Verdicts, Settlements & Decisions
Defendant Corporation Settles for $2.46 million After Worker Falls from a Truck
In this case, our client injured his back when he fell from a truck at a warehouse. Our client was instructed to remove some newspapers from the back of an idling truck. After he did this and was exiting the truck, the truck pulled away, and our client fell from the truck. He suffered a serious injury to his back, which included two surgeries. We sued the owner of the truck. The owner made a number of arguments, including that the worker was to blame for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The defendant also argued that, even if he did fall, it was only a few feet and that it was unlikely that his back injury was from this accident. In litigating the case, we were able to prove that the truck was responsible for the accident because the driver had a duty to inspect the truck before pulling away and that any such inspection would include ensuring that no workers were still on the truck at the time of departure. Because of the nature of the settlement, the parties agreed to keep their identities private. The case settled on the eve of trial at a private mediation.
Ceiling Falls on Worker – Case Settles for $500,000
In this case, plaintiff was a laborer for a demolition company. The company was hired to demolish the interior of a three-story building in lower Manhattan. The company failed to provide adequate training, instruction and supervision. In short, the company had no plan to complete the work. Instead, one of plaintiff’s co-workers told plaintiff to use a crowbar to remove a ceiling. As he did this, the ceiling tumbled down, partially landing on his knee, necessitating two separate anthropic surgeries. In suing, we argued that New York’s Industrial Code requires the employer to develop a plan for safely demolishing buildings. Such a plan, if put together, would have shown that the proper way to remove the ceiling was either by employing a scaffold or by removing the ceiling from above so that the worker would not risk having debris fall on him or her. At mediation, prior to conducting depositions of the defendants, the case settled for $500,000.
$2.05 Million Settlement – Mother of Two Struck and Killed by Motorist
StolzenbergCortelli, LLP, recently resolved a heart breaking wrongful death action. The mother of two was struck and killed, while she crossed a roadway. We were able to locate a video capturing the events leading up to the accident by way of a video surveillance system set up across the street in a neighboring commercial establishment. The video, when analyzed by our expert, confirmed our theory of how this otherwise unwitnessed accident occurred ad was helpful in resolving the matter and putting the legal part of this horrific tragedy to rest so that the family could start to move forward in their lives.
StolzenbergCortelli, LLP, Settles Trip Over Nail Case for $1.1 Million
Terrence and Howard settled a trip and fall case for $1,100,000. In this case, our client (a resident of Brooklyn) was a cleaning lady who was hired to clean the newsroom of the Wall Street Journal. The Journal had just renovated the space and in doing so installed new carpeting while the construction was ongoing. To protect the carpeting, the contractors covered it with plastic and used masonry nails to affix the plastic to the floor. Hundreds of nails were used to affix the plastic throughout the newsroom floor. Unfortunately, the contractors were careless and failed to remove all of the nails. Our client tripped over one of these nails and injured her back. She never returned to work. For four years, the contractors denied they installed the nail, until we tracked down the architect and he told us he just happened to take photos of the contractors installing the nails. Not all cases have such Perry Mason moments, but this one did. The defendants had no choice but to settle.
Jane and John Doe v. Defendant Driver
The names are redacted for privacy reasons. In this automobile accident case, the female plaintiff was injured and suffered seriously debilitating injuries. After several months of litigation, we were able to obtain almost $750,000 on their behalf.
$525,000 for a Teamster Injured When the Trailer upon which He was Standing Collapsed
Our client was a teamster, working at a concrete plant in Westchester when he was seriously injured. At the time, he was standing on a trailer, which is colloquially known as a “low boy”, when the wooden slats upon which he was standing, collapsed. He injured his knee and he ultimately had to undergo a total knee replacement. Many defenses were raised during the course of this litigation, including that he never fell, that he should not have been standing on the lowboy (even though part of his job according to our client’s boss was to sweep off the trailers in the yard), and that his knee injury was pre-existing. Defendants maintained that they were never going to pay on this case throughout the pendency of the action. However, in the weeks prior to when the trial was about to start, defendants caved and after many long and intense hours of negotiating, we were able to convince them to offer $525,000 to settle this matter!
Car Accident Victim With Pre-Existing Neck Injury Settles for $457,500
This past November, settled a client’s case for $457,500. The client suffered a significant cervical spine injury requiring a fusion surgery. He was t-boned by a car exiting Purdy’s farmer and the Fish in Somers, New York. We were able to convince the insurance carrier that our client’s pre-existing neck injury (he actually had a prior cervical fusion surgery) had nothing to do with his current complaints. We also were able to distinguish his subsequent car accidents. We were also able to locate additional insurance sources (the client had a supplemental underinsurance policy) that contributed to the settlement. In total, we were able to achieve this settlement in less than eight months from when we were retained.
Juan Vasquez v. Lam’s Golden Pearl Hotel
Mr. Vasquez was injured when a screw flew underneath his safety glasses and struck him in his eye, causing him to lose partial vision. We sued the building owner and general contractor, alleging a failure to proper equipment as required by the Industrial Code. Defendants claimed that they complied with the Code as they provided the plaintiff with safety glasses. In response, we hired a nationally recognized safety construction expert who opined that under the circumstances of this case the defendants were required to provide plaintiff with safety goggles – as opposed to glasses – as only goggles would have prevented the screw from accessing his eye. On the eve of trial, the parties settled for $450,000.
StolzenbergCortelli, LLP, Settles Construction Accident Case for $450,000
Last week, Howard Stolzenberg settled a case for $450,000 where a construction worker was forced to use an exterior fire escape ladder to access the top of the building all while carrying a one-gallon bucket of paint. The worker fell and fractured his ankle.
Levy v. Bernstein – When a Defendant Really Becomes a Defendant
In this personal injury case, our client fell from a ladder while installing a surveillance system camera. He suffered a significant fracture to his ankle. The surveillance systems actually captured the fall. Here, the video footage clearly shows that the worker was only provided a ladder that was not tall enough to accomplish the work. This worker was forced to stretch to do his work, causing him to tip the ladder and fall. As the case neared the close of discovery, the matter settled for $415,000. Although this case took many twists and turns, the biggest twist was finding out that Dr. Bernstein, the defendant, in this case, had been arrested for planning the murder of his ex-wife. So, now, not only was he the defendant in this case, but was also a defendant in a conspiracy to commit murder case. The story was all over the media. You cannot make this stuff up.
Ficklin v. The Port Authority – Sometimes Words Do Hurt
In this case, a worker at the World Trade Center was seriously injured when he fell while attempting to remove some leftover concrete in an elevator bank. Here, the worker was using a very large and heavy pry bar. As he was trying to chip out the concrete with the pry bar, a supervisor affiliated with the Port Authority began yelling at the worker to the point of distraction. The worker, now distracted, tripped, fell and was hurt. During the litigation, we were able to find multiple witnesses who testified that this particular supervisor was notorious at the project for being rude, aggressive and downright distracting. We retained a nationally known expert in construction safety who helped us argue in Court that the number one danger at a worksite is worker distraction and that by distracting the worker in this case – with his screaming and yelling – the supervisor was solely responsible for the accident. In response, the defendants argued that there has never been a case where a worker won a lawsuit for merely being distracted by words. As the parties prepared for trial, the case settled for $350,000. So, now, there is at least one case in New York where a worker won based his claim that words hurt him. But the truth is, the supervisor acted completely irresponsibly and in direct contravention of all safety rules now generally employed at construction sites. And, really, in this day and age, what worker needs to risk his life going to work every day with a supervisor like that?
Cilinger v. Mustafaj – case settled for $153,000
This case stemmed from a fall down a set of stairs in Yonkers. We alleged that a handrail was missing. Defendants argued that plaintiff was never injured. The case settled while pending on the trial calendar.
Ezoe v. Nationwide
In this claim, the client who owned a local sushi restaurant was struck by a motor vehicle as she exited an A&P supermarket in Montvale, New Jersey. She suffered hairline fractures of her cheek and ankle. After obtaining $100,000 from the defendant driver’s car insurance carrier, we obtained an additional $125,000 from nationwide, which was our client’s insurance carrier, upon the claim that she was entitled to supplemental underinsurance motorist benefits. That claim settled during the arbitration hearing.
Teenager Hit From Behind Gets $100,000
We just settled a case for a young girl who was injured when she was struck from behind while waiting at a red light at an intersection near the entrance to the Saw Mill in Yonkers. She had hip and shoulder surgery. There was virtually no damage to the car. We were able to settle the case for the full value of the defendant’s policy.
Delgado v. Central parking Systems
In this case, the client was struck as he exited a parking garage. He was struck by a car driven by a parking lot attendant. The client injured his shoulder. The case settled for $90,000.
Bicyclist Settles Case with Careless Driver
Terrence Cortelli settled a car versus motorist case for $65,000. Although the driver said that the bicyclist was heading in the wrong direction, Mr. Cortelli pointed out that the bicyclist was well within the view of the driver at the time of the accident and thus could have been avoided.
Insurance Carrier Agrees to Settle Car Accident Case for Full Limits of Policy within Months of Accident
Terrence Cortelli settled a car accident case this week after only a few months from when the accident occurred. The firm’s client was struck while in the crosswalk and suffered a fractured toe and a shoulder injury. Moving cases at lightning-quick speed is one of the firm’s guiding principles and a major reason why clients continually return to StolzenbergCortelli, LLP, for help when they or their loved ones need it.
StolzenbergCortelli, LLP, takes on – and beats – the New York City Taxi Limousine Commission
Recently, StolzenbergCortelli, LLP, received an urgent call from a former client. This client explained that the New York City Taxi Limousine Commission (the “TLC”) recently arrested her uncle for illegally operating a taxi cab. But, our client explained that her uncle, 88 years old, was merely driving a friend who lived in the same building to the store as a favor. The TLC said they witnessed the passenger hand the uncle a $10 bill and that the passenger admitted that the uncle was cab driver. StolzenbergCortelli, LLP, appeared in court on behalf of the Uncle and conducted a full trial to, according to Mr. Cortelli, to vindicate the rights of the uncle. And the penalties at play were not insignificant. The TLC had already impounded the uncle’s car, and was threatening him with thousands of dollars in fines and a loss of his driver’s license. StolzenbergCortelli, LLP put on a strenuous defense and was able to have all the charges dropped. Indeed, the local media had been reporting that the TLC was habitually charging non taxi drivers as being taxi drivers. For instance, in one case, a man was charged as being a cab when he merely was driving his wife to an appointment. And, in another case, the driver was merely volunteering to drive a cancer patient to an appointment. In those cases, the drivers lost their trials! Maybe next time they will call StolzenbergCortelli, LLP. It is our understanding that StolzenbergCortelli, LLP is one of the very few law firms that have been able to obtain a favorable verdict against the TLC.