Singh negligently remained in the tractor’s cabin while
the train approached, and they claimed that Young responded reasonably and foreseeably
by attempting to aid Singh. They claimed that Singh and his rig’s owners were liable via
application of the rescue doctrine.
Young’s counsel further claimed that the locomotive’s operator could have avoided
the collision. Their railroad-accident-reconstruction expert inspected the railroad
crossing, reviewed testimony and studied information that had been retrieved from the
locomotive’s data-recording device, and he submitted a report in which he opined that
the locomotive’s operator had sufficient time to prevent a collision.
Long Island Rail Road’s counsel contended that the locomotive’s operator was not
obligated to apply the locomotive’s brakes until he had concluded that Singh was not
going to flee the area of danger. His railroad-accident-reconstruction expert inspected
the railroad crossing and submitted a report in which he opined that the locomotive’s
operator could not have seen the rig in time to prevent a collision. The expert also opined
that the locomotive was being operated in compliance with all appreciable railroad rules.
Long Island Rail Road’s counsel further contended that Young recklessly caused his
injuries. He claimed that, rather than fleeing or opening the tractor’s cabin door to
free Singh, Young attempted to lift a crossing gate that had descended into the gap that
separated the tractor and trailer. Singh’s counsel agreed, and he contended that Young’s
act of attempting to free the rig could not be considered an attempt to rescue its driver.
Singh’s counsel also claimed that Singh was not negligent in his operation of the rig.
He contended that Singh did not intentionally cripple the rig.
Injuries/Damages Young sustained fractures of transverse processes of vertebrae of
his spine’s lumbar region; a burst fracture of his right, dominant arm’s humeral head,
which is a lower component of the right shoulder; comminuted fractures of his right arm’s
radius and ulna bones; comminuted, displaced fractures of his sacrum’s ala; fractures of
his pelvis’s pubic rami and pubic bone; fractures of an acetabulum and ischium, which
are pelvic components of a hip; and fractures of several ribs. His pelvis’s fractures resulted
in diastasis--separation--of muscles and displacement of his pubic bone. His right arm’s
injury resulted in occlusion of the right branch of his brachial artery.
Young was extricated from beneath the tractor’s cabin, placed in an ambulance and
transported to Elmhurst Hospital Center, in Queens. He underwent immediate surgery
that relieved the occlusion of his brachial artery. He also underwent external fixation of
the fractures of his pelvis. Those fractures were later addressed via open reduction and
the internal fixation of a total of two plates and seven screws. His hospitalization lasted
about eight weeks, and he subsequently underwent about eight months of physical therapy.
Young claimed that his right shoulder’s injuries resulted in a permanent diminution of
the shoulder’s range of motion, permanent immobility of his right wrist and a permanent
reduction of his right arm’s sensory ability. He contended that the latter two conditions
could be improved via fusion of his right shoulder, but that he has rejected that option
because it will further reduce his right arm’s range of motion. He also claimed that his
pelvis’s injuries resulted in a lasting disability that necessitates his use of a cane. He
contended that he cannot resume work.
Young sought recovery of $678,634 for future medical costs, a total of $1,707,081 for
future loss of earnings and benefits, and unspecified damages for past and future pain
and suffering.
Defense counsel contended that Young achieved the fullest possible recovery and would
not benefit from additional medical treatment. They also contended that post-accident
surveillance revealed that Young can perform physical activities that would allow his
resumption of work.
Result The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement, which was finalized via the guidance
of mediator Allen Hurkin-Torres, of Jams. Long Island Rail Road, which is self-insured,
agreed to pay $1.5 million; the insurer of Fast Freight Cargo, Jaswinder Singh and Surjit
Singh agreed to pay $925,000; General Insulation’s insurer agreed to pay $750,000;
and the insurer of Mar-Los I LLC and Mar-Los I LP agreed to pay $750,000. Thus, the
settlement totaled $3,925,000.
Editor’s comment This report is based on court documents, information that
was provided by plaintiff’s counsel, and information that was provided by counsel of
Mar-Los I LLC and Mar-Los I LP. The remaining defendants’ counsel did not respond
to the reporter’s phone calls.
Number Nineteen
Construction
Construction Accident — Labor 240(1) — Scaffold Law
Plaintiff construction worker fell from scaffold,
injured shoulder & spine
AMOUNT$3,600,000
TYPESettlement
Case
Clarke v. AKHK Brooklyn Restaurant, LLC
VENUE
Kings Supreme Court
Judge
Bernadette Bayne
Date
November 7, 2013
Injury
Type(s)
full thickness tear of the supraspinatous tendon
two (2) surgeries with open rotator cuff repairs,
discectomy and fusion in cervical spine
Plaintiff(s) Hopeton Clarke
Plaintiff
Attorney(s) David Perecman, New York, NY; The Perecman Firm, PLLC
Plaintiff
expert(s)
James Loumiet ; Railroad; Independence, MO
Defendant(s)
AKHK Brooklyn Restaurant LLC,
FC Hanson Associates, LLC,
Contemporary Environmental Management, Inc. and
Control Construction
AC Drywall Systems (Third Party Defendant)
Facts & Allegations Mr. Clarke fell off a scaffold on his left shoulder and neck.
Plaintiff was granted summary judgment pursuant to Labor Law 240(1).
-Continued on p26
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
25
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
Number Twent y One
-Continued from p25
Injuries/Damages Plaintiff suffered a full thickness tear of the supraspinatous tendon
requiring 2 surgeries with open rotator cuff repairs, and a discectomy and fusion in his
cervical spine, he was left totally disabled.
Result Case settled at trial before J. Bayne.
Editor’s comment This report is based on court documents, information that was
provided by plaintiffs’ counsel.
Number Twent y
Medical Malpractice
Obstetrics
Obstetrics: Plaintiff alleged Autism Spectrum
Disorder caused by botched delivery
AMOUNT$3,500,000
TYPESettlement
Case
Camacho v. Salem
VENUE
Dutchess County Supreme Court
Judge
James V. Brands
Date
May 1, 2013
Injury
Type(s)
Hypoxia, Seizures, Autism Spectrum Disorder, developmental delays
Plaintiff(s) Jayson Camacho by his p/n/g Stefanie Rothbart
Plaintiff
Attorney(s) Brian Brown, New York, NY of Zaremba Brownell & Brown, PLLC
Defendant(s) Azzam Salem MD,
Vassar Brothers Medical Center, and
Jose Baez MD
Facts & Allegations Child diagnosed with birth injuries including Autism Spectrum
Disorder. Plaintiff’s counsel alleged infant plaintiff suffered a birth injury due to the
defendant ob/gyn’s negligence in failing to convert the infant’s delivery to a c-section.
The infant plaintiff was hypoxic at birth and suffered from seizures. The defendant had
contended that the plaintiff’s injuries were not caused by the alleged malpractice, and the
case settled for the full amount of the available insurance coverage
Injuries/Damages Autism Spectrum Disorder and developmental delays
Result Case settled at trial before J. Brands for $3.5 million.
Editor’s comment This report is based on court documents and information provided
by plaintiffs’ counsel.
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workplace
Worker/Workplace Negligence — Slips, Trips & Falls — Fall from Height — Labor Law
Roofer claimed icy conditions necessitated
scaffold or harness
AMOUNT$3,350,000
TYPESettlement
Case
Hadden v. Boxberger
VENUE
Ulster County Supreme Court
Judge
Henry F. Zwack
Date
Injury
Type(s)
January 7, 2013
back - fusion, lumbar, nerve impingement, herniated disc, lumbar,
herniated disc at L5-S1
neck - nerve impingement
other - abscess, infection, chiropractic, physical therapy, decreased
range of motion
neurological - radiculopathy, nerve impingement
surgeries/treatment - debridement
Plaintiff(s) Richard Hadden (Male, 29 Years)
Plaintiff
Attorney(s) Joseph E. O’Connor; Mainetti, Mainetti & O’Connor, P.C.;
Kingston, NY
Plaintiff
expert(s)
Seth Neubardt M.D.; Orthopedic Surgery; White Plains, NY
James Lambrinos Ph.D; Economics; Clifton Park, NY
Joseph Carfi M.D.; Life Care Planning; Great Neck, NY
Michael Weintraub M.D.; Neurology; Briarcliff Manor, NY
Defendant(s) James W. Boxberger Sr.
Insurer(s)
Sparta Insurance
Facts & Allegations On Dec. 28, 2010, plaintiff Richard Hadden, 29, a roofer,
worked at a residence that was located at 11 Bon Jovi Lane, in Liberty. Hadden fell off
of the home’s roof while he was repairing a chimney’s cap. He plummeted about 8 feet,
and he landed on the ground. He claimed that he sustained an injury of his back.
Hadden sued the residence’s owner, James Boxberger. Hadden alleged that Boxberger
violated the New York State Labor Law.
Hadden claimed that he fell after slipping on ice. He contended that the icy roof was
unsafe, and he claimed that he should have been provided a scaffold and/or a harness.
Hadden’s counsel claimed that the incident stemmed from an elevation-related hazard,
as defined by Labor Law 240(1), and that Hadden was not provided the proper, safe
equipment that is a requirement of the statute.
Defense counsel contended that Labor Law 240(1) is not applicable to incidents that
occur during routine maintenance or work that does not involve a significant alteration
of a building, and he contended that Hadden was injured during a task that was a matter
of routine maintenance.
Injuries/Damages Hadden initially returned to his home, but he was later transported
to a hospital, where he underwent minor treatment.
Young was extricated from beneath the tractor’s cabin, placed in an ambulance and
transported to Elmhurst Hospital Center, in Queens. He underwent immediate surgery
that relieved the occlusion of his brachial artery. He also underwent external fixation of
the fractures of his pelvis. Those fractures were later addressed via open reduction and
the internal fixation of a total of two plates and seven screws. His hospitalization lasted
about eight weeks, and he subsequently underwent about eight months of physical therapy.
Hadden ultimately claimed that he sustained a herniation of his L5-S1 intervertebral
disc. He also claimed that the herniated disc produced impingement of a nerve and
resultant radiculopathy. He initially underwent about six months of conservative
treatment that included chiropractic manipulation and physical therapy, but he contended
-Continued on p28
26
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Verdicts of 2012
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
-Continued from p26
that the treatment did not resolve his pain. He subsequently underwent fusion of his spine’s
L5-S1 level, but the fusion failed. Hadden also developed an abscess and infection of his
surgical wound, necessitating the debridement of tissue.
Hadden claimed that he suffers residual pain and a residual reduction of his back’s
range of motion. He contended that he cannot work, exercise or perform any physically
demanding activities. He also contended that he requires the use of a cane. He claimed
that he will soon undergo a second fusion of the problematic area of his spine, and he
contended that the procedure will be followed by a course of physical therapy.
Hadden sought recovery of past and future medical expenses, past and future lost
earnings, and damages for past and future pain and suffering.
Result Each side moved for summary judgment of liability. During pendency of the
motions, the parties negotiated a settlement. Boxberger’s insurer agreed to pay $3.35
million.
Editor’s comment This report is based on information that was provided by
plaintiff’s and defense counsel.
Number Twent y Two
workplace
Worker/Workplace Negligence — Negligent Repair — Transportation — Trucking
Makeshift fix of truck’s lift gate led to accident,
suit alleged
AMOUNT$3,050,000
TYPESettlement
Case
Mejias v. Ceva Logistics U.S. Inc.
VENUE
Queens Supreme Court
Judge
Ronnie Bernon Gallina
Date
October 5, 2013
Injury
Type(s)
back - fusion, lumbar, herniated disc, lumbar, herniated disc at L5-S1
head - head, concussion
knee - medial meniscus, tear, lateral meniscus, tear
neck - fusion, cervical, herniated disc, cervical, herniated disc at C4-5,
herniated disc at C5-6, herniated disc at C6-7
elbow - biceps tendon, tear
other - fatigue, chondroplasty, aggravation of pre-existing condition
shoulder - glenoid labrum, tear, rotator cuff, injury (tear)
surgeries/treatment - laminectomy, laminectomy, lumbar
mental/psychological - anxiety, insomnia, depression, post-concussion
syndrome, concentration, impairment
Plaintiff(s) Jose Mejias (Male, 30 Years)
Plaintiff
Attorney(s) Jonathan S. Damashek; Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, PC;
New York, NY, for Jose Mejias
Defendant(s)
Xtra Lease, LLC,
Damon Earlington,
Spec Personnel Inc.,
Ryder Truck Rental Inc.,
Ceva Logistics U.S. Inc.,
Skyway Road Service Corp.,
EGL Eagle Global Logistics, L.P.
Facts & Allegations On April 10, 2008, plaintiff Jose Mejias, 30, a clerk, worked
at an automobile dealership that was located at 57-02 Northern Blvd., in the Woodside
section of Queens. During the course of the day, the dealership received a truckload
of parts. The truck’s driver, Damon Earlington, loaded an 800-pound container of
parts onto the rear lift gate of the truck’s trailer. The gate snapped while it was being
lowered, and the container fell onto Mejias, who was assisting Earlington. Mejias
claimed that he sustained injuries of his back, his head, his knees, his neck and a
shoulder.
28
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
Mejias sued Earlington; Earlington’s employer, Spec Personnel Inc.; the company that
arranged the delivery and hired Earlington’s employer, Ceva Logistics U.S. Inc.; a Ceva
Logistics subsidiary, EGL Eagle Global Logistics, L.P.; the lessor of Earlington’s truck,
Ryder Truck Rental Inc.; the lessor of the truck’s trailer; Xtra Lease, LLC; and an entity
that had serviced the trailer’s lift gate, Skyway Road Service Corp. Mejias alleged that the
accident was a result of a defect of the lift gate, that Earlington negligently involved him
in a dangerous aspect of the offloading process, that Spec Personnel and Xtra Lease were
vicariously liable for Earlington’s actions, that the remaining defendants were negligent
in their repair of the lift gate, and that those defendants’ negligence created a dangerous
condition that caused the accident.
EGL Eagle Global Logistics and Xtra Lease were ultimately dismissed. The matter
proceeded against the remaining defendants.
Plaintiff’s counsel claimed that the trailer’s lift gate had failed to fully open during a
delivery that was performed earlier on the day of the accident. He claimed that employees
of Ceva Logistics, Ryder Truck Rental and Skyway Road Service determined that partial
functionality could be restored by removing a support chain that seemed to be impeding
the lift gate’s progress. The chain was removed with the assistance of an on-site Skyway
Road Service technician, leaving only a single support chain. As a result, Earlington
could not independently operate the lift gate; another person was needed to balance the
cargo that was being offloaded. Mejia claimed that he was performing that function--at
Earlington’s direction--at the time of the accident. Plaintiff’s counsel claimed that the lift
gate’s initial malfunction was not properly addressed, and he contended that the error
caused a dangerous condition that led to Mejias’ accident.
Skyway Road Service’s counsel contended that Earlington was advised against making
further deliveries after the removal of the problematic chain, but Earlington denied
having received such a warning.
Defense counsel also contended that Mejias had been involved in a prior accident while
assisting the offloading of cargo, and they claimed that Mejias’ supervisor had ordered
that Mejias was not to perform that activity again.
Injuries/Damages Mejias was placed in an ambulance, and he was transported to a
hospital. He claimed that he was suffering pain that stemmed from his back, his head,
his knees, his left, nondominant arm’s shoulder and his neck. Doctors determined that he
had sustained a concussion.
Mejias claimed that he also sustained tears of his left shoulder’s biceps tendon, glenoid
labrum and rotator cuff and herniations of his C4-5, C5-6, C6-7 and L5-S1 intervertebral
discs. He further claimed that the accident aggravated prior injuries of his knees, resulting
in tears of his left knee’s lateral and medial menisci and a loose body segment in his right
knee. He also claimed that he developed post-concussion syndrome, with manifestations
that included anxiety, depression, fatigue, insomnia, irritability, suicidal ideation, and
impairment of his concentration and organizational skills.
Mejias’ spinal injuries were initially addressed via painkilling injections, but he claimed
that the treatment did not resolve his pain. In 2009, he underwent a laminectomy, which
involved the partial excision of his L5 and S1 vertebrae. In April 2009, his right knee’s
injury was addressed via a chondroplasty, which involved the repair of damaged cartilage.
In August 2009, he underwent surgical repair of his left knee. In 2012, he underwent
separate procedures that involved fusion of his spine’s C5-6 and L5-S1 levels.
Mejias claimed that he suffers residual pain and that his concussion’s effects linger. He
further claimed that his residual effects prevent his resumption of work and all but the
simplest of his household chores.
Mejias sought recovery of past medical expenses, a total of about $1.75 million for past
and future lost earnings, and unspecified damages for past and future pain and suffering.
Result The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement, which was finalized via the guidance of mediator Ronnie Bernon Gallina, of Jams. Ceva Logistics’ insurer agreed to
contribute $2.25 million; Spec Personnel’s insurer agreed to contribute $600,000, from
a policy that provided $1 million of coverage; and Skyway Road Service’s insurer agreed
to contribute $200,000, from a policy that provided $500,000 of coverage. Thus, the
settlement totaled $3.05 million.
Editor’s comment This report is based on court documents, information that was
provided by plaintiff’s counsel, and information that was provided by counsel of Ceva
Logistics, EGL Eagle Global Logistics and Ryder Truck Rental. Xtra Lease’s counsel
was not asked to contribute, and the remaining defendants’ counsel did not respond to
the reporter’s phone calls.
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2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
Number Twent y Three
Motor Vehicle
Speeding — Pedestrian — Government — Municipalities
Plaintiff(s) Beatriz Marie Diaz (Male, 20 Years)
Plaintiff
Attorney(s) Steven Smedresman; Law Office of Steven Smedresman P.C.;
New York, NY, for Beatriz Marie Diaz
Plaintiff claimed she was struck by speeding
police vehicle
Plaintiff
expert(s)
AMOUNT$3,000,000
Defendant(s) Scott Monier,
City of New York,
New York City Police Department
TYPESettlement
Case
Diaz v. City of New York
VENUE
Bronx Supreme Court
JudgeN/A
Date
Injury
Type(s)
July 23, 2013
leg - fracture, fracture, tibia, fracture, fibula, scar and/or
disfigurement, leg
ankle - fracture, fracture, malleolus, fracture, bimalleolar
brain - brain damage, traumatic brain injury
elbow - fracture, elbow
other - arthritis, closed reduction, spleen, laceration, compartment
syndrome, decreased range of motion
pelvis - fracture, fracture, pubic ramus
shoulder - fracture, fracture, scapula
face/nose - facial laceration, scar and/or disfigurement, face
urological - kidney
surgeries/treatment - open reduction, internal fixation
mental/psychological - anxiety, depression, concentration, impairment
gastrointestinal/digestive - liver, liver, laceration
Brian Greenwald M.D.; Physical Rehabilitation; New York, NY
Jerry Lubliner M.D.; Orthopedic Surgery; New York, NY
Wayne Gordon Ph.D.; Neuropsychology; New York, NY
Christopher Shapley Ph.D.; Accident Reconstruction; Houston, TX
Facts & Allegations On Dec. 9, 2008, plaintiff Beatriz Marie Diaz, 20, a dancer, was
struck by a motor vehicle. The incident occurred on the southbound side of University
Avenue, near its intersection at Featherbed Lane, in the Morris Heights section of the
Bronx. Diaz sustained injuries of an ankle, an elbow, her face, her head, a kidney, a leg,
her liver, her pelvis, a shoulder and a spleen.
Diaz sued the vehicle’s driver, Scott Monier, and his employers, the city of New
York and the New York City Police Department. Diaz alleged that Monier was
negligent in the operation of his vehicle. She further alleged that the remaining
defendants were liable because the accident occurred within the course of Monier’s
work duties.
Diaz’s counsel retained an accident-reconstruction expert who opined that Monier
was likely maintaining a speed of 45 to 50 mph at the time of the accident, which would
have exceeded the posted speed limit. The expert contended that the vehicle’s speed was
certainly greater than 27 mph.
Monier claimed that Diaz darted into the path of his vehicle, that she did not utilize a
nearby crosswalk and that the traffic signals favored him. He also claimed that he could
not have avoided the accident.
-Continued on p30
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
29
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
-Continued from p29
Injuries/Damages Diaz sustained lacerations of her face, a kidney, her liver and her
spleen; a fracture of her skull; fractures of her left leg’s fibula and tibia; a fracture of her
pelvis’s inferior public ramus; a fracture of her right, dominant arm’s elbow; a fracture
of her left shoulder’s scapula; and a fracture of her left ankle. The latter fracture was
a bimalleolar fracture: a fracture of each of an ankle’s malleoli, which are the bony
protuberances. Her left leg also developed compartment syndrome: a pressurized
condition of a muscle or muscles. The condition produces impingement of arteries, nerves
and/or veins, and it can threaten an associated limb.
Diaz was placed in an ambulance, and she was transported to Lincoln Medical and
Mental Health Center, in the Bronx. She underwent open reduction and internal fixation
of the fractures of her left ankle and left leg. Her right elbow’s fracture was addressed via
closed reduction. Her hospitalization lasted about 45 days.
Diaz claimed that she was homebound during the three months that followed the
accident. She also claimed that she suffers residual damage of her brain, with resultant
impairment of her ability to concentrate, that her left ankle has developed residual
arthritis, that she suffers a residual diminution of her left ankle’s range of motion, and
that she experiences residual anxiety and depression. She retains a 3-inch-long scar of her
forehead and a 15-inch-long scar of her left leg.
Diaz sought recovery of damages for past and future pain and suffering.
Defense counsel contended that Diaz’s orthopedic injuries have largely healed.
Result The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement. The city agreed to pay $3 million.
Editor’s comment This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s and defense counsel.
Number Twent y Three
Premises Liability
Apartment — Falling Object — Tenant’s Injury — Dangerous Condition
Toddlers’ burns caused by shaky stove, mother
claimed
AMOUNT$3,000,000
TYPE
Case
VENUE
Judge
Mediated Settlement
Berisha v. 1957 Bronxdale Corp.
Bronx Supreme Court
Robert Adams
Date
March 7, 2013
Injury
Type(s)
arm - arm
leg - leg, scar and/or disfigurement, leg
back - back
burns - first degree, second degree
other - thigh, hypertrophy
epidermis - hyperpigmentation
surgeries/treatment - skin graft
mental/psychological - anxiety, emotional distress, post-traumatic
stress disorder
Plaintiff(s) Arta Berisha
Erjon Berisha
Erlin Berisha
Plaintiff
Attorney(s) Ylber Albert Dauti; The Dauti Law Firm, P.C.; New York, NY
Plaintiff
expert(s)
Alex Weintrob M.D.; Psychiatry; New York, NY
Robert Goldstein M.D.; Plastic Surgery/Reconstructive Surgery;
Bronx, NY
Nicholas Bellizzi P.E.; Engineering; Holmdel, NJ
Defendant(s) 1957 Bronxdale Corp.
Insurer(s)
30
Public Service Mutual Insurance Co.
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
Facts & Allegations On Aug. 6, 2010, plaintiff Erjon Berisha, 2, and his brother,
plaintiff Erlin Berisha, 3, sustained burns of limbs. The incident occurred in their
residence, an apartment building that was located at 1957 Bronxdale Ave., in the
Van Nest section of the Bronx. The children’s mother, Arta Berisha, claimed that the
apartment’s stove tipped while the children were climbing on it, causing boiling water to
spill out of a pot and onto the children.
Arta Berisha, acting individually and as the parent and natural guardian of Erjon
and Erlin, sued the premises’ manager, 1957 Bronxdale Corp. Ms. Berisha alleged that
1957 Bronxdale was negligent in its installation of the stove. She further alleged that the
corporation’s negligence caused a dangerous condition that led to her children’s injuries.
Berisha’s expert engineer submitted a report in which he opined that tip-prevention
brackets should have been installed on the stove. He also opined that the stove was not
installed in the manner specified by the manufacturer’s instructions.
The defense’s expert engineer submitted a report in which he opined that tip-prevention
brackets were not provided with the stove when it was purchased. He further opined that
the brackets were not a mandatory element at the time at which the stove was installed.
Defense counsel contended that Ms. Berisha should have better supervised her children
and not allowed them to climb on the stove. He also challenged Berisha’s credibility. A
witness claimed that Berisha reported that the accident was a result of the children having
knocked a teapot off of a coffee table while wrestling.
Injuries/Damages Erjon sustained first- and second-degree burns of his back and his
left thigh. He was transported to Jacobi Medical Center, in the Bronx. He underwent the
application of a graft of skin that repaired a wound of his left thigh. His hospitalization
lasted eight days. The plaintiffs’ expert plastic surgeon submitted a report in which he
contended that Erjon retains residual hyperpigmentation of skin. Erjon also bears a
hypertrophic scar of his left thigh. The surgeon opined that the scar may be improved via
surgery at a cost of $10,000 to $25,000.
Erjon’s mother claimed that Erjon experienced residual emotional distress that caused
adjustment disorder. She sought recovery of Erjon’s past and future medical expenses and
damages for Erjon’s past and future pain and suffering. She also presented a derivative
claim.
Erlin sustained first-degree burns of his right arm and his right leg. He was transported
to Jacobi Medical Center. His wounds were bandaged, and he was released after three
days had passed. The plaintiffs’ expert plastic surgeon submitted a report in which he
contended that Erlin retains residual hyperpigmentation of skin of his right arm and right
leg.
Erlin’s mother claimed that Erlin also experienced residual post-traumatic stress
disorder, with manifestations that included anxiety. She sought recovery of Erlin’s past
medical expenses and damages for Erlin’s past and future pain and suffering. She also
presented a derivative claim.
The defense’s expert plastic surgeon submitted a report in which he opined that Erjon’s
burns have resolved. He contended that revisionary surgery may be performed, but that
the procedure is not necessary. The defense’s expert psychologist submitted a report in
which he opined that Erjon does not demonstrate evidence of psychological symptoms
related to the accident.
The defense’s expert psychologist also opined that Erlin does not demonstrate evidence
of psychological distress. The defense’s expert plastic surgeon submitted a report in which
he opined that Erlin’s burns have resolved and that additional treatment is not necessary.
Result The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement, which was finalized via the guidance
of mediator Robert Adams, of National Arbitration and Mediation Inc. The defendant’s
insurer agreed to pay $3 million. Erlin’s share totaled $950,000, and Erjon’s share totaled
$2.05 million.
Editor’s comment This report is based on information that was provided by
plaintiffs’ and defense counsel.
-Continued on p32
The VerdictSearch Solution
Case-Winning Intelligence
on the Web, on the Phone and in Print
www.verdictsearch.com
The Dauti Law Firm, P.C.
45 Broadway, Suite 3020, New York, NY 10006
Phone: (212) 566-4891 Fax: (212) 271-3314
www.dautilaw.com
The Dauti Law Firm, P.C. represents
a diversified group of clients, both
individuals and companies, in
domestic and international civil and
commercial litigation matters.
The Firm uses its knowledge of
many aspects of the law to develop
innovative strategies for negotiation
and litigation with a single objective:
To reach the best results for its clients
in the shortest possible period of time.
#1 PREMISES LIABILITY SETTLEMENT
IN NEW YORK FOR SECOND YEAR IN A ROW
Ylber Albert Dauti is honored to be included in the Top New York Verdicts/Settlements for the fifth year in a row and to
have the #1 reported settlement in Premises Liability for both 2012 and 2013 in New York.
$3 million award on Berisha v. 1957 Bronxdale Corp.(2013)
$1.76 million award on Kramer v. Curry, et.al., (2012)
In the past Mr. Dauti has also been featured with million dollar awards:
$1.2 million award on Bajrami v. 5400 Company, et.al. (2011)
$1.81 million award on John & Jane Doe v. ABC Corp. (Mediated Confidential Settlement - 2011)
$2.225 million award on Xhaferri v. Housing Partnership Development Corp., et. al. (2010)
$1.68 million award on Maliqi v. 17 E. 89th Street Tenants, Inc., et.al., where at the time of trial plaintiff was in
deportation immigration proceedings (2009).
Mr. Dauti has been practicing civil litigation in New York for over a decade and he is also a duly licensed Solicitor in England
and Wales.
Mr. Dauti has successfully tried and settled numerous civil actions on behalf of both his own clients and those referred to
him by other attorneys. He continues to successfully champion the rights of undocumented workers to recover in personal
injury cases.
The Dauti Law Firm, PC handles cases involving construction accidents, wrongful death, general liability, automobile
accidents involving serious injuries, commercial litigation, international transactions and international arbitration.
Mr. Dauti speaks several languages and he is a member of various national and international bar associations.
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
-Continued from p30
Number Twent y Five
Motor Vehicle
Broadside — Stop Sign — Intersection — Multiple Vechicle
Vehicular accident caused spinal injury, plaintiff
claimed
exaggerated the extent of his future medical needs. Defense counsel contended that
Sanchez stopped treating in April 2012 and does not require additional treatment.
The defense’s vocational-rehabilitation expert submitted a report in which he opined
that Sanchez can perform sedentary work that would provide earnings that equaled or
exceeded Sanchez’s pre-accident earnings. The defense’s expert economist submitted a
report in which he estimated that Sanchez’s past and future lost earnings would total
$165,000 to $220,000.
Result The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement, which was finalized via the guidance of mediator Kenneth Grundstein, of National Arbitration and Mediation Inc. The
defendants’ insurers agreed to pay a total of $2,925,000.
Editor’s comment This report is based on court documents, information that was
provided by plaintiff’s counsel and information that was provided by defense counsel.
AMOUNT$2,925,000
TYPE
Case
VENUE
Judge
Mediated Settlement
Sanchez v. Lonero Transit Inc.
Bronx Supreme Court
Kenneth Grundstein
Date
April 9, 2013
Injury
Type(s)
back - fusion, lumbar, bulging disc, lumbar
other - physical therapy, epidural injections
Plaintiff(s) Yesid Sanchez (Male, 41 Years)
Plaintiff
Attorney(s) Daniel P. O’Toole & Frederick C. Aranki; Block, O’Toole & Murphy,
LLP, New York, NY, trial counsel to Elliot Ifraimoff & Associates,
P.C., Forest Hills, NY
Plaintiff
expert(s)
Alan Leiken Ph.D.; Economics; Stony Brook, NY
Paul Brisson M.D.; Orthopedics; New York, NY
Edwin Richter M.D.; Physical Medicine; Stamford, CT
Charles Kincaid Ph.D.; Vocational Rehabilitation; Hackensack, NJ
Defendant(s) Deidamia Herrera,
Lonero Transit, Inc.
Facts & Allegations On July 13, 2009, plaintiff Yesid Sanchez, 41, a package handler,
was driving on 50th Avenue, near its intersection at 97th Street, in the Corona section
of Queens. While he was proceeding through the intersection, his vehicle was struck by
a school bus, that was being driven by Deidamia Herrera, who was traveling on 97th
Street. Sanchez claimed that he sustained an injury of his back.
Sanchez sued Herrera and the owner of Herrera’s bus, Lonero Transit Inc. Sanchez
alleged that Herrera was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Sanchez further alleged
that Lonero Transit was vicariously liable for Herrera’s actions.
Sanchez claimed that Herrera ignored a stop sign that governed his entrance to the
intersection. Sanchez’s course was not governed by a traffic-control device.
Herrera acknowledged that he did not promptly notice the stop sign, and he estimated
that 2 to 3 feet of the bus had passed the sign when he applied the bus’s brakes. However,
he contended that Sanchez could have avoided the bus. He claimed that Sanchez was
speeding.
Sanchez’s counsel moved for summary judgment of liability, but the motion was
denied. Sanchez’s counsel appealed, and the appellate division, First Department,
reversed. Summary judgment was granted, and the matter proceeded to damages.
Injuries/Damages Sanchez was placed in an ambulance, and he was transported to
Elmhurst Hospital Center, in Queens. He underwent minor treatment.
Erjon’s mother claimed that Erjon experienced residual emotional distress that caused
adjustment disorder. She sought recovery of Erjon’s past and future medical expenses and
damages for Erjon’s past and future pain and suffering. She also presented a derivative
claim.
Sanchez claimed that he suffers permanent residual pain and limitations that prevent
his resumption of work. He has not worked since undergoing the first fusion of his
spine. Sanchez’s expert physiatrist opined that Sanchez requires additional therapy,
rehabilitation and medication.
Sanchez sought recovery of $269,768 for past medical expenses, $932,468 for future
medical expenses, $95,000 for past lost earnings, $1,711,223 for future lost earnings, and
unspecified damages for past and future pain and suffering.
The defense’s expert neurologist submitted a report in which he opined that Sanchez
suffered nothing more than a muscle strain. The expert contended that Sanchez greatly
32
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
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TOP 2013 NEW YORK SETTLEMENTS BY CATEGORY
Animals
Motor Vehicle: Parked Car
Civil Rights
Motor Vehicle: Passenger
Construction
Motor Vehicle: Pedestrian
Consumer Protection
Motor Vehicle: Question Lights
Dangerous Condition of Public Property
Motor Vehicle: Railroad Crossing
Government
Motor Vehicle: Rear End Collision
Insurance
Motor Vehicle: Red Light/Stop Sign
Intentional Torts
Motor Vehicle: Reversing
Motor Vehicle: Bicycle
Motor Vehicle: Right Turn
Motor Vehicle: Broadside
Motor Vehicle: Sideswipe
Motor Vehicle: Crosswalk
Motor Vehicle: Speeding
Motor Vehicle: Dangerous Condition
Premises Liability
Motor Vehicle: Hit & Run
Privacy
Motor Vehicle: Intersection
Products Liability
Motor Vehicle: Lane Change
Recreation
Motor Vehicle: Left Turn
Road Defect
Motor Vehicle: Lemon Law
Slips, Trips & Falls
Motor Vehicle: Motorcycle
Transportation
Motor Vehicle: Multiple Vehicle
Worker/Workplace Negligence
Motor Vehicle: No-Fault Case
Workplace
Motor Vehicle: Parental Liability
Wrongful Death
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
Animals
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Kavazanjian v. Palacio
12/4/13
Nassau Supreme
Dog Bite: Defendant's dog bit 25 year old
plaintiff who was at defendant's premises.
Louis J. Cerrato, Garden City, NY of Frommer & Cerrato, LLP
$300,000
Cumber v. Powell
7/12/13
Onondaga
Supreme
Dog Bite: Landlord liable for escape of
tenant's dogs, neighbors claimed
David R. Cheverie, New York, NY of Hach & Rose, LLP
$250,000
Civil Rights
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Porter v. City of New York
12/5/13
Bronx Supreme
Excessive Force: 17 year old shot by off duty
NYPD detective arguing over parking spot.
Jonathan L. Gleit, Bronx, New York of Law Office of Jonathan L. Gleit
$225,000
Construction
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Alpirez v. WBB Construction Inc.
12/4/13
New York
Supreme
Demolition: Large falling pipe struck
Plaintiff in the head causing fall from 12
ft scaffold.
Marc J. Rothenberg, New York, NY of The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP
$11,500,000
Dolan v. New York Presbyterian Hospital
6/3/13
New York
Supreme
Labor Law: Hoisting accident caused spine, Kenneth Sacks & Daniel Weir, New York, NY of Sacks & Sacks, LLP
shoulder injuries, worker claimed
$6,350,000
Stallone v. Plaza Construction Corp.
5/9/13
New York
Supreme
Accidents: Crane's ladder slippery and
dangerous, worker claimed
David H. Perecman & Adam M. Hurwitz, New York, NY of The Perecman
Firm, PLLC; Paul W. Cutrone, Douglaston, NY of Law Offices of Paul W.
Cutrone
$6,000,000
Clarke v. AKHK Brooklyn Restaurant, LLC
12/3/13
Kings Supreme
Labor Law: Plaintiff injured shoulder and
neck after falling off scaffold.
David H. Perecman, New York, NY of The Perecman Firm, PLLC
$3,600,000
Ellerbe v. Port Authority of New York and New
Jersey
2/4/13
New York
Supreme
Scaffolds and Ladders: Poorly secured ladder caused accident, worker claimed
Joseph P. Carfora, David H. Mayer & Kenneth Sacks, New York, NY of Sacks
& Sacks, LLP
$2,500,000
Nunez v. New York City School Construction
Authority
12/9/13
Kings Supreme
Labor Law: Plaintiff fell 10 ft. onto
concrete floor when ladder shifted and
collapsed.
Thomas J. Moverman & Marc E. Freund, New York, NY of Lipsig Shapey
Manus & Moverman, PC
$2,500,000
Addino v. Gladden Properties LLC
5/20/13
Kings Supreme
Labor Law: Trucker carelessly backed up at
job site, injured worker claimed
Jeffrey A. Block & S. Joseph Donahue, New York, NY of Block, O'Toole &
Murphy LLP
$2,300,000
Tolpa v. One Astoria Square
12/3/13
Kings Supreme
Labor Law: Worker fell into uncovered pit
housing sump pump on construction site.
David H. Perecman & Adam M. Hurwitz, New York, NY of The Perecman
Firm, PLLC
$2,100,000
Pellegrino v. City of New York
4/15/13
Queens Supreme
Accidents: Injured worker claimed he was
directed into dangerous area
Joseph E. Gorczyca, Jericho, NY of Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C.
$1,500,000
Hicks v. Aurora Contractors Inc.
12/17/12
Kings Supreme
Labor Law: Protruding rod made work site
dangerous, carpenter claimed
Joseph E. Gorczyca, Jericho, NY of Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C.
$1,500,000
Lacca v. 150 Amsterdam Holdings, LLC.
3/6/13
New York
Supreme
Labor Law: Work site's debris a hazard,
plaintiff claimed
Louis Grandelli, New York, NY of Louis Grandelli, P.C.
$1,400,000
Pizarro v. George T. Douris Housing and
Development Fund Corp
12/10/13
New York
Supreme
Labor Law: Aluminum Beam hit plaintiff's
right side of face and jaw while on work
site
Nick Gjelaj, Queens, NY, of Mullaney & Gjelaj, PLLC
$1,050,000
Gutierrez v. Hillburn Park, Corp.
3/7/13
Rockland
Supreme
Scaffolds and Ladders: Worker fell ten feet
onto the ground while on ladder
Louis Grandelli, New York, NY of Louis Grandelli, P.C.
$850,000
Torres v. State of New York
8/15/13
Court of Claims,
Hauppauge
Accidents: Fall from ladder ended career,
laborer claimed
Michael A. Rose & Mark G. Sokoloff, New York, NY of Hach & Rose, LLP
$800,000
Bennett v. M&T Bank Corp.
11/12/12
Erie Supreme
Accidents: Messy construction site a
hazard, laborer claimed
Marc C. Panepinto & Anne Wheeler, Buffalo, NY of Cantor Dolce &
Panepinto
$792,500
34
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
NAM CHOSEN AS THE 1 ADR FIRM
#
THIRD YEAR IN A ROW IN NEW YORK LAW JOURNAL RANKINGS SURVEY
NAM Congratulates Labor Law
Mediator Robert Adams, Esq.
Voted one of the Top Ten Best Individual Mediators in New York State for
three consecutive years by the New York Law Journal Rankings Survey
A SAMPLING OF MEDIATED SETTLEMENTS
Robert Adams, Esq.
DATE
AMOUNT
DATE
AMOUNT
DATE
AMOUNT
01-03-13
01-08-13
01-09-13
01-14-13
02-07-13
02-15-13
03-06-13
03-21-13
03-22-13
03-26-13
03-28-13
03-29-13
04-15-13
04-18-13
04-23-13
04-29-13
2,400,000
1,300,000
1,900,000
1,000,000
3,000,000
2,110,000
1,400,000
4,300,000
1,375,000
4,200,000
1,550,000
1,250,000
1,000,000
2,100,000
1,750,000
2,025,000
04-30-13
05-10-13
05-15-13
05-16-13
05-20-13
06-03-13
06-13-13
06-18-13
07-01-13
07-08-13
07-19-13
07-24-13
08-01-13
08-02-13
08-05-13
08-12-13
1,500,000
2,050,000
1,775,000
2,950,000
2,300,000
6,350,000
1,750,000
3,000,000
1,100,000
1,900,000
2,000,000
2,000,000
1,000,000
3,300,000
1,200,000
4,000,000
09-03-13
09-12-13
09-19-13
09-24-13
09-30-13
10-02-13
10-08-13
10-15-13
10-16/13
11-01-13
11-18-13
11-21-13
11-26-13
12-09-13
12-10-13
12-11-13
1,100,000
1,900,000
3,500,000
1,200,000
2,450,000
1,500,000
2,400,000
1,200,000
3,475,000
1,800,000
2,650,000
1,900,000
2,600,000
2,400,000
2,000,000
4,400,000
Former Senior V.P. Risk Management,
Tishman Construction Corp.
Specialties Include: Labor Law,
Construction, Insurance Coverage,
Sports Law, Entertainment, International
The Better Solution
®
122 East 42nd Street, Suite 803, New York, New York 10168
Additional Locations: Garden City, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Westchester and Buffalo (800) 358-2550 | www.namadr.com
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
Construction
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Faraci v. Avalon Riverview North LLC
7/8/13
Kings Supreme
Accidents: Worker struck by crane's load,
claimed career-ending injuries
Nick Gjelaj, Forest Hills, NY of Mullaney & Gjelaj, PLLC, trial counsel;
Warren A. Zwirn, Brooklyn, NY of Zwirn & Saulino, P.C.
$750,000
Krawec v. AMTRAK
9/4/13
S.D.N.Y.
Plaintiff injured by tripping hazard within
railroad tracks
John Zaremba, New York, NY of Zaremba Brownell & Brown PLLC
$650,000
Andruszckiewicz v. Constructomax
7/2/13
Kings Supreme
Inadequate access to construction site in
New Jersey caused plaintiff's injuries
Daniel Gluck, New York, NY of Zaremba Brownell & Brown PLLC
$375,000
Consumer Protection
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Mejias v. Chrysler Group, LLC
4/30/13
Office of the Attorney General
Lemon Law: SUV's engine, electrical system were irreparable, owner claimed
Anthony T. Ballato, Massapequa, NY of Anthony T. Ballato, Esq.
$37,745
Danngerous Condition of Public Property
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Reitzer v. City of New York
12/10/12
Bronx Supreme
Damaged sidewalk ignored for years,
plaintiff claimed
Jonathan L. Gleit, Bronx, NY of Law Office of Jonathan L. Gleit
$825,000
Nick Gjelaj was selected to the
2013 New York Super Lawyers List
We Handle all types of accident cases involving
serious injuries including construction accidents,
motor vehicle accidents, false arrests, premises
accidents, elevator accidents and medical Malpractice.
Our results have been published in New York Magazine for being part of the team that had three of the top
construction settlements and verdicts for the entire State of New York. We have been published in New York Law
Journal, NY Verdict Reporter and the National Verdict Reporter.
Nick Gjelaj is a board of director with the New York State Trial Lawyers Association where he is the co-chair of the
Immigrant Worker Outreach Program. He has tried many cases to verdict and he has recovered over $150,000,000
for his clients. His results have been published in New York Law Journal, NY Verdict Reporter and the National
Verdict Reporter. He is a board of director with the New York State Trial Lawyers Association where he is the co-chair
of the Immigrant Worker Outreach Program. Nick was recently named a Super Lawyer for 2013.
Pat Mullaney is an active trial attorney who has tried close to 20 cases since forming his own firm in March 2011.
He was recently honored to be acknowledged as one of the Top 100 Irish American lawyers in America.
100-09 Metropolitan Avenue Forest Hills, NY 11375 T: 718.821.8100 • F: 718.821.8108
36
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
277 Broadway, New York, NY 10007
www.maglawyers.com
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
Government
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Litrell v. City of New York
3/21/13
Richmond
Supreme
Municipalities: Boy struck by minivan after Jason L. Paris, New York, NY of Paris & Chaikin PLLC
slipping on icy roadway
$2,000,000
Robles v. NYC
5/29/13
Bronx Supreme
Municipalities: Plow's driver not mindful
of lane boundaries, suit alleged
David M. Oddo, New York, NY of Okun, Oddo & Babat, P.C.
$1,500,000
Varano v. City of New York
3/4/13
Kings Supreme
Municipalities: City ignored uneven sidewalk, plaintiff claimed
Marc E. Freund, New York, NY of Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman, P.C.
$750,000
Edwards v. City of New York
5/17/13
Bronx Supreme
Municipalities: City ignored crosswalk's
pothole, plaintiff claimed
James W. Bacher & Lawrence B. Saftler, New York, NY of The Saftler Law
Firm
$350,000
Wu v. City of New York
12/18/12
Kings Supreme
Municipalities: Student's finger crushed by
door during teacher's absence
Daniela F. Henriques & Edward A. Steinberg, New York, NY of Leav &
Steinberg, L.L.P.
$350,000
Porter v. City of New York
2/14/13
Bronx Supreme
Excessive Force: Policeman needlessly shot
teen after altercation, suit alleged
Jonathan L. Gleit, Bronx, NY
$225,000
Insurance
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Wales Cluster Corp. v. Seneca Insurance Co. Inc.
2/15/13
Bronx Supreme
Coverage & Property Damage: Excavation
project damaged neighboring buildings,
suit alleged
Frank Winston, New York, NY of Lerner, Arnold & Winston, LLP; Eric Goldberg, New York, NY of Kahn & Goldberg, LLP
$2,188,952
Intentional Torts
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Kramer v. S & S Pub Inc.
2/12/13
Nassau Supreme
Assault and Battery: Pub's patron claimed
he was injured by bouncer
Brad A. Kauffman, New York, NY of Law Offices of Brad A. Kauffman, PLLC
$100,000
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
37
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
Medical Malpractice
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Figueroa v. NYCH & HC
1/14/13
Bronx Supreme
Failure to Diagnose: Child's apnea led to
hypoxia, damage of brain, suit alleged
Robert J. Genis, Bronx, NY of Sonin & Genis
$7,000,000
Camacho v. Salem
5/1/13
Dutchess
Supreme
Obstetrics: Botched delivery resulted in
developmental delays and autism spectrum disorder.
Brian Brown, New York, NY of Zaremba Brownell & Brown PLLC
$3,500,000
Daly v. Madhussudan
12/9/13
Richmond
Supreme
Obstetrics: Negligent use of vacuum at
time of delivery
Alan S. Ripka, New York, NY of Napoli, Bern, Ripka, Shkolnik, LLP
$2,400,000
Estate of Engram v. Noble Medical Associates,
Inc
3/20/13
Kings Supreme
Premature Discharge: Incomplete treatAllan Zelikovic, New York, NY of Weitz & Luxenberg P.C.
ment led to fatal loss of blood, suit alleged
$2,200,000
Robinson v. Silverstein
12/10/13
New York
Supreme
Obstetrics: Failure to timely deliver
baby leading to hemorrhage, palsy and
seizures.
Alan S. Ripka, New York, NY of Napoli, Bern, Ripka, Shkolnik, LLP
$2,000,000
Mendoza v. Raj
12/6/13
Bronx Supreme
Medical Malpractice Plaintiff burned by
laser during lipolysis procedure.
Andrew Laskin, New York, NY of Robinson & Yablon, PC
$1,250,000
Schultz v. Queens-Long Isalnd Medical Group,
P.C.
4/22/13
Nassau Supreme
Delayed Treatment: Doc didn't reveal that
test found cancer, estate alleged
Nicholas A. Wise & Allan Zelikovic, New York, NY of Weitz & Luxenberg P.C.
$1,100,000
Singh v. Cheema
12/5/12
Queens Supreme
Failure to Monitor: Doc provided no management of diabetes, patient claimed
Alan S. Ripka, New York, NY of Napoli, Bern, Ripka, Shkolnik, LLP
$1,000,000
Estate of Fulton v. Central Brooklyn Medical
Group, P.C.
2/16/13
Kings Supreme
Failure to Test: Doc repeatedly ignored
signs of cancer, estate alleged
Michael K. Eidman, New York, NY of Law Office of Michael K. Eidman
$950,000
Estate of Mincieli v. Anderson
5/10/13
Suffolk Supreme
Cancer Diagnosis: Polyp not properly
examined, plaintiff's counsel alleged
Peter B.N. Christy, New York, NY of Petrocelli & Christy
$925,000
Estate of Gbetoho v. Rolon
4/12/13
New York
Supreme
Failure to Test: Patient's fatal clot deemed
a migraine, suit alleged
Elizabeth Montesano, New York, NY of Sullivan Papain Block McGrath &
Cannavo P.C.
$750,000
Rivera v. Alcaide
1/3/13
Kings Supreme
Surgical Error: Doc's unnecessary cut
caused sterility, suit alleged
Michael W. Gunzburg, New York, NY of Michael Gunzburg, P.C.
$750,000
Ginsburg v. Ingrassia
7/1/13
Rockland
Supreme
Failure to conduct colorectal screening led
to late discovery of stage IV colon cancer
Brian Brown and Daniel Gluck, New York, NY of Zaremba Brownell & Brown $675,000
PLLC
Correa v. New York City Health and Hospitals
Corp.
11/27/12
New York
Supreme
Failure to Detect: Patient's aorta damaged
during installation of catheter's port
Sherri L. Plotkin, New York, NY of Rheingold, Valet, Rheingold, McCartney
& Giuffra LLP
$500,000
Motor Vehicle: Bicycle
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Marca v. Andrew James Interiors
12/5/13
Queens Supreme
Bicycle: Intoxicated bicyclist struck by van.
Police report adverse to plaintiff.
Kenneth Wilhelm, New York, NY of Law Office of Kenneth A. Wilhelm
$5,600,000
Jardim v. New York & Co.
3/12/13
Kings Supreme
Bicycle: Store negligence caused serious
injury, plaintiff cliamed
Marc E. Freund, New York, NY of Thomas J. Moverman, Esq.
$2,200,000
Milea v. Feher Rubbish Removal
12/2/13
Onondaga
Supreme
Bicycle: Infant bicyclist struck by garbage
truck.
John E. Ballow, Buffalo, NY of The Ballow Law Firm, PC
$450,000
Anastasakis v. Amin
5/30/13
Kings Supreme
Bicycle: Speeding driver struck bicyclist,
suit alleged
Gil Zohar, New York, NY of The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff, PLLC
$100,000
Cooks v. Marshall
2/7/13
Monroe Supreme Bicycle: Bicyclist, van's driver traded blame Sean Kelley, Buffalo, NY of Cellino & Barnes, P.C.
for collision
$15,000
Deming v. Williams
7/1/13
Cattaraugus
Supreme
$9,000
38
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
Bicycle: Motorist didn't yield while exiting
parking lot, bicyclist claimed
John W. Looney, Buffalo, NY of Cellino & Barnes, P.C.
NAM CHOSEN AS THE 1 ADR FIRM
#
THIRD YEAR IN A ROW IN NEW YORK LAW JOURNAL RANKINGS SURVEY
NAM Congratulates Medical Malpractice
Mediator Kenneth Grundstein, Esq.
Voted one of the Top Ten Best Individual Mediators in New York State for
four consecutive years by the New York Law Journal Rankings Survey
A SAMPLING OF MEDIATED SETTLEMENTS
DATE
AMOUNT
DATE
AMOUNT
DATE
AMOUNT
01-03-13
01-08-13
01-09-13
01-16-13
01-16-13
02-04-13
02-06-13
02-07-13
02-08-13
02-13-13
02-15-13
03-04-13
03-06-13
03-12-13
03-15-13
03-21-13
1,750,000
1,500,000
4,000,000
5,600,000
2,500,000
1,150,000
2,600,000
1,900,000
1,450,000
2,030,000
2,800,000
1,300,000
2,800,000
2,925,000
1,499,000
6,500,000
04-02-13
04-22-13
04-23-13
04-24-13
04-29-13
05-09-13
05-30-13
06-27-13
07-08-13
07-09-13
07-12-13
07-12-13
07-25-13
07-26-13
08-01-13
08-06-13
1,250,000
3,750,000
3,000,000
2,000,000
1,300,000
3,500,000
3,000,000
1,900,000
1,700,000
2,750,000
1,300,000
1,175,000
2,300,000
1,450,000
1,450,000
1,500,000
08-07-13
08-13-13
08-13-13
08-14-13
08-16-13
08-23-13
09-11-13
09-23-13
09-24-13
10-03-13
10-04-13
10-08-13
10-21-13
11-01-13
12-09-13
12-13-13
2,300,000
2,500,000
2,800,000
2,500,000
4,750,000
1,500,000
1,500,000
2,365,000
3,000,000
1,700,000
1,400,000
1,600,000
7,500,000
1,500,000
1,750,000
1,475,000
Kenneth Grundstein, Esq.
Former NYC Chief Settlement Negotiator
Specialties Include: Medical Malpractice,
Labor Law, Catastrophic Injury, Products
Liability, Property Damage
The Better Solution
®
122 East 42nd Street, Suite 803, New York, New York 10168
Additional Locations: Garden City, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Westchester and Buffalo (800) 358-2550 | www.namadr.com
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
Motor Vehicle: Broadside
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Sanchez v. Lonero Transit Inc.
4/9/13
Bronx Supreme
Broadside: Vehicular accident caused
spinal injury, plaintiff claimed
Daniel P. O'Toole & Frederick C. Aranki of Block, O'Toole & Murphy, LLP, New
York, NY, trial counsel to Elliot Ifraimoff & Associates, P.C., Forest Hills, NY
$2,925,000
Cook v. Goldman
6/21/13
Chautauqua
Supreme
Broadside: Motorist didn't look before
exiting driveway, suit alleged
Eric M. Shelton, Eden, NY of Campbell & Shelton, LLP
$1,100,000
Comacho v. Kildoyle
3/4/13
Bronx Supreme
Broadside: Car crash's parties each claimed Joseph B. Corpina & William K. Peterman, Bronx, NY of Corpina, Piergrossi
right of way
Overzat Klar & Peterman, LLP
$250,000
Bones v. Lojek
10/9/13
Niagara
Supreme
Broadside: Motorist's hasty turn caused
crash, plaintiff claimed
$40,000
Frank J. Dolce, Buffalo, NY of Cantor Dolce & Panepinto
Motor Vehicle: Crosswalk
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Melchiorre v. Dreisch
1/31/13
Richmond
Supreme
Crosswalk: Turning motorist didn't yield,
injured pedestrian claimed
S. Joseph Donahue & Jeffrey A. Block, New York, NY of Block, O'Toole &
Murphy LLP
$1,050,000
Roman-Calvo v. Cano
6/11/13
Bronx Supreme
Crosswalk: Plaintiff struck by work van
while crossing over street
Michael Arce & Yolanda Castro-Arce, Bronx, NY of The Arce Law Office, PLLC
$525,000
Motor Vehicle: Dangerous Condition
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Loachino v. Fardella
11/28/12
Queens Supreme
Dangerous Condition: Slow-moving truck
caused accident, motorist claimed
John Dalli, Mineola, NY of Dalli & Marino, L.L.P.
$750,000
Motor Vehicle: Hit & Run
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Greenberg v. Dexheimer
5/7/13
Sullivan
Supreme
Hit and Run: Defense: Plaintiff misidentified motorist involved in car collision
Stuart W. Mosbacher, Middletown, NY of Law Offices of Sobo & Sobo L.L.P.
$25,000
Motor Vehicle: Intersection
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Heigl v. Ambinder
7/29/13
Rockland
Supreme
Intersection: Plaintiff sustained brain
damage in conclusion
Peter B.N. Christy & Michael D. Zentner, New York, NY of Petrocelli &
Christy
$1,625,000
Gagliardo v. Eagle Auto-Mall Sales Inc
6/19/13
Nassau Supreme
Intersection: Driver ignored red light,
caused multi-car crash, plaintiff claimed
Deanne M. Caputo, Garden City, NY of Sullivan Papain Block McGrath &
Cannavo P.C.
$750,000
Tisack v. Rompf-Gallick
8/16/13
Niagara
Supreme
Intersection: Automobile accident caused
spinal injury, plaintiff claimed
Charles S. Desmond, II, Buffalo, NY of Gibson, McAskill & Crosby, LLP
$655,000
Hull v. Berardi
6/7/13
St. Lawrence
Supreme
Intersection: Motorist ignored flashing red Howard R. Schatz & Mitchell Silbowitz, New York, NY of Silbowitz, Garalight, caused crash, suit alleged
fola, Silbowitz, Schatz & Frederick, L.L.P.
$600,000
Benkleman v. Kolb
4/26/13
Erie Supreme
Intersection: Motorist's careless turn
caused accident, plaintiff claimed
Lawlor F. Quinlan, III, Buffalo, NY of Connors & Vilardo LLP
$600,000
Marmo v. Huang
9/12/13
New York
Supreme
Intersection: Car crash's parties each
claimed other should have yielded
Robert K. Marchese, Staten Island, NY of The Law Offices of Robert K.
Marchese, Esq., P.C.
$75,000
Hong v. Qui
5/9/13
Queens Supreme
Intersection: Car crash's parties debated
status of traffic signals
Eli Babaev, Flushing, NY of trial counsel, The Law Offices of Charles C. Khym $20,000
Anderson-Miller v. Banno
6/3/13
Nassau Supreme
Intersection: Car crash's parties disputed
status of traffic signals
Ernest T. Lawson, Mineola, NY of Levine and Wiss PLLC
40
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
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2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
Motor Vehicle: Lane Change
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Jaramillo v. V & W Trucking Limited
2/27/13
Westchester
Supreme
Lane Change: Highway accident caused
back and neck injuries, suit alleged
William K. Peterman, Bronx, NY of Corpina, Piergrossi, Klar & Peterman,
LLP
$935,000
Motor Vehicle: Left Turn
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Jurquera v. DL Peterson Trust
12/20/12
Bronx Supreme
Left Turn: Turning trucker didn't yield,
injured pedestrian claimed
Stephen J. Murphy & David L. Scher, New York, NY of Block O'Toole &
Murphy, LLP
$750,000
Miranda v. Jackson
1/9/13
Kings Supreme
Left Turn: Car crash caused by motorist
rushing to work, defense argued
Jason Firestein, Sayville, NY of Zlotolow & Associates
$25,000
Calogero v. Ni
4/4/13
Kings Supreme
Left Turn: Motorist didn't yield during
turn, injured pedestrian claimed
Steven T. Goldstein, New York, NY of Goldstein & Handwerker
$25,000
Motor Vehicle: Lemon Law
CASE
DATE
VENUE
Bryk v. Volkswagen of America Inc.
7/18/13
Office of the
Lemon Law: Car was disabled by emissions
Attorney General malfunction, owner claimed
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Anthony T. Ballato, Massapequa, NY of Anthony T. Ballato, Esq.
$25,560
Motor Vehicle: Motorcycle
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Serfess v. Becker
12/12/12
Orange Supreme
Motorcycle: Improper loading of rig caused Brian A. Sichol, Suffern, NY of Sichol & Hicks P.C.
accident, suit alleged
$2,000,000
Duvigneaud v. City of New York
5/23/13
New York
Supreme
Motorcycle: City ignored pothole, injured
motorcyclist claimed
Scott A. Wolinetz, New York, NY of Scott A. Wolinetz, P.C.
$175,000
McDurfee v. Sparks
4/30/13
Ontario Supreme Motorcycle: Turning driver didn't yield,
injured motorcyclist claimed
James L. Alexander, Syracuse, NY of Alexander & Catalano LLC
$50,000
Motor Vehicle: Multiple Vehicle
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Aguilar v. Alonzo
4/25/13
Kings Supreme
Multiple Vehicle: Trucker's inattentiveness
led to fishtailing, accident, suit alleged
Sharon A. Scanlan, Newburgh, NY of Jacoby & Meyers; Lorenzo J. Tasso,
Long Island City, NY
$5,000,000
Hernandez v. Advance Transit Co. Inc.
11/13/12
Bronx Supreme
Multiple Vehicle: Car crash caused disabling neck injuries, plaintiff claimed
Alan J. Stern, Garden City, NY of Alan J. Stern, P.C.
$2,075,000
Gates v. Nowe
11/12/12
Niagara
Supreme
Multiple Vehicle: Driver's turn from wrong
lane caused crash, plaintiff claimed
Donald P. Chiari, Depew, NY & Bradley D. Marble, Lancaster, NY of Brown
Chiari LLP
$2,000,000
Ruiz v. Anderson
3/5/13
Bronx Supreme
Multiple Vehicle: Automobile accident
caused spinal injuries, plaintiff claimed
Eitan A. Ogen & Natalie Sedaghati, New York, NY of Ogen & Sedaghati, P.C.
$1,300,000
Lopez v. Massaro
1/29/13
Suffolk Supreme
Multiple Vehicle: Plaintiff claimed traffic
accident caused permanent spinal woes
Jeffrey A. Block, New York, NY of Block, O'Toole & Murphy, LLP
$1,200,000
Rivkin v. New York City Department of Parks and
Recreation
2/28/13
Richmond
Supreme
Multiple Vehicle: Car crash caused disabling ankle fracture, plaintiff claimed
Timothy M. O'Donovan, Staten Island, NY of Law Office of Timothy M.
O'Donovan
$1,000,000
Lovelace v. Hendler
1/22/13
Bronx Supreme
Multiple Vehicle: Motorist's dash across
street caused crash, suit alleged
Stephen J. Murphy & David L. Scher, New York, NY of Block O'Toole &
Murphy, LLP
$950,000
42
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
Motor Vehicle: Multiple Vehicle
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
Jones v. Wolfsdorf
3/20/13
Queens Supreme
Multiple Vehicle: Multi-car crash caused in- Glenn Auletta & Michael DellaUniversita, Ronkonkoma, NY of Gruenberg
juries of spine, shoulder, plaintiff claimed Kelly Della
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
$500,000
AMOUNT
Barmann v. Babjeck
5/16/13
Ulster Supreme
Multiple Vehicle: Woman broke pelvis,
shoulder, ribs in automobile accident
Joseph E. O'Connor, Kingston, NY of Mainetti, Mainetti & O'Connor, P.C.
$400,000
Ugbomah v. GEICO
4/25/13
American
Arbitration
Association
Multiple Vehicle: Car crash caused injuries
of neck, claimant alleged
Eitan A. Ogen & Natalie Sedaghati, New York, NY of Ogen & Sedaghati, P.C.
$300,000
Marinelli v. Roti
1/22/13
Kings Supreme
Multiple Vehicle: Multi-car crash caused
knee, shoulder injuries, plaintiff claimed
Lennon C. Edwards, New York, NY of Mills & Edwards, LLP, trial counsel,
Krentsel & Guzman, LLP
$250,000
Higgins v. Weber
7/12/13
Wyoming
Supreme
Multiple Vehicle: Farm vehicle's surprise
turn caused accident, plaintiff claimed
Samuel J. Capizzi, Lancaster, NY of Brown Chiari LLP
$215,000
Wodecki v. Vinogradov
1/15/13
Nassau Supreme
Multiple Vehicle: Multi-car crash led to two Glenn Auletta & Michael DellaUniversita, Ronkonkoma, NY of Gruenberg
surgeries, plaintiff claimed
Kelly Della
$200,000
Rutkovsky v. Sontag
5/16/13
Nassau Supreme
Multiple Vehicle: Car crash's parties each
claimed other ran red light
Matthew J. Fein, New York, NY of Pazer, Epstein & Jaffe P.C.
$190,000
Raguso v. Abruzzo
7/29/13
Suffolk Supreme
Multiple Vehicle: Car crash led to elbow
pain, surgery, plaintiff claimed
Michael DellaUniversita, Ronkonkoma, NY of Gruenberg Kelly Della
$150,000
Chung v. Fusco
5/21/13
Queens Supreme
Multiple Vehicle: Motorist struck other car
while avoiding box, suit alleged
Robert Alan Saasto & Ryan Alan Saasto of Woodbury, NY, trial counsel to
Sim & Park, LLP, New York, NY
$110,000
German-Willis v. Diflo
7/29/13
Onondaga
Supreme
Multiple Vehicle: Motorist ignored traffic
signal, caused crash, plaintiff claimed
James E. Reid, Syracuse, NY of Greene & Reid, PLLC
$60,000
Stonehouse v. Munson
5/16/13
Monroe Supreme Multiple Vehicle: Woman claimed she tore
wrist in automobile accident
Scott D. Carlton, Buffalo, NY of Cellino & Barnes, P.C.
$50,000
Motor Vehicle: No-Fault Case
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Cosovic v. M&F Flooring Co Inc
7/15/13
Kings Supreme
No-Fault Case: Auto accident caused
disabling spinal injury, plaintiff claimed
Thomas P. O'Malley, New York, NY of Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman,
P.C.
$1,800,000
Sferrazza v. Alfredo La Manna Trucking Inc.
4/17/13
Queens Supreme
No-Fault Case: Plaintiff claimed multivehicle crash caused spinal injuries
Stephen J. Murphy & Michael J. Hurwitz, New York, NY of Block O'Toole &
Murphy, LLP
$750,000
Johnston v. Peluso
3/14/13
Suffolk Supreme
No-Fault Case: Expressway accident caused Glenn Auletta, Ronkonkoma, NY of Gruenberg Kelly Della
shoulder injuries, plaintiff claimed
$100,000
Cuevas-Suazo v. Sheikowitz
12/3/12
Richmond
Supreme
No-Fault Case: Traffic accident caused
injuries of back and neck, plaintiff claimed
$80,000
Hiram Anthony Raldiris, New York, NY of Law Offices of Eric H. Green
Motor Vehicle: Parental Liability
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Reynolds v. Barner
4/30/13
Matter not filed
Parental Liability: Speeding neophyte
flipped utility vehicle, injured rider
Scott D. Carlton, Buffalo, NY of Cellino & Barnes, P.C.
$75,000
Motor Vehicle: Parked Car
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Martinez v. Nestle Water of North America
3/4/13
Bronx Supreme
Parked Car: Vehicles collided while passing
double-parked truck
Nick Gjelaj, Middle Village, NY of Mullaney & Gjelaj, trial counsel to Benjamin Setareh, Pleasantville, NY
$950,000
Derush v. Naruszewicz
10/25/13
Chautauqua
Supreme
Parked Car: Plaintiff claimed car accident
caused spinal injuries
Frank J. Dolce, Buffalo, NY of Cantor Dolce & Panepinto
$200,000
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
43
202 East 35th Street
New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212)344-3440
www.osfirm.com
T
he team of Eitan Ogen and Natalie Sedaghati have an
impressive proven record of multiple 7-figure and 6-figure verdicts and settlements, many for non-surgical, “soft
tissue” disputed cases with problematic liability scenarios.
Once again, they have had several of their cases honored in
this year’s NYLJ’s Top Settlements publication. Both partners were
selected as Super Lawyers–a designation awarded to only the top 5% of
attorneys in New York–and are Members of the Multi-Million Dollar
Advocates Forum. Additionally, Natalie Sedaghati is one (1) of only nine
(9) female attorneys selected as a Super Lawyer in New York in the practice
area of Personal Injury and was re-selected as a Super Lawyer for 2013.
Natalie Sedaghati and Eitan Ogen have also been featured in Newsweek’s
Top Leaders in Personal Injury 2012, as well as Fox 5 News, UPN 9 News,
the Montel Williams Show, NY Times, NY Daily News and NY Post for their
very successful and unprecedented litigation in high profile cases.
NOTEWORTHY CASES
$4.25 Million Pre-Trial Settlement 44-year-old man in motor vehicle accident,
who sustained disc herniations, with sporadic treatment, which ultimately
required surgery. Defendants argued that he had mere “soft tissue” injuries,
the accident required no tow, no ambulance, and no ER, where claimant
returned to work shortly after the accident. They also argued that the
surgery was not related to the accident as the claimed injuries were
pre-existing and degenerative, and that he had made a good recovery.
$2.5 Million Jury Verdict In a case against the MTA/NYC Transit, a woman
sustained a shoulder impingement (no tear) with arthroscopic surgery
resulting from MVA. She also had a disputed disc bulge/protrusion.
Defendant’s doctors testified that there was nothing wrong with her and that
any symptoms were from an unrelated carpal tunnel condition for which
she had surgery following the accident. Amount suggested to Jury was
$1 million. MTA’s initial offer was $2,500. Maximum offer was $125,000.
This was the second highest verdict in NY for a motor vehicle/No Fault
case in 2011 Top NY Verdicts.
$2.45 Million Pre-Trial Settlement A 42-year-old in a low-speed, minimal
impact disputed liability MVA. Client had nearly identical degenerative
MRI findings prior to the accident. Defendants’ doctors disputed any
causality and necessity of any surgery or treatment, as client had returned
to work after MVA, she had minimal and sporadic therapy and she had
resolved. Zurich previously had maintained a no-pay position.
$1.5 Million Pre-Trial Settlement involving a major rental car company in
a one car accident. The driver carried only a minimum $25,000 policy.
Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
Many attorneys would have stopped the inquiry there and settled for the
$25,000. We pursued the rental car company, who denied they were liable to
pay anything additional, due to Graves Amendment (a Fed. Law that grants
immunity to rental car companies beyond the state minimum insurance limit), and that they were only liable, at most, for their $25,000 minimum policy
limits.
1.375 Million Jury Verdict A 39-year-old unemployed man in a soft-tissue
MVA, knee arthroscopy case with no property damage, no ER, no lost wages,
minimal treatment. Defendants’ doctors testified that plaintiff’s examination
was normal and MRI films were normal with d generation. Client had a prior
injury and surgery to same body part. Allstate maintained no-pay position
through time of verdict.
$1.3 Million Pre-Trial Settlement, full policy tender, for 50 year old
undocumented immigrant housekeeper in minimal impact motor vehicle accident ($638 property damage to the vehicle she was in, minimal
property damage), no injuries reported at scene, no ambulance, no
hospital, waited almost 1 month after accident to see her first medical
provider (while continuing to work full time), large unexplained gaps in
treatment, MRI showed bulging disc. Insurance carrier USAA initially
valued at $7,500, then raised offer to only $50,000 after her surgery
(which was several years after the accident), as they argued that the
surgery was unnecessary and not causally related to the accident.
Defense doctors opined that her condition was normal and degenerative
and the surgery was unnecessary. Original offer: $7,500. Case featured in
NYLJ’s Top Settlements 2013.
$1 Million Pre-Trial Settlement Policy limits were obtained in Queens County pre-trial settlement for 2 Middle Eastern immigrants, where Defendants
argued that all injuries were degenerative and pre-existed the accident.
$600,000 Jury Verdict for unemployed convicted felon, in disputed liability
and damages case. He had no complaints of pain at the scene, did not go
to ER, and returned to physical work following this accident (no lost wage
claim). Defendants’ experts opined that he did not suffer any injuries in the
accident. He also had large, unexplained gaps in treatment. Defendants
established that Plaintiff lied on the stand, proved that the doctor he had initially been to (prior to retaining our office) had been accused of misconduct,
and brought his current employer in to testify that he did heavy duty labor,
without any complaints. Defendant driver testified and showed photos confirming barely visible property damage, no cars were towed from the scene,
and it was a minor impact. Original offer: $3,000; offer after arthroscopic
surgery: $50,000; offer right before trial: $125,000. Case tried against head
partner of large defense firm
NON-SURGICAL SOFT TISSUE/DISPUTED LIABILITY CASES
$1.3 Million Jury Verdict A 35-year-old, in a soft tissue, non-surgical herniated
disc MVA, where Defendants denied liability, plaintiff had minimal treatment,
no lost wages. Defendants’ doctors testified that their exams were normal.
Defendants argued he had the same injury from a prior MVA, which he failed
to reveal to his doctors. State Farm valued case at $50,000. Amount asked of
the Jury was $1 million.
$1.2 Million Jury Verdict A 43-year-old driver, in a soft tissue, non-surgical
herniated disc MVA case, where Defendants denied liability, client’s
treatment was primarily with a chiropractor. No lost wages and minimal
treatment. Defendants’ doctors testified that Plaintiff’s exam and films were
normal. Amount suggested to Jury was $1 million. The award was one of the
highest ever for pain and suffering only for a single, non-surgical disc. App.
Div. sustained $700,000, one of the largest amounts sustained ever for such
injury. NJ Manufacturers valued case at $7,500. 100K policy tender during
trial rejected as untimely. Bad faith lawsuit pending.
$960,000 Judicial Award A 37-year-old driver with non-surgical bulging discs,
minimal property damage
$850,000 Jury Verdict A 49-year-old unemployed man in a soft tissue,
non-surgical herniated disc MVA case, with minimal property damage, no
ER, no lost wages. Plaintiff first sought care with a chiropractor 9 days after
the accident. Treatment thereafter was sporadic and minimal. Defendant’s
doctors testified that plaintiff’s back condition was pre-existing and
degenerative, that he was not injured and his exam was completely normal.
American Transit valued the case at $6,000.
$500,000 New York County Pre-Trial Settlement A 43-year-old immigrant
residing in Suffolk who claimed non-surgical bulging and herniated disc,
and was never recommended for any surgery. Defendant’s doctors stated
Plaintiff’s exams were completely normal, that he was capable of working
without any restrictions, his soft tissue injuries were minor, degenerative,
and were completely resolved.
$425,000 Pre-Trial Settlement in MVA case where Defendants argued that
Plaintiff sustained soft tissue injuries from which she had resolved, her
medical exams were normal and she was working full time without any
restrictions. Our client’s recovery was nearly 30 times greater than that of
another passenger in her vehicle, with similar soft tissue injuries, but who
was represented by another attorney.
$300,000 Arbitration Award (full available policy limits) in non-surgical,
minimal property damage case, no complaints at scene, no ambulance,
no lost wages, large unexplained gaps in treatment, and normal exams by
insurance doctors. She claimed a herniated disc (disputed by the insurance co. doctors) for which no surgery was recommended. The vehicle that
struck her had minimal $25,000 coverage with Progressive, who initially only
offered only $2,500. We nevertheless persuaded them to pay the $25,000
and then pursued an underinsurance (SUM) claim against GEICO. GEICO
argued that our client had already received too much from Progressive,
and that, at most, they would offer an additional $7,500. We nevertheless
obtained the entire available SUM policy limits at arbitration. Case featured
in NYLJ’s Top Settlements 2013.
DISPUTED ON-THE-JOB CASES
$900,000 Settlement in a case involving an employee injured on the job
(ordinarily barred from suing the employer), wherein we successfully held
the tenant (a separate but related corporate entity from the employer) liable
for the client’s injuries. St. Paul had previously maintained a no-pay position.
$600,000 Settlement following liability jury verdict in disputed liability case,
where our client was injured while working. The tenant who operated the store
was her employer. We sued the landlord, who denied any liability, and argued
that he was an absentee landlord who had nothing to do with the store. Jury
awarded 100% liability against the landlord, who settled immediately thereafter.
Greater New York had no-pay position until liability ve dict reached.
$450,000 Settlement Hand injury in a case involving an employee injured on
the job (ordinarily barred from suing the employer), wherein we successfully
sued related, but separate corporate entities, despite the fact that they were
owned by the same parent corporation and owners. Zurich had previously
maintained a no-pay position.
COURT DECISION IN THE NEWS
$11 million lawsuit against Madison Square Garden given go-ahead to
proceed by New York State Supreme Court in widely publicized case where
spectator was struck by a hockey puck at MSG. (Precedent-setting case in NY)
Appeals Court Triples Award After we obtained an award of $168,000 for
Plaintiff’s soft tissue injuries in a minor impact accident (one of the top motor
vehicle verdicts in New York in 2011), we appealed, requesting an increase in the
amount awarded for future pain and suffering. The Appellate Court agreed with
us and added an additional $300,000 to the verdict. The total recovered, with interest and costs, exceeded $550,000. GEICO originally valued the case at $7,500.
Highest offer was $50,000. Defendant disputed that Plaintiff suffered a “serious
injury” under the law, and any causality between the accident and the injuries.
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
NEW YORK’S
VERDICTS &
SETTLEMENTS
TM
Tel: (212)344-3440
www.osfirm.com
Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
Motor Vehicle: Passenger
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Toal v. Place
12/6/13
Kings Supreme
Passenger: Plaintiff passenger in wife's
car injured when she ignored traffic
control signals and collided with another
vehicle.
Kenneth Wilhelm, New York, NY of Law Office of Kenneth A. Wilhelm
$2,550,000
Abramov v. Robin Bus Co Inc
3/28/13
Kings Supreme
Passenger: Car crash caused back, knee,
shoulder injuries, plaintiff claimed
Stephen J. Murphy & David L. Scher, New York, NY of Block O'Toole &
Murphy, LLP
$1,675,000
Cicalese v. Burier
12/10/13
Kings Supreme
Passenger: Plaintiff passenger in leftturning taxi was injured when struck by
oncoming vehicle.
Nick Gjelaj, Queens, NY, of Mullaney & Gjelaj, PLLC
1,000,000
Spinola v. Lowe
4/12/13
Nassau Supreme
Passenger: Driver's dozing led to crash,
passenger claimed
Alison D. Metzler, Garden City, NY of Sullivan Papain Block McGrath &
Cannavo P.C.
$900,000
Polizzi v. Quality Provisions, Inc.
12/6/13
Kings Supreme
Plaintiff bus passenger injured when bus
was rear-ended.
Kenneth Wilhelm, New York, NY of Law Office of Kenneth A. Wilhelm
$850,000
Motor Vehicle: Pedestrian
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Dang v. Gennaro
12/9/13
Kings Supreme
Pedestrian: Plaintiff struck on left leg by
driver backing up through intersection
Marc E. Freund, New York, NY of Lipsig Shapey Manus & Moverman, PC
$2,900,000
Russo v. City of NY
2/11/13
Kings Supreme
Pedestrian: Woman struck by ambulance
on sidewalk
Marc Gertler, New York, NY of Eric H. Green
$1,800,000
Schwartz v. New York City Transit Authority
6/17/13
Kings Supreme
Pedestrian: Bus driver, pedestrian traded
blame for accident
Adam E. Deutsch, New York, NY of Morelli Alters Ratner LLP
$1,500,000
Kaur v. Shapiro
8/23/13
Queens Supreme
Pedestrian: Motorist's slow reaction
caused fatal accident, suit alleged
Christopher F. Holbrook, Jericho, NY of Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C.
$1,500,000
Caicedo v. Hackman
5/13/13
Nassau Supreme
Pedestrian: Motorist busted through gate,
struck pedestrian, suit alleged
Christine M. Schibani, Medford, NY of Jacoby & Jacoby
$1,150,000
Kausar v. Berkowitz
4/11/13
Kings Supreme
Pedestrian: Vehicle spun out of collision,
struck mother and daughter
David M. Oddo, New York, NY of Okun, Oddo & Babat, P.C.
$950,000
Acosta v. Sphinx Transportation
1/12/13
Bronx Supreme
Elderly priest suffered traumatic brain
injury when struck by oncoming traffic
John Zaremba, New York, NY of Zaremba Brownell & Brown PLLC
$912,000
Eugene v. Feinstein
11/8/12
Queens Supreme
Pedestrian: Woman struck by car, claimed
injuries of spine
Stephen Z. Williamson, Queens, NY of trial counsel, Elliot Ifraimoff &
Associates
$900,000
Oleksyn v. Neatrour
6/18/13
Monroe Supreme Pedestrian: Man hit by car sustained
fractures of arm, shoulder, wrist
Timothy Hedges, Rochester, NY of Cellino & Barnes, P.C.
$500,000
Shivaji v. Randolph
5/28/13
Kings Supreme
Pedestrian: Motorist, pedestrian disputed
whether collision occurred
Brad A. Kauffman, New York, NY of Law Offices of Brad A. Kauffman
$300,000
Marchigiani v. SuperTrans NY Inc.
6/5/13
Westchester
Supreme
Pedestrian: Bus driver fled after striking
man loading truck, suit alleged
Russell Ragland, New York, NY of Hach & Rose, LLP
$275,000
Lehner v. Coffey
11/12/12
Suffolk Supreme
Pedestrian: Inattentive minivan driver
struck dog walker, suit alleged
Erik L. Gray & Amy Rosenbloom, New York, NY of Weiss & Rosenbloom, P.C.
$225,000
Rak v. Peerless Insurance Co.
7/10/13
Niagara
Supreme
Pedestrian: Man sustained broken shin in
hit-and-run road-rage incident
Michael P.J. McGorry, Buffalo, NY of Silverberg, Yood, Sellers, McGorry &
Silverberg
$75,000
Osso v. JTT Express Service Inc.
2/25/13
Nassau Supreme
Pedestrian: Car accident activated multiple sclerosis, plaintiff claimed
Jonathan C. Macri, Port Washington, NY of Parker | Waichman LLP
$20,000
46
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
MillsPersonal
& Injury
Edwards
Law
“Results With Integrity”
Every once in a while something new comes along that changes the image of an industry. The law firm of Mills & Edwards, LLP is bringing that change to the legal community.
Mills & Edwards, LLP has been lauded as a top litigation firm in New York. Their lawyers have been recognized by the New York Law Journal on multiple occasions for obtaining
some of the highest verdicts in New York State. They have also been recognized as a Rising Star in the New York, Super Lawyer, legal community. Clearly, those honors give insight
to who they are as a firm and influence how defense firms negotiate with them. Mills & Edwards, LLP is a firm with aggressive and effective trial lawyers who are well prepared
and ready for battle. Remarkably, other law firms often hire Mills & Edwards, LLP as trial counsel on their cases. These firms understand that the verdicts obtained by Mills &
Edwards, LLP are often substantially more than other lawyers would be able to attain.
Mills & Edwards, LLP handles complex personal injury/wrongful death claims. That includes auto/car accidents, trip and falls, slip and falls, medical malpractice, construction
accidents, work related accidents, police brutality, false arrest, nursing home neglect/abuse, and product liability. Rebuilding lives after an injury is the sole nature of their practice.
They are well equipped to provide injured persons and their families with the representation needed to seek the maximum compensation allowable by law.
While they have the experience (almost 30 years collectively), skill, and tenacity needed to navigate the justice system, it’s the personal attention that makes a difference.
“Our clients come to us with significant injury or loss. We feel it is our job to lighten the client’s load as much as possible by allowing them to focus solely on healing
while we handle the rigors of litigation,” says Lennon Edwards.
Being a client of the firm means you have selected a firm that is among the very best and your legal needs are met. Donte Mills explains, “It is true we reject a lot of cases.
However, when we decide to take on a case, we handle every aspect needed to maximize the result. Because we believe people matter most, we prefer face to face interaction
when meeting a client for the first time. That is the only true way to establish client confidence. Once that bond is established, we work together until justice is served.”
The firm has been recognized for past verdicts, settlements, and other work inside and outside of the legal community. Here are some recent verdicts they obtained for
their clients*:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Pedestrian fatally wounded after being hit by two cars-recovery$1,000,000.00
Bicyclist hit by bus because of inattentive driver-recovery$490,000.00
Hospital staff ignored patient’s risk for falling-recovery$850,000.00
Police officer used excessive force while making an arrest-recovery$850,000.00
Mother in the zone of danger watches son die after being struck by vehicle-recovery$1,000,000.00
Motorist swerved to avoid van but struck pedestrian-recovery$700,000.00
Call them if you have an injury or if a family member has been injured or died as a result of an accident. If they take your case, rest assured you will be in good hands.
* no two cases are exactly alike and the same results are not guaranteed
14 Penn Plaza
Suite 2202
New York, NY 10122
212.MELAWNY
212.635.2969
www.melawny.com
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
Motor Vehicle: Question Lights
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Donald v. Bynoe
11/29/12
Bronx Supreme
Question of Lights: Car crash's parties each
claimed right of way
Judd F. Kleeger, New York, NY of Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, PC
$1,650,000
King v. Islanm
4/10/13
Kings Supreme
Question of Lights: Car crash's parties each
claimed right of way
Matthew Gray, New York, NY of Law Offices of Louis C. Fiabane
$50,000
Motor Vehicle: Railroad Crossing
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Young v. Singh
2/1/13
Queens Supreme
Railroad Crossing: Samaritan hurt when
train hit and toppled disabled rig
Stephen J. Murphy & Christina Mark, New York, NY of Block O'Toole &
Murphy, LLP
$3,925,000
Motor Vehicle: Rear End Collision
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Mancuso v. Velker
11/20/12
Suffolk Supreme
Rear-ender: Highway accident caused
paralyzing injury
Louis Grandelli, New York, NY of Louis Grandelli, P.C.
$2,750,000
Colon v. Bobby Bus Co. Inc.
10/7/13
Bronx Supreme
Rear-ender: Car crash caused injuries of
spine, shoulder, plaintiff claimed
Ian M. Chaikin & Jason L. Paris, New York, NY of Paris & Chaikin PLLC
$2,100,000
Bazarte v. Sieglen
4/16/13
Orange Supreme
Rear-ender: Car crash caused permanent
brain damage, plaintiff claimed
Michael D. Wolff, Middletown, NY of Law Offices of Sobo & Sobo L.L.P.
$1,750,000
Cabrera v. Moss
9/27/13
Bronx Supreme
Rear-ender: Traffic accident led to spinal
fusion, plaintiff claimed
Stephen J. Murphy, Michael J. Hurwitz & Christina Mark, New York, NY of
Block O'Toole & Murphy, LLP
$800,000
Morris v. Morris
6/18/13
Livingston
Supreme
Rear-ender: Plaintiff claimed highway
accident caused injuries of knees, neck
Timothy Hedges, Rochester, NY of Cellino & Barnes P.C.
$750,000
Cotiletta v. Hewitson
2/11/13
Nassau Supreme
Rear-ender: Car crash caused spinal injuries, plaintiff claimed
Ian M. Chaikin, New York, NY of Paris & Chaikin PLLC
$450,000
Kim v. Sanders
11/29/12
Nassau Supreme
Rear-ender: Car crash caused knee, spine,
shoulder injuries, couple claimed
Robert Alan Saasto, Hicksville, NY, trial counsel to Sim & Park, LLP,
New York, NY
$185,000
Ernestine v. Kearse
8/26/13
Onondaga
Supreme
Rear-ender: Automobile accident caused
neck injury, plaintiff claimed
Peter Catalano, Syracuse, NY of Alexander & Catalano LLC
$100,000
Ramirez v. Swenson Alaska Holdings, LLC
5/3/13
Saratoga
Supreme
Rear-ender: Automobile accident caused
spinal injury, plaintiff claimed
John F. Harwick, Latham, NY of Hacker Murphy, LLP
$100,000
Solano v. Allstate Insurance Company
12/9/13
American
Arbitration
Association
Motor Vehicle: Rear Ended: Plaintiff
settled with defendant driver of other
vehicle, then recovered by arbitration
from her own SUM insurance.
Erik L. Gray, New York, NY of Weiss & Rosenbloom, P.C.
$100,000
Sokol v. Mott
8/26/13
Delaware
Supreme
Rear-ender: Inattentive driver caused
three-car crash, plaintiff claimed
Alfred B. Mainetti, Kingston, NY of Mainetti, Mainetti & O'Connor, P.C.
$95,000
Shim v. Rivera
2/14/13
Queens Supreme
Rear-ender: Car crash caused back, knee,
neck injuries, plaintiff claimed
Robert Alan Saasto & Ryan Alan Saasto, Brooklyn, NY, trial counsel to Sim
& Park, LLP, New York, NY
$75,000
Harris v. Akram
3/15/13
Nassau Supreme
Rear-ender: Multi-car crash caused shoulder injuries, plaintiff claimed
Neil P. Flynn, Garden City, NY of Paul Ajlouny & Associates
$55,000
48
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Verdicts of 2012
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
Motor Vehicle: Red Light/Stop Sign
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
Nunez-Padilla v. Flanagan
12/6/13
Orange Supreme
Traffic Device: Defendant failed to observe Michael Arce, Bronx, NY of The Arce Law Office, PLLC
stop sign at intersection and struck
plaintiff
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
$1,025,000
AMOUNT
Estate of Good v. Sullivan
11/13/12
Suffolk Supreme
Red Light: Expectant father not entitled to Glenn Auletta, Ronkonkoma, NY of Gruenberg Kelly Della
run red light, plaintiff claimed
$150,000
Motor Vehicle: Reversing
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Giordano v. O'Brien
4/17/13
Suffolk Supreme
Reversing Vehicle: Woman struck by car
claimed disabling spinal injuries
Louis J. Cerrato, Garden City, NY of Frommer & Cerrato LLP
$1,450,000
Motor Vehicle: Right Turn
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Glasser v. Efrain
4/30/13
Kings Supreme
Right Turn: Van's driver failed to yield,
injured bicyclist claimed
David L. Scher & Stephen J. Murphy, New York, NY of Block O'Toole &
Murphy, LLP
$1,300,000
Doran v. Callahan
4/30/13
Onondaga
Supreme
Right Turn: Driver misjudged turn, crossed
sidewalk, injured man claimed
James G. Stevens, Jr., Syracuse, NY of Sugarman Law Firm LLP
$250,000
Brandow v. Gagen
3/12/13
Kings Supreme
Right Turn: Woman hit by car, claimed
neck, shoulder injuries
David J. Hernandez, Brooklyn, NY of David J. Hernandez & Associates
$140,000
Motor Vehicle: Sideswipe
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Jacobs v. Johnston
3/29/13
Richmond
Supreme
Sideswipe: Speeding driver caused crash in Jordan D. Hecht, New York, NY of Hecht Kleeger Pintel & Damashek
work zone, plaintiff alleged
$1,175,000
Park v. Edge Auto Inc.
4/30/13
Nassau Supreme
Sideswipe: Expressway accident's parties
each claimed other strayed
Robert Alan Saasto & Ryan Alan Saasto of Woodbury, NY, trial counsel to
Sim & Park, LLP, New York, NY
$85,000
Paz v. Guevara
3/19/13
Nassau Supreme
Sideswipe: Car crash caused shoulder
injury, plaintiff claimed
Jason A. Greenberg, Brooklyn, NY of Malone, Tauber & Sohn
$50,000
Motor Vehicle: Speeding
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Gardener v. City of New York & Gardener v. State
of New York
1/2/13
Bronx Supreme
& NYS Court of
Claims
Speeding: Car crash killed six; inadequate
median barrier blamed
Jeff S. Korek, New York, NY of Gersowitz, Libo & Korek, P.C.; Eric J. Buckvar,
New York, NY of Buckvar & Buckvar; Robert Harnick, New York, NY of
Harnick & Harnick
$22,194,000
Hodor v. Kooyker
5/30/13
New York
Supreme
Speeding: Motorist not mindful of wet
road, injured passenger claimed
Paul J. Edelstein & Glenn K. Faegenburg, Brooklyn, NY of The Edelsteins,
Faegenburg & Brown LLP; Judah Z. Cohen, New York, NY of Judah Z.
Cohen, PLLC; Daniel A. Thomas, New York, NY of Daniel A. Thomas, P.C.
$5,500,000
Diaz v. City of New York
7/23/13
Bronx Supreme
Speeding: Plaintiff claimed she was struck
by speeding police vehicle
Steven Smedresman, New York, NY of Law Office of Steven Smedresman
P.C. and Alan R. Chorne, Esq., New York, NY
$3,000,000
Palmer v. Elrac Inc.
12/26/12
Bronx Supreme
Speeding: Man struck by car, claimed
permanent brain damage
Marc J. Rothenberg & Adam M. Drexler, New York, NY of The Rothenberg
Law Firm LLP
$1,200,000
Walsh v. City of New York
12/11/12
Kings Supreme
Speeding: Policeman was speeding needlessly, injured partner claimed
Sanford F. Young, New York, NY of The Law Offices of Sanford F. Young, P.C.
$500,000
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Verdicts of 2012
49
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
Motor Vehicle: Traffic Offenses
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Martinez v. Nestle Water of North America
12/10/13
Bronx Supreme
Oncoming Vehicle: Plaintiff struck by
vehicle crossing double yellow lines.
Nick Gjelaj, Queens, NY, of Mullaney & Gjelaj, PLLC
950,000
Rankin v. Alamo Financing, L.P.
7/11/13
Niagara Supreme
Traffic Offenses: No chance to avoid wrong- John W. Looney, Buffalo, NY of Cellino & Barnes, P.C.
way driver, plaintiff claimed
$25,000
Premises Liability
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Berisha v. 1957 Bronxdale Corp.
3/7/13
Bronx Supreme
Apartment: Toddlers burned by water falling off unsecured stove, plaintiff alleged
Ylber Albert Dauti, New York, NY of The Dauti Law Firm, P.C.
$3,000,000
Amparo v. Romo Associates
5/6/13
Bronx Supreme
Negligent Repair and/or Maintenance:
Apartment's lead-based paint poisoned
child, parent claimed
Philip Monier, III, New York, NY of Levy Phillips & Konigsberg, L.L.P.
$2,500,000
Vargas v. 2334 Washington D, LLC.
7/24/13
Bronx Supreme
Dangerous Condition: Landlord ignored
persistent leak, injured tenant claimed
S. Joseph Donahue & Jeffrey A. Block, New York, NY of Block, O'Toole &
Murphy LLP
$1,950,000
Shatarah v. Coverall North America Inc.
2/1/13
Nassau Supreme
Failure to Warn: Freshly mopped stairway
a hazard, plaintiff claimed
Daniel P. O'Toole & Frederick C. Aranki, New York, NY of Block O'Toole &
Murphy, LLP
$1,900,000
Mehr v. City of New York
4/5/13
Kings Supreme
Negligent Repair and/or Maintenance:
School ignored leaky sump pump, injured
worker claimed
Michael A. Rose & David R. Cheverie, New York, NY of Hach & Rose, LLP
$1,500,000
Stanciu v. Bilello
5/28/13
Queens Supreme
Sidewalk: Landlord and city neglected
broken sidewalk, plaintiff claimed
David M. Godosky, New York, NY of Godosky & Gentile, P.C.
$1,500,000
Mellone v. N.R.S. Inc.
10/4/13
Richmond
Supreme
Negligent Repair and/or Maintenance:
Pub's owner, operator ignored damaged
sidewalk, suit alleged
Jason L. Paris, New York, NY of Paris & Chaikin PLLC
$1,200,000
Reyes v. 421 Melrose, LLC.
3/4/13
Bronx Supreme
Stairs or Stairway: Neglected stairway a
hazard, building's visitor claimed
Judd F. Kleeger, New York, NY of Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C.
$1,150,000
Leimane v. Jing Xian Inc.
4/11/13
Kings Supreme
Negligent Repair and/or Maintenance:
Y. David Taller, Forest Hills, NY of Taller & Wizman P.C., Trial Counsel for
Building's owner ignored broken sidewalk, Alan Levin, P.C., Brooklyn, NY
plaintiff alleged
$900,000
Petion v. 510-482 Riverdale LLC
5/14/13
Kings Supreme
Negligent Repair and/or Maintenance:
Building's manager ignored icy entryway,
plaintiff claimed
$850,000
Garcia v. Genue Estate Inc.
1/15/13
Bronx Supreme
Inadequate or Negligent Security: Robbery Andrew M. Laskin, New York, NY of Robinson & Yablon, PC
victim claimed landlord ignored broken
locks
$650,000
Sainsbury v. 41-09 Star State, LLC
4/25/13
Queens Supreme
Dangerous Condition: Misuse of extension
cord caused fire, plaintiff claimed
$500,000
Fulton v. Herring
3/19/13
Nassau Supreme
Residence: Man left grandson alone within Stuart M. Rissoff, Garden City, NY of Law Offices of Stuart M. Rissoff
reach of shotgun, suit alleged
$500,000
Chernick v. Brigham Park Co-op Apartments
Section 3 Inc.
6/7/13
Kings Supreme
Door Accidents: Landlord ignored faulty
doorknob, injured tenant claimed
Brad A. Kauffman, New York, NY of Law Offices of Brad A. Kauffman, PLLC
$350,000
Holterback v. Price Chopper Operating Co. Inc.
5/7/13
Chenango
Supreme
Dangerous Condition: Store's freezer door
fell off while being opened by shopper
Theodoros Basdekis, Oneonta, NY of Scarzafava & Basdekis
$315,000
Holman v. Prisco
6/17/13
Westchester
Supreme
Dangerous Condition: Home's tenants
didn't shovel after snowstorms, plaintiff
claimed
Richard S. Vecchio, White Plains, NY of Worby Groner Edelman LLP
$295,000
Flores v. 610 West 157 Street Owner LLC
1/9/13
New York
Supreme
Apartment: Boy poisoned by apartment's
lead-based paint, suit alleged
Robert Vilensky, New York, NY of Ronemus & Vilensky
$250,000
50
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
Marc E. Freund, New York, NY of Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman, P.C.
Michael W. Lever, New York, NY of Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo P.C.
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
Premises Liability
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Collazo v. RiverBay Co-op
10/1/13
Bronx Supreme
Tenant's Injury: Building's manager
ignored broken tile, tenant claimed
Christopher F. Holbrook, Jericho, NY of Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C.
$227,500
Soto v. Putnam Holding Co. LLC
12/17/12
New York
Supreme
Inadequate or Negligent Security:
Landlord ignored broken door lock, tenant
claimed
Alan M. Greenberg, New York, NY of Law Offices of Alan M. Greenberg, P.C.
$225,000
Jeong v. Kramer
7/25/13
Queens Civil
Stairs or Stairway: Construction site's
stairway a hazard, worker claimed
Robert Alan Saasto & Ryan Alan Saasto, Woodbury, NY, trial counsel to Sim
& Park, LLP, New York, NY
$225,000
Spinelli v. Vornado Burnside Plaza LLC
11/4/12
Nassau Supreme
Dangerous Condition: Parking lot's uneven
pavement a hazard, plaintiff claimed
Brad A. Kauffman of The Law Offices of Brad A. Kauffman, PLLC
$200,000
Vernescu v. City of New York
1/14/13
New York
Supreme
Negligent Repair and/or Maintenance:
Sidewalk's displaced flag a hazard,
plaintiff claimed
Bernard J. Robins, New York, NY
$200,000
Biscardi v. Restaurant Depot, LLC.
1/30/13
Suffolk County
Store: Store's overloaded, unattended cart
a hazard, shopper claimed
Denny Brown & Anthony Ciaccio, Ronkonkoma, NY of Gruenberg Kelly
Della
$195,000
Barillaro v. Town of New Windsor
4/25/13
Orange Supreme
Athletic Field: Town, soccer league didn't
fix broken fence, suit alleged
Michael H. Forrester, New Windsor, NY of Silver, Forrester & Lesser, P.C.
$187,500
Desarno v. Faulisi
2/26/13
Queens Supreme
Dangerous Condition: Stairway's protruding nail a hazard, plaintiff claimed
Michael DellaUniversita, Ronkonkoma, NY of Gruenberg Kelly Della
$150,000
Jones v. Bagshaw Realty
3/15/13
Suffolk Supreme
Dangerous Condition: Home's entrance
had dangerous drop-off, tenant claimed
Michael DellaUniversita, Ronkonkoma, NY of Gruenberg Kelly Della
$115,000
Choi v. Chon Property Corp.
1/16/13
Queens Supreme
Dangerous Condition: Spa ignored slippery Ryan Alan Saasto & Robert Alan Saasto, Hicksville, NY, of trial counsel to
conditions around pool, patron claimed
Sim & Park, LLP, New York, NY
$100,000
DePrima v. Durazinski
8/22/13
Rensselaer
Supreme
Negligent Repair and/or Maintenance:
Cleaning crew created icy hazard in parking lot, plaintiff claimed
Michael C. Conway, Albany, NY of Harris, Conway & Donovan, PLLC
$100,000
Rettner v. Binstok
5/6/13
Westchester
Supreme
Dangerous Condition: Homeowners' drainpipe caused ice in street, plaintiff claimed
Richard Weiss, New Rochelle, NY of Law Offices of Richard Weiss
$75,000
Porter v. FoxCroft Village, LLC.
8/27/13
Sullivan
Supreme
Negligent Repair and/or Maintenance:
Shoddy repair of pothole led to accident,
plaintiff claimed
Peter R. Eriksen, Walden, NY of Jacobowitz & Gubits LLP
$60,000
Holloway v. Lockport City School District
7/23/13
Niagara
Supreme
Dangerous Condition: Snow not cleared
from school's parking lot, plaintiff claimed
Paul A. Bender, Buffalo, NY of Bender & Bender, LLP
$35,000
Cuddebach v. Darm LLC
5/2/13
Cayuga Supreme
Negligent Repair and/or Maintenance:
Landlord ignored icy stairway, tenant
claimed
David S. Stern, Rochester, NY of Elliott Stern & Calabrese LLP
$16,500
Baker v. One Stop Community Center Inc.
3/14/13
Kings Supreme
Negligent Repair and/or Maintenance:
Joseph R. D'Addario, East Islip, NY of Law Office of John J. Guadagno
Sloppy maintenance resulted in dangerous
sidewalk, suit alleged
$12,500
Privacy
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Epstein v. Loeb
4/22/13
New York Civil
Misappropriation of Image: Doc misused
patient's pics for Web advertising, suit
alleged
Daniel B. Faizakoff, New York, NY of Daniel B. Faizakoff P.C.; Bryan J.
Swerling, New York, NY, of counsel
$115,000
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
51
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
Products Liability
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Bartlett v. Franciscan Health Support Services, LLC
11/21/12
Onondaga
Supreme
Design Defect: Boy's asphyxiation caused
by bed's unsafe design, suit alleged
Patrick J. Higgins, Albany, NY of Powers & Santola LLP
$2,050,000
Stock v. Morizzo
3/18/13
Suffolk Supreme
Failure to Warn: Salon's patron struck
when cabinet fell off of wall
Christopher A. Marothy, Bronx, NY of Dubow, Smith & Marothy
$1,200,000
Recreation
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Pappas v. City of New York
4/18/13
Queens Supreme
Horseback Riding: Parade's horses not
properly trained or ridden, suit alleged
Mark E. Alter & Alexander J. Galvez, Mineola, NY of Law Offices of Mark E.
Alter
$900,000
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Road Defect
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
Rutland v. State of New York
6/5/13
Court of Claims,
Rochester
Road's defect led to paralyzing neck injury, Victor L. Mazzotti, Albany, NY of Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP
bicyclist claimed
$13,000,000
Wallner v. County of Ulster
7/31/13
Ulster Supreme
County, town ignored recurrent road
hazard, plaintiff claimed
Terrence E. McCartney, New York, NY of Rheingold, Valet, Rheingold, McCartney & Giuffra LLP
$4,000,000
AMOUNT
Slips, Trips & Falls
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
Corchado v. 5030 Broadway Properties, LLC
5/7/13
Richmond
Supreme
Fall from Height: Shaky ladder not safe for
pipe installation, worker claimed
Joel Rubenstein, New York, NY of German Rubenstein LLP; Jordan D. Hecht, $1,850,000
New York, NY of Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, PC
Ongaro v. City of New York
12/27/12
New York
Supreme
Trip and Fall: Park's bumpy walkway a
hazard, visitor claimed
Thomas K. Miller, New York, NY of Thomas K. Miller, Esq.
$750,000
Esposito v. New York City Schools Construction
Authority
11/1/13
Kings Supreme
Plaintiff was a 62 year old woman who
tripped and fell at and around a construction site
John Zaremba, New York, NY of Zaremba Brownell & Brown PLLC
$550,000
Desmond v. 233 Bleecker Street LLC
1/16/13
New York
Supreme
Trip and Fall: Building's tenant ignored
uneven sidewalk, plaintiff claimed
Andrew J. Levine & Howard A. Raphaelson, New York, NY of Raphaelson &
Levine Law Firm P.C.
$400,000
McIntosh v. 520 Apartment Corp.
12/9/13
Bronx Supreme
Trip and Fall: Plaintiff tripped and fell on
defective walkaway shifted by adjacent
plant/tree roots.
Alan S. Ripka, New York, NY of Napoli, Bern, Ripka, Shkolnik, LLP
$375,000
Wolf v. California Diner
11/15/12
Suffolk Supreme
Trip and Fall: Diner's wrinkled carpet a
hazard, patron alleged
Michael DellaUniversita, Ronkonkoma, NY of Gruenberg Kelly Della
$200,000
Gall v. D.J. Saree & Religious House Inc.
1/7/13
Queens Supreme
Slip and Fall: Store's owners ignored
snowy, icy conditions, patron claimed
Brad A. Kauffman of The Law Offices of Brad A. Kauffman, PLLC
$175,000
Stehl v. Party City
3/29/13
Nassau Supreme
Slip and Fall: Store's staff ignored fallen
merchandise, shopper claimed
Glenn Auletta & Michael DellaUniversita, Ronkonkoma, NY of Gruenberg
Kelly Della
$110,000
Bentivegna v. City of New York
6/5/13
Queens Supreme
Slip and Fall: School's landing slippery
when wet, plaintiff claimed
Thomas S. Russo, Carle Place, NY of Edelman Krasin & Jaye PLLC
$85,000
Aviles v. Rt. 209 Almond Apartments Inc.
8/13/13
Sullivan
Supreme
Trip and Fall: Landlord ignored closet's
damaged floor, tenant alleged
Michael D. Wolff, Middletown, NY of Law Offices of Sobo & Sobo L.L.P.
$77,500
O'Shea v. Modern Landfill
11/1/13
Niagara
Supreme
Slip and Fall: Slip and fall at landfill due to
lack of handrail on step, plaintiff alleged
Michael J. Skoney, Niagara Falls, NY of Viola, Cummings & Lindsay, LLP
$75,000
Mazurek v. Mill Development Corp.
6/21/13
Ulster Supreme
Trip and Fall: Senior home too slow to fix
broken floor, resident alleged
Daniel G. Heppner, Kingston, NY of Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello,
L.L.P.
$25,000
Transportation
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Mejias v. Ceva Logistics U.S. Inc.
10/5/13
Queens Supreme
Trucking: Makeshift fix of truck's lift gate
led to accident, suit alleged
Jonathan S. Damashek, New York, NY of Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, PC
$3,050,000
52
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
RHEINGOLD, VALET, RHEINGOLD,
McCARTNEY & GIUFFRA LLP
PROUD TO BE TRIAL LAWYERS
Rheingold, Valet, Rheingold, McCartney & Giuffra is a trial
law firm that is recognized nationally as a leader in plaintiffs’
medical malpractice, products liability, mass tort and motor
vehicle accident litigation.
Since its founding more than 35 years ago, RVRMG has developed
a wealth of experience and a long history of outstanding results on
behalf of our clients. This proud tradition continues, as evidenced
by a string of recent successful verdicts and settlements in the past
year, including a $20 million verdict in a premises liability case
in which no offer was made prior to trial, a significant mass tort
settlement on behalf of our clients injured by birth control pills, a
$4.25 million settlement during trial of a very difficult road defect
case against Ulster County in upstate New York, and a $3.3 million
medical malpractice birth injury settlement in Staten Island. Our
success in difficult cases and poor venues is due to our trial team’s
innovative trial tactics and techniques.
Our goal is to achieve the best possible result for our clients
who have been injured and to help them rebuild their lives.
We are honored to be included in this publication for several of
our cases this year.
RVRMG accepts referrals from the legal community and also
welcomes the opportunity to act as trial counsel to the bar.
RHEINGOLD, VALET, RHEINGOLD,
McCARTNEY & GIUFFRA LLP
113 E. 37th St.
New York, NY 10016
PH: (212) 684-1880
FX: (212) 689-8156
rheingoldlaw.com
2013
TOP SETTLEMENTS NY
Worker/Workplace Negligence
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Gallagher v. Resnick
8/14/13
Kings Supreme
Masonry supplier fell off roof. Summary
judgment on Labor Law 240(1) granted
on appeal.
David H. Mayer, New York, NY of Sacks & Sacks LLP
$6,200,000
Chan v. Railex LLC
1/17/13
Kings Supreme
Improper loading of truck led to paralyzing injury, worker alleged
William J. Ryan, New York, NY of Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP
$6,000,000
Cruz-Acosta v. 15 Fort Washington Avenue
Housing Development Fund Corp.
1/16/13
Bronx Supreme
Proper equipment would have prevented
fall, worker claimed
Jacob Oresky, Bronx, NY of Jacob Oresky & Associates, PLLC
$4,500,000
Geiger v. Consolidated Edison Co. of New York
Corp.
3/1/13
New York
Supreme
Worker fell out of truck, injured brain,
spine, shoulder
David H. Mayer & Kenneth Sacks, New York, NY of Sacks & Sacks
$4,300,000
Hadden v. Boxberger
1/7/13
Ulster Supreme
Roofer claimed icy conditions necessitated
scaffold or harness
Joseph E. O'Connor, Kingston, NY of Mainetti, Mainetti & O'Connor, P.C.
$3,350,000
Cruickshank v. 536 W 54th LLC A
11/12/12
Kings Supreme
Ladder accident caused disabling injuries,
caulker claimed
Marc E. Freund & Thomas J. Moverman, New York, NY of Lipsig, Shapey,
Manus & Moverman, P.C.
$3,000,000
Gjonaj v. 30W26 Land LP
4/18/13
Kings Supreme
Window washer's fall blamed on failure of
supporting bolt
David L. Scher & Stephen J. Murphy, New York, NY of Block O'Toole &
Murphy, LLP
$2,250,000
Chevola v. Broadway Park REIT
5/8/13
New York
Supreme
Hole in work site's floor a hazard, electrician claimed
Steven M. Pivovar, Stony Point, NY of Steven M. Pivovar, PC
$2,100,000
Esteves-Rivas v. W2001Z/15CPW Realty LLC.
8/9/13
Queens Supreme
Ladder accident ended career, laborer
claimed
Lawrence B. Saftler, New York, NY of The Saftler Law Firm
$2,100,000
D'Allaird v. Markline Sales Inc.
5/15/13
Albany Supreme
Sales rep's advice led to machine operator's injury, suit alleged
Michael C. Conway, Albany, NY of Harris, Conway & Donovan, PLLC
$1,000,000
Persaud v. Costco Wholesale Corp.
8/1/13
Queens Supreme
Negligent Maintenance: Shopper: Ice in
store's parking lot caused slip-and-fall
Kostantinos Mallas, Brooklyn, NY of Georgaklis & Mallas PLLC, trial counsel $762,500
to Crasto & Associates, P.C., Howard Beach, NY
Lua v. WB/Stellar IP Owner, L.L.C.
10/21/13
Westchester
Supreme
Labor Law: Laborer claimed hand and
wrist were crushed by falling brace
Ernest S. Buonocore, Bronx, NY of Shapiro Law Offices, PLLC
$350,000
Flores v. Bam Produce Inc.
12/3/13
Bronx Supreme
Worker at Hunts Point Market struck
by pallet jack operated by employee of
neighboring business.
Christopher Holbrook, New York, NY of Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C.
$300,000
Iglesias v. Roadblock Bar Inc.
11/28/12
Queens Supreme
Negligent Training: Bar's patron claimed
rough bouncers broke his arm
Frank C. Panetta, Garden City, NY of Massimo & Panetta, P.C.
$260,000
Near v. Wikel Bulk Express Inc.
5/6/13
Chautauqua
Supreme
Trucker's hasty exit caused shoulder
injuries, plaintiff claimed
John A. Sheehan, Buffalo, NY of Cellino & Barnes, P.C.
$70,000
Workplace
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Muriqi v. Charmer Industries Inc.
4/16/13
Bronx Supreme
Workplace Safety: Fall through shelf
caused disabling injuries, worker claimed
Scott Occhiogrosso & Daniel P. O'Toole, New York, NY of Block, O'Toole &
Murphy, LLP
$4,650,000
Barbecho v. Mallouras
12/18/12
Queens Supreme
Workplace Safety: Employers removed
saw's shield, injured worker claimed
Ted E. Trief & Jordan K. Rutsky, New York, NY of Trief & Olk
$400,000
Wrongful Death
CASE
DATE
VENUE
TYPE OF ACTION
PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL
AMOUNT
Estate of Mata v. Woodbourne Arboretum Inc.
3/5/13
Suffolk Supreme
Labor Law: Bystander killed during workers' repair of irrigation device
Robert S. Kelner, Gerard K. Ryan, Jr. & Gail S. Kelner, New York, NY of
Kelner & Kelner
$7,000,000
Estate of Burgio v. Leroy Holding Co. Inc.
5/7/13
Niagara Supreme
Tired trucker crossed line, caused fatal
crash, suit alleged
John J. Fromen, Jr., Buffalo, NY of John J. Fromen Attorneys At Law, P.C.
$5,000,000
Estate of Baker v. Bronx Lebanon Hospital
Center
3/6/13
Bronx Supreme
Unmonitored patient suffered fatal
hypoxia, suit alleged
Larry Wallace, New York, NY of Wallace & Associates PC
$2,355,000
Estate of Rosado v. Kahn
6/5/13
Orange Supreme
Survival Damages: Motorist's hasty turn
caused fatal crash, estate alleged
Brian A. Sichol, Suffern, NY of Sichol & Hicks P.C.
$2,250,000
Estate of Castro v. Wyckoff Heights Medical Ctr
1/23/13
Kings Supreme
Survival Damages: Hospital's inaction led
to death of bleeding patient, suit alleged
Larry Wallace, New York, NY of Wallace & Associates PC
$2,000,000
Estate of Turpyn v. Zaleski
5/10/13
Monroe Supreme Residence wasn't safe during renovation,
estate alleged
Gary J. Gianforti, Rochester, NY of Culley, Marks, Tanenbaum & Pezzulo,
LLP; Alan S. Ripka, New York, NY of Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik, LLP
$100,000
54
VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2013
149 East 149th Street, Bronx, NY 10451 | Phone: 718-993-9999
www.oreskylaw.com
# 15 of the TOP 25 NY Settlements of 2013!
# 21 of the TOP Construction Accident NY Settlements of 2012
Cruz-Acosta v. 15 Fort Washington Avenue Housing Development Fund Corp.
$4,500,000.00
Sari v. Bansuk Construction, Inc.
$1,425,000.00
1/16/2013 Bronx Supreme
Proper equipment would have prevented fall, worker claimed
9/1/12 Queens Supreme
Plaintiff’s fall from inadequate A-frame ladder caused multiple fractures
# 10 of the TOP 30 NY Verdicts of 2010!
# 20 of the Construction Accident NY Verdicts of 2011!
Barros v. New Roc Parcel
$18,334,226.00
Minchala v. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
$4,000,000.00
1/26/2010 Bronx Supreme
Construction – Carpenter alleged spine, ankle injuries from 15-foot fall
3/8/2011 Queens Supreme
Construction - Construction worker struck by improperly secured concrete barrier
Jacob Oresky & Associates, PLLC., extends its appreciation and gratitude to the
hard working members of the judiciary for their provision of justice to all throughout
our legal system. With the zealous advocacy of the plaintiffs’ and defendants’ bar,
our judicial system allows all men and women that have been wronged, the ability
to seek redress through the courts and receive justice.
Jacob Oresky, Esq., has for over 25 years, built a reputation for providing his
clients with hard work and dedicated service. For his clients, he has never left a
stone unturned.
Other NOtable results ObtaiNed by JacOb Oresky & assOciates, Pllc*
CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT:
NEGLIGENT SUPERVISION:
$6.6 Million Won by construction worker that fell from scaffold $6 Million Awarded to 19 year old mentally retarded man that
sustaining serious injuries.
suffered severe burns as a result of institution’s failure to supervise.
CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT:
CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT:
$6 Million Awarded to construction worker that fell from ladder $5.6 Million Awarded to construction worker struck by falling
while installing window frame.
object at construction site.
CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT:
$6 Million Won by construction worker that fell from ladder sustaining serious injuries
*Prior results do not guarantee a future similar outcome. Attorney Advertising.
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