Successful Past Verdicts for Personal Injury in New York
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
Home Health Aide Negligence – $250,000.00 Settlement
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.
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
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.
Failure to Disclose Life-Threatening Blood Disorder – Settlement Confidential
Plaintiff underwent a thorough pre-employment physical, including a laboratory analysis of his blood. The plaintiff was told that the results of the examination were normal. Approximately one year after the plaintiff was working at the company, during which time he received medical attention at the company’s medical office without improvement in his condition, he was seen by an outside physician. The doctor immediately recognized a dire situation, which was diagnosed as suffering from chronic myelogenous leukemia (“CML”), a condition which, if left untreated, is life threatening. When the outside doctor obtained the results of blood tests performed in connection with plaintiff’s pre-employment physical, plaintiff learned for the first time that the blood tests were not normal as his employer had advised, but that it showed abnormalities indicative of CML. As a result of the plaintiff’s delay in learning of the disease, he sustained a significantly diminished loss of chance for cure, and extreme mental anguish from his awareness of the implications of the loss of the year in obtaining treatment due to the delayed diagnosis. This case was settled only after the personal injury attorneys from our Manhattan office successfully defeated multiple motions to dismiss plaintiff’s complaint upon multiple grounds, including that the action was barred by the Workers’ Compensation Law. Had the defendants prevailed on any one of the grounds upon which dismissal was sought, plaintiff’s case would have been dismissed.
* Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.