Department Store Escalator Accident – Verdict $3,000,000.00
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.
Fire on Night of the 2003 Blackout – Failure to Provide Safe Means of Egress – 13-Year Old Jumps and Breaks Both Legs – Settlement $475,000.00
On the night of August 15, 2003, the 13-year old plaintiff was awoken by a fireman on a bullhorn announcing the evacuation of his building due to smoke and fire in a next-door building. The plaintiff made his way through his living room window and onto a metal fire escape. The fire escape led to the roof of a one-story garage from which, however, no ladder or other device was available to use to get from the garage roof to the driveway below. With windows popping and glass shattering around him, he jumped from the roof. He fractured both of his legs for which he underwent multiple surgeries. Levine & Slavit retained an engineer inspect the building. The engineer found that the building owner failed to provide a safe means of egress from the building, in violation of the N.Y.C. Building Code. The defendant argued that there was a proper means of egress which, unbelievably, required re-entry into the burning building to descend an interior stairway to street level. We made a motion for summary judgment based upon the failure to provide a safe means of egress. Although the motion was denied on the ground that there were issues of fact for a jury to decide, we believe that our motion sent the message that we were handling the case aggressively which ultimately resulted in a more substantial recovery for our client. The case settled after a jury had been selected and the attorneys were about to make their opening statements to the jury.
Experts: Engineer, Orthopedist
Firearm Accident – Rifle Round Lodged in Reloading Device Not Properly Disarmed Resulting in Severe Hand Injury – Settlement $450,000.00
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.
Negligent Security – Sexual Assault – $250,000.00 Settlement
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.
Expert: Building Safety and Security
Construction Accident – Client Suffered Broken Ribs Following Trench Collapse – Settlement $290,000.00
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.
Civil Rights – Riker’s Island Inmate Assaulted By Other Inmates While Guards Failed to Intervene Resulting in Broken Jaw – Settlement $150,000.00
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 – Settlement $125,000.00
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.
Employment Discrimination – Owners Reduced Bartender’s Hours and Then Fired Her After She Complained About Sexual Harassment – Settlement $71,000.00
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.
* Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.