Medical Malpractice – Settlement

Failure to diagnose osteomyelitis following surgery resulted in permanent nerve damage.

Department Store Escalator Accident

The plaintiff was riding down an escalator in a department store when she was struck by a carton of shoes that a stock boy was moving on a hand truck. Instead of using the freight elevator as he was supposed to, the employee decided to use the escalator because he was closer to it. However, when he got to the top of the escalator, the shoeboxes came off the hand truck and fell down the escalator, striking the plaintiff. She injured her knee and developed Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, which caused her constant interminable pain. At the time of trial, she could barely walk. The defendants argued that plaintiff’s problems were from a prior knee injury, but the jury was persuaded to reject the defendant’s argument.

Slip and Fall Accident – Worker at Concert Venue Slipped on Wet Floor Injuring Back

Plaintiff, then 41 years old, slipped and fell at a major New York City concert venue while setting up for a live performance. He underwent extensive treatment for his lower back including fusion surgery. The matter settled on the eve of trial.

Dental/Surgical Malpractice

An infant plaintiff was unable to breathe following post-surgical extubation. An emergency tracheotomy was performed. Approximately ten days later, a doctor, using a flashlight, looked into plaintiff’s mouth and noticed that a gauze pack that the anesthesiologist negligently failed to remove during the surgery was stuck in the infant’s throat. When the nurse pulled the gauze pack out of plaintiff’s throat, the child was able to breathe normally.

Medical Malpractice – Failure to Diagnose Fractured Vertebrae

This matter was for medical malpractice in failing to diagnose and treat a fracture of the T10 vertebrae following a fall down a flight of stairs in the plaintiff’s home. As a result of the malpractice/delayed diagnosis, the then 88-year old plaintiff sustained spinal cord compression, spinal cord contusion, and epidural hematoma causing partial paralysis, from which he only partially recovered.

Medical Malpractice

Failure to diagnose pulmonary embolism causing wrongful death.

Medical Malpractice

Failure to diagnose herniated disc.

Construction Site Slip and Fall Accident – Carpenter Fell From a Ladder

Our client was a union carpenter who fell from a ladder while disassembling an exhibitor’s booth following a trade show. We alleged that the defendants were liable under section 240(1) of the Labor Law for failing to provide our client with necessary equipment to do his job. The client’s injuries include a fractured ankle for which fusion surgery has been recommended and a torn meniscus requiring arthroscopic surgery.

Unsafe Building Premises – Trip and Fall-Settlement

Our client tripped and fell due to a broken edge of a step leading from a building to the public sidewalk. She fractured her ankle and the fracture had to be reduced with surgery and the insertion of hardware. Our client is left with a permanent impairment of her ability to walk and get about. The defendants contended that the break of the step edge was minimal and that our client should have known about the condition since she had been living in the building. Levine & Slavit countered these defenses by retaining an engineer to testify as an expert and to explain why the condition constituted a tripping hazard. The settlement consisted of part cash and part a structured payout.

Medical Malpractice

Plaintiff was injured when he slipped and fell down a flight of stairs while on the job. He spoke with the personal injury attorneys at our Manhattan office after other attorneys had advised him that he had no lawsuit to pursue and that his only recourse was to claim Worker’s Compensation benefits. We realized that he had a meritorious lawsuit against the hospital and doctor for failing to diagnose that, due to the fall, he had sustained a herniated disc in his neck. The delay in diagnosis had worsened his condition and required emergency surgery. He was left with permanent spinal cord damage. Our client was able to recover both damages in the lawsuit and Worker’s Compensation benefits. An interesting note in this case is that the investigator hired by the defendant’s insurance company to secretly record surveillance videotape of our client tried to trick our client by calling him and falsely telling him that he had won free Yankee World Series tickets and that he had to pick-up at Yankee Stadium immediately. It was only later, when we were given the videotape and showed it to our client, that he was able to figure out why, when he had arrived at Yankee Stadium on that day, there were no tickets for him, and nobody there knew what free tickets he was talking about.

Medical Malpractice – Severed Nerve During Surgery

We got this case on the eve of the expiration of the statute of limitations because the client’s previous lawyer was unable to locate an expert. Our client, age 52, underwent surgery for release of ulnar nerve entrapment. Immediately following the surgery she had complete numbness along the distribution of the nerve. The surgeon’s partner performed surgery to try to correct the problem. In his operative report, the second surgeon noted that he observed the free ends of the ulnar nerve, where it had apparently been severed during the first surgery. We were able to locate an expert who opined that although an injury to the nerve could be an unavoidable occurrence during the surgery, the total severing of the nerve was unacceptable.

Medical Malpractice – Injury During Implantation of Defibrillator

In this case, our office represented a woman who had a defibrillator implanted by prominent interventional cardiologists. Immediately after the procedure, our client experienced shortness of breath and chest pain. The doctors failed to diagnose that in inserting the defibrillator, the atrial lead had perforated the pericardium and right atrium. Instead, our client was incorrectly diagnosed with an inflammatory process. As such, our client was unnecessarily treated with steroids over a period of time, and she underwent numerous thorancentesis procedures due to multiple, recurrent pleural effusions. Eventually our client went to a hospital in New York City where a correct diagnosis was made. Unfortunately, as a result of the unnecessary steroid treatment, our client developed avascular necrosis and had to have surgery for a hip replacement.

Construction Site Slip and Fall Accident – Carpenter Fell From a Ladder

Our client was a union carpenter who fell from a ladder while disassembling an exhibitor’s booth following a trade show. We alleged that the defendants were liable under section 240(1) of the Labor Law for failing to provide our client with necessary equipment to do his job. The client’s injuries include a fractured ankle for which fusion surgery has been recommended and a torn meniscus requiring arthroscopic surgery.

Medical Malpractice – Injury to Mother During Childbirth

Settlement during trial on behalf of a 30 year-old woman who sustained a tear of her uterus and uterine artery during the birth of her first child. Our client underwent numerous surgical procedures to control post-partum hemorrhage, but ultimately had to undergo a hysterectomy. Levine & Slavit retained an obstetrician/gynecologist to review the hospital record. In the expert’s opinion, the injury occurred because the doctor who was delivering the baby, in using a vacuum to assist in the delivery, used the vacuum in an improper way causing the injuries. Through careful questioning of the defendant doctor at his deposition, the doctor essentially confirmed that he had used the vacuum in the manner that the expert said was improper. At trial, the defendant doctor, apparently realizing that his answers at the deposition were not correct, attempted to explain that his deposition testimony were misunderstood. The case settled during the defendant doctor’s testimony at trial. Of note is that before the client came to our office, a prominent New York City law firm had rejected this case.

Medical Malpractice – Failure to Timely Diagnose Appendicitis

In this case, our client went to an emergency room of a hospital complaining of severe abdominal pain and vomiting. The triage nurse noted a history of abdominal pain and vomiting lasting for approximately 20 hours. The emergency room doctor, however, wrote that our client had been experiencing symptoms for about 4 hours. After giving our client intravenous fluids and observing her for a few hours, the doctor discharged our client and told her it was safe for her to fly as she and her family had planned. By the time our client arrived at her destination, her appendix had burst. She initially underwent surgery and treatment at a local hospital, but then had to be airlifted to a major city hospital due to severe peritonitis and other life-threatening conditions. As a result of the delay, our client suffers from internal scarring that interferes with her bladder function. At the deposition that our office took of the emergency room physician, he in essence confirmed that had he correctly realized that our client had been experiencing her severe symptoms for 20 rather than for 4 hours, he would not have discharged her without giving her much stronger discharge instructions than he gave her to return to the hospital if her symptoms persisted.

Firearm Accident – Rifle Round Lodged in Reloading Device Not Properly Disarmed Resulting in Severe Hand Injury

Plaintiff, an avid firearms enthusiast, hired defendant to remove a live round from a vice in which the round was jammed. Upon returning the round to the plaintiff, defendant falsely assured plaintiff that the round had been made safe, which it had not. The round exploded in plaintiff’s hand causing severe tendon and nerve injury. The matter settled following a plaintiff’s verdict in Nassau County.

Medical Malpractice – Failure to Diagnose Necrotizing Enterocolitis in Premature Infant

An infant born at 25 weeks gestation and then developed signs and symptoms of necrotizing enterocolitis while in the neonatal intensive care unit. Because the condition was not diagnosed in a timely manner, surgery was required resulting in significant abdominal scarring and the loss of portions of the small intestine. The matter was settled after the jury failed to reach a verdict following a three week trial.

Personal Injury – Uneven Floor in Museum Caused Trip Leading to Broken Shoulder Requiring Surgery

Plaintiff, then 70 years old, tripped and fell on an uneven floor in a museum causing a broken shoulder requiring surgery. The plaintiff, who did not reside in New York, hired our firm shortly after the accident. Immediately upon being retained, we hired an expert engineer and obtained a court order requiring the museum to permit the engineer to inspect the premises. The engineer found that the museum was not in compliance with the building codes.

Trip and Fall on Metal Plate on Roadway

Our client was crossing 42nd Street in Manhattan near the Port Authority Bus Terminal when he tripped and fell on a metal plate in the crosswalk that was raised above the level of the adjacent roadway. As a result of the fall, he suffered a fractured hip requiring surgery. Fortunately our office was contacted right away so we were able to get photographs of the metal plate before they were picked-up by the defendant.

Construction Accident – Client Suffered Broken Ribs Following Trench Collapse

The plaintiff was employed on a construction project installing large pipes when an improperly constructed trench collapsed on him, burying him completely and breaking several of his ribs. The trench had been constructed with improper shoring.

Personal Injury – Slip and Fell On Ice Led to Ankle Fracture and Three Surgeries

Plaintiff, 43 years old, slipped and fell on ice in the parking lot of a church, suffered a severe ankle fracture requiring three surgeries. The landlord failed to clear the parking lot of snow and ice, resulting in the accident.

Trip and Fall – Flea Market – Fractured Femur

As is often the case, our office’s immediate investigation of the location of accident and photographs of the area were crucial to the successful outcome of this case. Our client regularly worked at a flea market held on Sundays in an indoor parking garage. On the day of accident, our client tripped and fell due to a hole in the cement floor of the garage. As a result of the fall our client sustained a fractured femur. Our client admitted that she had seen the hole on days prior to her accident and knew it was there. The defendants argued that the hole was too trivial to form the basis of a lawsuit, but the photographs we took showed otherwise. We were able to defeat the attempt to have the case dismissed, after which we were able to successfully resolve the case.

Negligent Security – Sexual Assault

Our client was assaulted in a Manhattan office building. The perpetrator was caught and pled guilty to rape. Part of the encounter between our client and the perpetrator in the lobby of the building was captured by a surveillance camera at the building. The greatest difficulty with the case was that the building did not have any prior history of criminal activity so that the building was able to argue that it had no notice of any problems or danger. If the building prevailed on that point, the case would have to have been dismissed. Our office retained a security expert who reviewed the surveillance tape, visited the building, and was of the opinion that the building’s security was negligent relying in part upon the testimony our office obtained from a worker on duty at the building to the effect that someone should have been manning the front desk when the perpetrator entered the building and encountered our client in the lobby. The case settled after we successfully defeated the defendants’ motion to dismiss the case.

Home Health Aide Negligence

Surveillance cameras placed in our client’s home by her family because of a prior dishonest home health aide revealed that when our elderly client fell, the aide continued to watch television and even went to the kitchen and made herself a sandwich. Our client was discovered on the floor of her living room by her daughter who happened to stop by to drop off some groceries. The aide told her that her mother had just fallen to the floor, but the surveillance film revealed that she had been on the floor for almost an hour while the aide ate and watched television.

Trip and Fall on Sidewalk in Front of Construction Site – Fractured Hip

Our client tripped and fell on a sidewalk in front of a construction site due to a hole on the sidewalk, fracturing her hip requiring surgery for open reduction and internal fixation with hardware. The construction project included the demolition of a building and the erection of a new building at the site. Suit proceeded against the adjacent landowner, the general contractor for the construction project, and the subcontractor for the demolition portion of the project. We went to the scene of accident shortly after it occurred and took photographs of the hole before it was fixed. These photographs were exchanged with the defendants’ attorneys. Thereafter, we took a deposition of the property owner which confirmed that the general contractor was aware of the hole before the accident. Additionally, during the course of discovery, we obtained the names of the architects who were involved with the project and served subpoenas upon them for their records. Amongst the information received in response to our subpoenas were photographs taken of the demolition showing the subcontractor’s bulldozer crossing from the building to the street over the sidewalk apparently creating the hole that our client tripped in.

Trip and Fall – Raised Door Saddle – Neck Fracture

Our client tripped and fell in an office building on Long Island over a raised saddle. The injuries she sustained included a displaced fracture in her neck. The position of the fracture fragment left her at risk for spinal cord injury, but surgery was not an option because she was 80 years of age. The defendant moved for summary judgment arguing that the saddle was raised so slightly that the case should be dismissed for being a trivial defect. Fortunately, immediately after being retained our office hired a professional engineer who inspected and measured the location and concluded that the defect was not trivial and violated the New York State Building Code. In addition, at the depositions we took of the security guard on duty at the time of the accident and of the building manager, we were able to obtain an admission that prior to our client’s accident other people had tripped on the saddle and that the building management had considered the condition to be dangerous.

Construction Accident – Worker Fell on Debris in Passageway Leading to Shoulder Injury

The plaintiff, a 31 year construction worker was injured during the construction of a high rise luxury residential building in Manhattan while performing HVAC work. The plaintiff was seriously injured after falling on debris left in a passageway. The matter settled before trial.

Personal Injury – Slip and Fell On Ice Led to Broken Ankle With Surgery

Plaintiff, then aged 64, slipped and fell on ice. The defendant, a private landowner, failed to comply with its duty to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition, causing the accident. Plaintiff underwent surgery on her ankle.

Premises Liability – Patron Slipped and Fell in Bar

The plaintiff, then 33 years old, slipped and fell on the wet floor of a bar in Brooklyn fracturing his wrist. The plaintiff had to undergo surgery involving the placement of metal plates. The matter settled during trial following a unanimous jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff on liability.

Civil Rights – Riker’s Island Inmate Assaulted By Other Inmates While Guards Failed to Intervene Resulting in Broken Jaw

Our client, who was incarcerated at Riker’s Island, was viciously assaulted by three other inmates while several guards watched and failed to intervene, as they are required to do. The client’s jaw was badly broken. He required two surgeries and his jaw was wired shut for several weeks.

Infant Bit By Dog with No Prior Bites

The personal injury attorneys at our Manhattan office represented the parents of a boy just under two years of age who was severely attacked and bitten on the face by a dog. The child suffered severe and permanent facial scarring and extreme emotional suffering from the experience. Under New York law, while it is not necessary to prove that a dog had bitten another person before biting the plaintiff, the plaintiff is obligated to prove that the dog had vicious propensities about which the dog’s owner either knew or should have known. In our case, notwithstanding that we hired an investigator to canvass the neighborhood, we could find no witnesses to testify as to the dog’s vicious propensities. Nevertheless, through skillful deposition of the dog’s owners, we were able to discover enough information so that the defendants chose to settle the case rather than risk a verdict.

Dental Malpractice – Lack of Informed Consent – Settlement

Our client went to a new dentist whose improper preparation and insertion of a bridge, and improper root canal therapy, led to further teeth decay. The dentist then informed our client, who was in her 50’s, that it was necessary that all of her remaining teeth be extracted and she wear full upper and lower dentures for the rest her life. The defendant dentist admitted at his deposition that he did not give our client any alternatives to the dentures. He also admitted that our client had informed him when she first saw him that her mother had worn dentures, and she had hoped to avoid wearing dentures herself. We retained an expert who opined that the defendant dentist’s root canal therapy was improperly performed, that there were preferable alternatives to dentures, such as implants, and that the defendant, who was a general dentist, should have referred our client to specialists.

Employment Discrimination – Owners Reduced Bartender’s Hours and Then Fired Her After She Complained About Sexual Harassment

Plaintiff, an experienced female bartender, was sexually harassed repeatedly by a coworker. When she complained about the harassment to management, her hours were first reduced, and she was later fired.