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  • 1. top NY Verdict Search’S VerdictS of 2009 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 1 4/21/10 3:40:06 PM
  • 2. SMILEY & SMILEY, LLP One Grand Central Place 60 East 42nd Street New York, New York 10165 T: 212.986.2022 F: 212.697.4689 Toll Free: 866.SMILEYLAW Since 1968, Smiley & Smiley has achieved landmark victories for those who have been seriously injured or have had a loved one die as a result of negligence, whether through medical malpractice, auto accidents, or product liability. The firm has built a track record of stellar results and personalized client care by limiting their work to a small number of significant serious injury cases, rather than spreading their attention thin. Most of these cases come via referrals from other attorneys, who know that the hands in which they place their clients are a reflection on their own service. When Smiley & Smiley devotes itself to a case, it lavishes its time, finances, and expertise on the client, making certain that every phone call is returned, each email is responded to, and every result is satisfactory. This reputation for white-glove treatment is one of the main reasons why the firm was called upon by Trial Lawyers Care, the non-profit set up by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America in order to provide pro bono representation for victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The firm was assigned the most seriously injured of all of the victims, Jane Doe # 1, for whom it attained an $8.6 million settlement. CONGRATULATIONS TO PARTNER ANDREW J. SMILEY, ESQ. 2009 TOP VERDICT $3,594,943 DIBBLE V. NYCTA holding the New York City Transit Authority liable for the negligence of the train operator who ran over our client causing him to suffer an amputation of his lower leg. Other Notable Results Obtained by Smiley Law: $14,300,000 Verdict Against the City of New York $14.3 Million verdict against the City of New York on behalf of a ballerina in the Harlem Dance Theater who was rendered paraplegic after the car in which she was riding with Andre Robertson, a New York Yankees baseball player, crashed into an abutment on the West Side Highway. We proved that the city’s negligence in failing to post required warning signs was the cause of the accident. $8,600,000 Awarded to 9/11 WTC Victim $8.6 MILLION, the largest award paid by the fund in all cases, to “Jane Doe#1,” the first victim of the World Trade center attacks to be admitted to the hospital and the last to be discharged over 14 months later. $5,050,000 Settlement for Family of Painter Killed on WTC Reconstruction Project $5.05 Million for the family of a painter killed while working the night shift at the World Trade Center site as part of the Path Train Reconstruction Project following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. $5,000,000 for Woman Injured By Turning Bus $5,000,000 for a 34-year-old attorney who sustained catastrophic injuries to her leg as a result of being struck by a turning bus. $4,000,000 for Injured Doctor $4,000,000 for a 33 year old physician who was struck by a turning bus while he was riding his bicycle to work in midtown Manhattan. Our client sustained multiple injuries including a crushed pelvis resulting in permanent bladder incontinence and sexual dysfunction. Despite this being a “hit and run” accident, Smiley Law identified the owners of the bus and held them accountable. 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 2 SMILEY.indd 1 4/15/10 11:30:38 PM 4/21/10 3:40:07
  • 3. Brian Corrigan Publisher Law Firm Profiles Sales top NY Ariel Dorfman Verdict Search’S Advertising Sales Beth Bianculli Peter Hano VerdictS of 2009 Daniela Lynch Patty Martin Indera Singh A 21st Century Forensic For advertising Information Document Laboratory 212-457-9482 Verdict Search’s Top Verdicts of 2009 is Providing a wide range of forensic examination published by of documents including handwriting, typewriter ALM, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 1 4/20/10 12:25:47 PM and printout devices, photocopies, and alterations. State-of-the-art digital courtroom presentations for all types of cases. TOP 10 CASE SUMMARIES 3 (888) 883.1352 TOP 25 NEW YORK VERDICTS IN 2009 4 TOP 2009 VERDICTS BY CATEGORY 14 TOP 10 CASE SUMMARIES Products LiabiLity LLP; Los Angeles, CA, for The City of Harvey Friedman • Bruce Burke; Distribution; White New York, The New York City Water Plains, NY called by: Robert City claimed chemical in gasoline Board, The New York City Municipal • Harry Lawless; Food Science; Ithaca, Chapman contaminated water wells Water Finance Authority NY called by: Robert Chapman Facts: Verdict: (P) $250,500,000.00 • Harvey R. Friedman; Greenberg • Kathleen Burns; Toxicology; Lexing- In the 1980s, several United States oil Case Type: Manufacturing Defect, Prod- Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger ton, MA called by: Robert Chapman companies began manufacturing and using ucts Liability - Failure to Warn, Intentional LLP; Los Angeles, CA, for The City of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) as an Torts - Trespass, Intentional Torts - Public New York, The New York City Water • Martin Tallett; Refineries Operations; additive in gasoline to replace lead and as Nuisance Board, The New York City Municipal Lexington, MA called by: Harvey an octane enhancer, allowing the gasoline Case: The City of New York, the Water Water Finance Authority Friedman to burn more cleanly and efficiently. Board and Water Finance Agency v. Am- In 1990, amendments to the Clean Air erada Hess Corp. et al., No. 04-CV-3417 • Victor M. Sher & Joshua G. Stein; • Marnie Bell; Environmental Dam- Act were passed that required oil compa- Venue: U.S. District Court, Southern Sher Leff LLP; San Francisco, CA, for ages; Long Island City, NY called by: nies to add an “oxygenate” to gasoline, District, NY The City of New York, The New York Victor Sher allowing gasoline to burn even more Judge: Shira A. Scheindlin City Water Board, The New York City cleanly and efficiently. The United States Date: 10-19-2009 Municipal Water Finance Authority • Gerry Beckett; Gasoline; Park City, Environmental Protection Agency subse- UT called by: Victor Sher quently identified MTBE as a permitted PLAINTIFF(S)Attorney: Expert: oxygenate after consideration of what • Susan E. Amron; Assistant Corporation • Graham Fogg; Hydrogeology; Carmi- • Marcel Moreau; Storage Tanks; Port- chemicals would be permitted for purposes Counsel, Michael A.Cardozo, Corpora- chael, CA called by: Joshua Stein land, ME called by: Victor Sher of complying with the Act. tion Counsel; New York, NY, for The In the mid-1990s, the New York City City of New York, The New York City • Kenneth Rudo; Toxicology; Chapel • Dave Terry; Hydrogeology; Ramsey, acquired a groundwater system in Queens Water Board, The New York City Mu- Hill, NC called by: Robert Chapman NJ called by: Victor Sher that consisted of 68 wells. Between 1998 nicipal Water Finance Authority • Robert Reynolds; Ethanol; South and 2006, it found MTBE present in 39 • Robert S. Chapman; Greenberg • W. Edward Whitelaw Ph.D.; Eco- Bend, IN called by: Robert Chapman of its 68 wells in and around Jamaica. In Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger nomics; Eugene, OR called by: -Continued on p6 Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 3 38 PM 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 3 4/21/10 3:40:08 PM
  • 4. TOP 25 NEW YORK VERDICTS IN 2009 CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL PLAINTIFF'S EXPERT(S) AMOUNT 1 City of New York October 19 U.S. District Court, South- Products Liability: City claimed Victor M. Sher & Joshua G. Stein of Sher Leff Bruce Burke, Dave Terry, Gerry $250,500,000 v. Amerada Hess ern District chemical in gasoline contaminated LLP, and Harvey R. Friedman & Robert S. Beckett, Graham Fogg-UC Davis, Corp. water wells Chapman of Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman Harry Lawless, Kathleen Burns, & Machtinger LLP, and Susan E. Amronb of Kenneth Rudo,Marcel Moreau- Corporation Counsel Marcel Moreau Associates, Marnie Bell, Martin Tallett,Robert Reynolds, W. Edward Whitelaw, Ph.D.-University of Oregon 2 Baizan v. St. John's May 8 Westchester Supreme Medical Malpractice: Infant's cere- Randy B. Nassau of Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald Michael Soudry, M.B.A. - Eco Stat, $77,418,670 Riverside Hospital bral palsy due to slow OB/GYN, LLC, Daniel Adler, M.D., Jeffrey suit alleged Koren, M.D., Joseph Carfi, M.D., 3 Swanson v. North- December 10 Westchester Supreme Medical Malpractice: Prolonged Christopher B. Meagher of Meagher & Joseph Carfi, M.D., Michael Soudry, $60,939,847 ern Westchester dystocia led to baby's asphyxia, Meagher, P.C. MBA - Eco-State LLC, Michele Hospital Center suit alleged Batista, M.D., Chone Ken Chen, M.D., 4 Hugh v. Ofodile July 14 Bronx Supreme Medical Malpractice: Botched sur- Andres F. Alonso of Parker Waichman Alonso Burt M. Greenberg, M.D., $60,000,000 gery produced vaginal deformity, LLP suit alleged 5 Ffrench v. Agnant July 20 Westchester Supreme Medical Malpractice: Doc over- Merryl F. Weiner of Quaranta & Associates, Allan Hausknecht, M.D., Steven $47,950,000 looked symptoms of spinal tumor, and Christopher B. Meagher of Meagher & Valenstein, M.D., Sandra Gonchar, suit alleged Meagher, P.C M.S.N., Alan M. Leiken, Ph.D., 6 Busone v. McCarthy October 8 Saratoga Supreme Medical Malpractice: Baby's brain Robert E. Harris of Robert E. Harris, Esq. & Jose R. Foradada, M.D., $43,500,000 damage blamed on unskilled Stephen R. Coffey of O'Connell & Aronowitz delivery staff 7 Smolinski v. Smo- March 20 Erie Supreme Motor Vehicle: Brothers in SUV Anne B. Rimmler, Philipp L. Rimmler & Brian R. Victor Smith - Sheridan Surgical $40,026,376 linski crash named each other as drivers Hogan of Paul William Beltz, P.C. Supply, Alberto Martinez-Arizala, M.D. - Miami Project, Richard Bergman - Heartland Homes, Inc., James Locke - Collision Research Associates, Ronald R. Reiber, Ph.D. - Canisius College, Jennifer Abeles, D.O., Kevin Pranikoff, M.D., Thomas Polisoto, M.D., Lisa Keenan, Ph.D., 8 Aguilar v. April 15 New York Supreme Motor Vehicle: Woman's leg de- Peter J. Saghir, Ben B. Rubinowitz & Richard M. Charles A. Kincaid, Ph.D. - Kincaid $27,500,000 New York City stroyed when struck by bus Steigman of Gair, Gair, Conason, Steigman & Vocational & Rehabilitation Transit Authority Mackauf Services, Robert E. Genna - Director of Suffolk County Crime Laboratory, Mark Rubinstein, M.D., Mark Goldberg, M.D., Robert S. Goldstein, M.D., Jeffrey M. Sieden- berg, Ph.D., 9 Cush v. November 24 Kings Supreme Medical Malpractice: Baby's defects Charles Silverstein of Silverstein & Bast Joseph Carfi, M.D. - Physiatry As- $24,100,000 Interfaith blamed on failure to restrain sociates, P.C., Philip Bresnick, M.D., Medical at-risk mom Daniel G. Adler, M.D., Center 10 Tenuto v. March 20 Richmond Supreme Products Liability: Martin W. Edelman of Edelman & Edelman, Mona Goldman Yudkoff, R.N., $22,500,000 Lederle Diaper-changing dad contracted P.C., Stanley Kops of Law Offices of Stanley M.P.H., C.R.R.N. - Mona Yudkoff Laboratories polio from stool Kops, & Benedict P. Morelli & Arthur L. Salmon Rehab Consultants, Lawrence of Morelli Ratner, P.C. Steinman, M.D., Carl Anderson, M.D., Joseph Pagano, M.D., Alan Lieken, Ph.D., Michael Sulzinski, Ph.D., 4 Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 4 4/21/10 3:40:09 PM
  • 5. TE6956 NY Law 4C.doc:Layout 1 4/16/10 1:29 PM Page 1 Economic Damages. Done Right. The Tinari team provides accurate and timely damages analysis for your clients. Join the thousands of law firms that put their trust in Tinari Economics Group. Our in-house economists and full-time research analysts offer a wide spectrum of tailored services to solo attorneys, large law firms, private industry and government agencies. Tinari experts have authored thousands of economic loss reports and have testified as highly effective witnesses in over 700 federal and state trials. Put our services to work for clients in your next case. Tinari Economics participated in the #1 NYC verdict in 2008 and Economists Steve Levinson, Kris Kucsma, Frank Tinari 2 of the top 20 verdicts in 2009. • PLAINTIFF/DEFENSE SERVICES • PERSONAL INJURY AND WRONGFUL DEATH • VALUATION OF LIFE CARE PLANS • EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION Expert Economic Analysis Since 1979 • LOST PROFITS AND COMMERCIAL DAMAGES • ANALYSIS OF LOST SERVICES • INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY DAMAGES 212.201.0938 • PUBLIC POLICY NEW YORK • 11 Penn Plaza, 5th Floor, NY, NY 10001 NEW JERSEY • 973.992.1800 • 220 S. Orange Ave., Suite 203, Livingston, NJ 07039 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 5 4/21/10 3:40:11 PM
  • 6. -Continued from p3 Litigation.” The City’s action was the first the chemical may cause cancer in people. As the health effects MTBE has on humans, 2000, the city found MTBE present in one to go to trial and the Court set the a result, it argued that the five wells required arguing that no United States or foreign two of its six wells in and around “Station five contaminate Station 6 wells as the first expensive treatment to remove the MTBE governmental agency has identified MTBE 6,” the first group of wells the city in- bellwethers for the city’s case. from the defendant’s product. as a human carcinogen. tended to bring back on line. By 2003, the Prior to trial, 32 of the companies settled ExxonMobil denied any liability in the city had found MTBE in three other wells. and the action proceeded to trial against contamination of the city’s five wells. It Injury: It claimed that the contamination would ExxonMobil on the five representative wells. argued that the wells in question were The city claimed that MTBE contamina- prevent the city from using them as part The City claimed that underground abandoned several decades ago because of tion in the Station 6 wells injured the city of a backup system in case of emergencies gasoline storage tanks leak and that MTBE other high-level contamination by proven and rendered the water unusable without or droughts. It also alleged that these wells is highly water soluble, so that fuel leaks carcinogens, namely perchlorethylene treatment, and that those effects will last for required expensive treatment to remove from ExxonMobil’s and other oil compa- (PCE), or dry cleaning chemicals. It fur- decades. Specifically, it alleged that MTBE the MTBE. In 2004, New York State nies’ storage tanks caused the chemical to ther contended that PCE contamination in the combined flow from the wells would banned the use of MTBE, finding that the easily contaminate groundwater. It alleged from other industries in the area still poses peak at 35 parts per billion and that MTBE chemical was highly water soluble, was a that ExxonMobil’s engineers and scien- a threat to the wells and that the city has would remain in the wells for more than 40 possible carcinogen and had contaminated tists determined there was a strong risk no intention of using these wells for drink- years. It alleged that in order to clean the wa- groundwater throughout the state. of groundwater contamination, but that ing water because of the longstanding PCE ter, it needs to build a water-treatment plant The city sued ExxonMobil Corp., as well the company chose to use the chemical contamination. Defense counsel argued to treat approximately 10 million gallons of as several other oil companies. It alleged anyway, resulting in the contamination of that ExxonMobil should not be held liable water per day that the wells could provide. that gasoline containing MTBE was a the groundwater pulled in by the City’s five for the low-level MTBE contamination of The city claimed that it would cost an defectively designed product, and that the wells, along with contamination around the the wells by other sources and contended additional $54 million to the $60 million defendants failed to warn of the danger- country. The City argued that ExxonMobil that the city’s own expert opined that at in capital costs to remove the MTBE from ous nature of their product. It also alleged could have used ethanol instead of MTBE least three other non-ExxonMobil gas the wells and another $73 million to $190 that the defendants’ actions constituted as an oxygenate in gasoline without any stations contaminated the wells. In addi- million in operating and maintenance trespass, negligence and a nuisance. harmful side effects and that the ethanol tion, defense counsel contended that oil costs over the course of 40 years. As a This action became part of a larger litiga- cost was comparable. It contended that as a companies originally used MTBE rather result, it asked the jury to award it $250.5 tion involving contamination from MTBE, result, the defendant chose to use the more than ethanol because of the limited supply million in compensatory damages. consisting of over 150 lawsuits filed by risky and harmful chemical in order to save of ethanol and because car manufacturers Defense counsel disputed the cost of the water providers, well owners and state and money. The city further claimed that the feared that its use would diminish the per- clean up and contended that the city did local governments. The combined actions EPA found that even low levels of MTBE formance of their vehicles, not because of not intend to build the treatment plant became known as “In Re: Methyl Tertiary can make water undrinkable by making it any overriding economic benefit to using given the long history and continued pres- Butyl Ether (“MTBE”) Products Liability smell or taste like turpentine. It alleged that MTBE. Defense counsel further disputed -Continued on p8 TOP 25 NEW YORK VERDICTS IN 2009 CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL PLAINTIFF'S EXPERT(S) AMOUNT 11 Angamarca v. April 8 Kings Supreme Construction: Carpenter fell Marc C. Saperstein of Davis, Saperstein & Frank D. Tinari, Ph.D. - Tinari $20,000,000 New York City through skylight that wasn't prop- Salomon, P.C. Economics Group, Jamie R. Wil- Partnership Housing erly covered liams, Ph.D. - Robson Forensics Development Fund Inc., Douglas Cohen, M.D., Ira comany Inc. Esformes, M.D., Patricia W. Iyer, M.S.N., Dustin Gordon, Ph.D., Edward Provder, 12 Figueroa v. Southern July 10 Bronx Supreme Medical Malpractice: Undiagnosed James Wilkens & Edward G. Bithorn of Duffy Alan M. Leiken, Ph.D., Richard $19,792,000 spinal abscess caused paralysis & Duffy Lechtenberg, M.D. - University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Angelo Scotti, M.D., Robert Kirkwood, M.D., Sandra Gonchar, MSN, 13 Estate of Danzy v. December 18 Kings Supreme Nursing Homes: Fatal infection Dennis J. Kelly & David Grossman of Kelly, Dennis J. Ryan - Applied Forensics, $18,750,000 Brooklyn-Queens called product of nurses' neglect Grossman & Flanagan, LLP LLP, Joseph Namey, D.O., Char- Nursing Home Inc. lotte Sheppard, 14 Radeva v. NYC April 23 New York Supreme Motor Vehicle: Bicyclist, bus driver David J. Dean of Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Paul Post, M.D., Robert Goldstein, $15,130,307 Transit Authority debated who struck whom & Cannavo P.C. M.D., Nicholas Bellizzi, P.E., 6 Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 6 4/21/10 3:40:12 PM
  • 7. 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 7 4/21/10 3:40:14 PM
  • 8. -Continued from p6 As a result, the jury determined that the MedicaL MaLPractice • Michael Soudry M.B.A.; Econom- ence of dry cleaning chemical contamina- city’s compensatory damages amounted ics; New York, NY called by: Randy tion. They argued that the city, instead, to $250.5 million. However, the total was Infant’s cerebral palsy due to slow OB/ Nassau had other projects underway to provide offset by $70 million for any preexisting GYN, suit alleged other backup sources of water for the area. contamination of the wells, such as the • Daniel Adler M.D.; Pediatric Neurol- PCE contamination, and 42-percent for Verdict: (P) $77,418,670.00 ogy; Ridgewood, NJ called by: Randy Verdict Information The jury found that any contamination caused by the other oil Case Type: Failure to Monitor, Medical Nassau by 2033, MTBE will have contaminated companies that had already settled with Malpractice - Delayed Treatment, Medical the wells’ peak level output at 10 parts per the city. Of the 42-percent liability, the Malpractice - Childbirth, Medical Mal- • Jeffrey Koren M.D.; OB-GYN -- See billion, which is New York State’s Maxi- jury found BP-Amoco 13.1-percent liable, practice - Cerebral Palsy, Medical Malprac- also Gynecology; Tampa, FL called mum Contaminant Level, or the level of Sunoco 6.1-percent liable, Shell 2.4-per- tice - Birth Injury, Medical Malpractice by: Randy Nassau the chemical that the state Department of cent liable, Chevron/Texaco 1.7-percent - OB-GYN Health allows to be served in drinking water. liable, Hess 6.9-percent liable, Valero Case: Diego Baizan, an infant by his Facts: As a result, the jury found that the city .2-percent liable, Conoco-Philips .7-per- m/n/g Mariana Mejia Baizan and Mariana On Feb. 16, 2006, plaintiff Diego Bai- was injured by the presence of MTBE in cent liable, El Paso .4-percent liable, Citgo Mejia Baizan, Individually v. St. John’s zan was born. The delivery was performed its wells and that ExxonMobil was liable 7.1-percent liable, Gulf Oil/Cumberland Riverside Hospital and Shahram Razmzan, by obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Shahram for the contamination of the cty’s five Farms 2.2-percent liable, and Marathon M.D., No. 747/07 Razman, at St. John’s Riverside Hospital, water wells. It also found that gasoline 1.2-percent liable. It also found that Getty, Venue: Westchester Supreme, NY in Yonkers. containing MTBE was unreasonably Irving Oil and Atlantic Richfield were not Judge: Joan B. Lefkowitz Diego’s birth concluded a relatively dangerous, but that there was not evidence liable for the contamination. Date: 05-08-2009 short delivery process. During the hour of a safer, feasible alternative design being Thus, the city’s total recovery was that preceded 7 p.m., his mother, Mariana available at that time. The jury further $104,690,000. PLAINTIFF(S)Attorney: Baizan, presented to the hospital. At about found that ExxonMobil failed to warn of • Randy B. Nassau; Fitzgerald & 7:54 p.m., Mariana Baizan was attached to the dangers of its product and that this Editor’s Comments - This report includes Fitzgerald; Yonkers, NY, for Diego an external electronic device that moni- failure contributed to the city’s injury. information that was gleaned from articles Baizan tored the fetus’s heartbeat. The monitor’s It also found ExxonMobil’s conduct that were published by Bloomberg L.P., initial readings indicated that Diego’s heart constituted a public nuisance, and that Sierra Club and The New York Times, as Expert: was generating more than 160 beats per releases of MTBE from ExxonMobil’s own well as court documents. It also includes • Joseph Carfi M.D.; Physical Reha- minute. Such a rate is slightly faster than gasoline stations near Station 6 wells were information that was provided by plain- bilitation; Great Neck, NY called by: the typical rate. The monitor also indicated direct substantial factors in causing the tiff’s and defense counsel. Randy Nassau decreasing variability of the heart’s rate. City’s injuries. -Continued on p10 TOP 25 NEW YORK VERDICTS IN 2009 CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL PLAINTIFF'S EXPERT(S) AMOUNT 15 Bianco v. Flushing February 23 Queens Supreme Employment: Nurse claimed Rick Ostrove & Thomas Ricotta of Leeds $15,000,000 Hospital Medical hospital ignored doc's sexual Morelli & Brown, P.C. Center advances 16 Bank Hapoalim October 20 New York Supreme Fraud: Bank sold notes for Phoebe Wilkinson & Scott S. Balber of Chad- Vincenzo Dispinzeri, Salvatore $14,566,353 (Switzerland) Ltd. v. company it knew would fail, suit bourne & Parke LLP Tedesco, Banca Intesa S.p.A. alleged 17 Nunez v. City of June 3 Kings Supreme Workplace: Transit worker broke Lawrence P. Biondi of Law Offices of Lawrence Eric Crone, M.D., Ronald E. Mis- $13,623,439 New York skull, pelvis in fall from elevated P. Biondi sun, Ph.D., Marcia Knight, Ph.D., track Joseph Pessalano, 18 DePascale v. Sylvania November 12 U.S. District Court, Eastern Workplace: Workers claim injuries Joseph D. Gonzalez of Gonzalez & Robinson Frank D. Tinari, Ph.D. - Tinari $12,000,000 Electronic Products, District resulting from toxic and radioac- Economics Group, Eckhardt Inc. tive exposure Johanning, M.D. - Eastern Ny Occupational & Environmental Health Center, Lorne Everett, James Wells, Jack Thrasher, 8 Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 8 4/21/10 3:40:15 PM Krein
  • 9. THE LAW FIRM OF KREINDLER & KREINDLER LLP CONGRATULATES PARTNER NOAH KUSHLEFSKY FOR WINNING ONE OF THE TOP VERDICTS OF 2009 Reis v. Volvo Car Corp. – New York County – $8,753,000 Kreindler & Kreindler LLP proudly recognizes Partner Noah Kushlefsky for his tremendous hard fought verdict in Reis v. Volvo Car Corp. The Reis case involved a design defect in a Volvo vehicle which resulted in the traumatic above-the-knee amputation of a 56 year-old man’s leg. Like many of the cases the firm litigates, the Reis case was referred to the firm by a smaller firm that did not have the financial or staffing resources to handle a complex automobile design defect case to conclusion. Kreindler & Kreindler LLP regularly acts as co-counsel with other firms in a variety of practice areas to best represent the interests of the client and to maximize their recovery. Noah Kushlefsky has been practicing law in New York for The verdict in Reis continues the firm’s tradition of legal excellence and more than 24 years. He litigates advocacy for victims’ rights. For more than 50 years Kreindler & Kreindler in both state and federal courts, LLP has built a reputation fighting on behalf of victims of negligence and exclusively on behalf of plaintiffs, dangerous products. It is known as one of the preeminent plaintiffs firms in in a variety of practice areas, New York, and is a recognized expert on the laws of New York as well as the including: products liability, medi- laws which govern air travel. cal malpractice, automobile and bus accidents, aviation accidents, Long recognized as the premier plaintiff’s aviation litigation firm in New York toxic torts and premises liability. and the country, Kreindler & Kreindler brings decades of experience and He heads the firm’s general tort unmatched resources to a wide range of general tort, product liability and practice group and has recovered medical negligence cases in its New York practice. The firm takes a lead in excess of $1,000,000 in more role in all cases in which it is involved, and expertly handles all phases of litigation from pre-trial to trial practice and through appeals. than 200 cases. Members of the firm author the treatise, New York Law of Torts (West), and the leading textbook in the aviation field, Aviation Accident Law (Matthew Bender). New York Office: 100 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017-5590 / 212-687-8181 / fax 212-972-9432 California Office: 707 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90017 / 213-622-6469 / fax 213-622-6019 Massachusetts Office: 277 Dartmouth Street, Boston, MA 02116 / 617-424-9100 / fax 617-424-9120 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 9 Kreindler.indd 1 4/21/10 3:40:16 PM 4/15/10 9:45:19 AM
  • 10. -Continued from p8 palsy. Baizan claimed that the hypoxic event gen. They contended that an immediate tiffs’ counsel contended that Diego will not The readings were deemed nonreactive, could have been detected and addressed response was warranted, and they opined obtain employment, that he will not com- which may be indicative of a potential before significant damage occurred. that every lost minute compounded Di- plete high school and that he will always problem. Baizan, acting individually and as ego’s injuries. require constant residential assistance. At about 8 p.m., Razman noted that Diego’s parent and natural guardian, sued Defense counsel contended that patho- Diego’s mother sought recovery of Baizan’s cervical dilation measured about Razman and St. John’s Riverside Hospital. logical findings indicated that Diego’s Diego’s future medical expenses, the cost 6 centimeters. The cervix was fully effaced. The plaintiffs alleged that Razman and the hypoxic event preceded his mother’s arrival of his future custodial and residential care, Diego’s head was detected in the zero sta- hospital’s staff failed to timely monitor and at the hospital. He also contended that the the cost of his future rehabilitation, his tion, which is an area above the entrance deliver Diego. They further alleged that hospital’s staff appropriately monitored future lost earnings, and damages for his of the birth canal. those failures constituted malpractice. Diego, and he claimed that the monitor’s past and future pain and suffering. She also At about 8:20 p.m., Baizan’s cervical The plaintiffs and Razman negotiated a readings did not suggest that an earlier presented a derivative claim. dilation measured about 8.5 centimeters. $2.1 million pretrial settlement. The mat- delivery was necessary. He claimed that an Defense counsel maintained that Diego’s Doctors recorded a prolonged decelera- ter proceeded to a trial against St. John’s expeditious vaginal delivery presented less injuries preceded his mother’s arrival at the tion of the rate of the fetus’s heartbeat. As Riverside Hospital. risk than a Caesarean delivery would have hospital. a result, Diego’s heart was generating about Plaintiffs’ counsel claimed that Diego’s presented. 90 beats per minute. Such a rate is much hypoxia began after his mother arrived at Verdict Information The jury found that slower than the normal rate of a fetus’ heart. the hospital. She contended that the fetus’s Injury: the hospital was liable for Diego’s injuries. The monitor continued to indicate decreas- heart was not promptly monitored, and Diego sustained a hypoxic event that It determined that Diego’s damages totaled ing variability of the heart’s rate, and its she argued that the hypoxic event could caused damage of his brain. During the $77,418,670. readings were deemed non-reassuring. have begun before the monitoring had first few hours of his life, he suffered sei- At about 8:40 p.m., Razman determined begun. She further argued that a Caesarean zures. He also required the administration Diego Baizan that Baizan’s cervix was fully dilated. He delivery should have commenced at about of oxygen. $3,000,000 Personal Injury: Past Pain And ruptured her amniotic membrane, and 8 p.m., when the monitor’s first nonreac- Diego suffers cerebral palsy, cortical Suffering meconium was observed. Although meco- tive readings were observed. She claimed impairment of his vision, impairment of his $6,132,880 Personal Injury: future medi- nium is frequently detected during labor, that those readings were clear indicators speech and delays of his mental develop- cal cost (68 years) it occasionally indicates that the fetus is of fetal distress. She argued that a prompt ment. His nourishment is delivered via a $40,190,509 Personal Injury: future cost suffering distress. The delivery commenced, Caesarean delivery would have prevented gastric tube, and he requires around-the- of custodial and residential care (68 years) and Diego was born at 9:03 p.m. Doctors Diego’s residual injuries. clock assistance of all of his activities. His $3,184,960 Personal Injury: future cost of soon determined that Diego had sustained The plaintiffs’ medical experts agreed weekly regimen includes multiple sessions rehabilitation (18 years) a hypoxic event that caused damage of his that the monitor’s readings suggested that of occupational therapy, physical therapy $20,000,000 Personal Injury: future pain brain. As a result, the child suffers cerebral Diego was not receiving sufficient oxy- and therapy that addresses his speech. Plain- -Continued on p12 TOP 25 NEW YORK VERDICTS IN 2009 CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL PLAINTIFF'S EXPERT(S) AMOUNT 19 Corter v. Holt Con- February 4 Orange Supreme Construction: Workers claimed Joseph Carfora & Daniel Weir of Sacks & Sacks Ronald E. Missun, Ph.D., Barbara $11,504,836 struction Corp. they were poisoned by steel's Scheffel, R.N. - Scheffel & Associ- fumes ates, Petr Bezdicek, M.D., Alan Fein, M.D., James Stewart, Ph.D., CIH, James Kornberg, Sc.D., 20 Quillen v. Shapiro April 7 Bronx Supreme Medical Malpractice: Plaintiff al- David J. Dean of Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Norman Bloom, M.D. - Surgery/ $10,500,000 leged cancer spread when docs & Cannavo P.C. Oncology, Mark B. Schiffer, M.D., nixed surgery F.A.C.C., Al Mickens, 21 Sanders v. NYCTA March 6 Kings Supreme Transportation: Train's motorman Gary B. Pillersdorf of Gary B. Pillersdorf & Nicholas Bellizzi, P.E., Ali E. Guy, $10,306,000 failed to avoid man on tracks, suit Associates M.D. - Mid-Island Physical Medi- alleged cine & Rehabilitation, Robert G. Frein, 22 Estate of Ingrassia v. June 18 Richmond Supreme Intentional Torts: Father claimed Vito A. Cannavo of Sullivan Papain Block Alan Schecter, M.D., $10,100,000 Lividikos assault on car resulted in son's McGrath & Cannavo P.C. death 23 Lyon v. May 8 Onondaga Medical Malpractice: Spinal-fluid Jeff D. DeFrancisco of the DeFrancisco Law Judith Axelrod, M.D., Arnold $9,785,000 Gingold Supreme leak led to immobility of legs, suit Firm Goran, M.D., James Abrahams, alleged M.D., Lawrence Spizman, Ph.D., 10 Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 10 4/21/10 3:40:19 PM
  • 11. 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 11 4/21/10 3:40:21 PM
  • 12. -Continued from p10 Center, and Women’s Medical Associates, Swanson was born. The delivery was per- Kohn did not properly address the and suffering (68 years) PLLC and Carla Eng-Kohn, M.D., No. formed by an obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. dystocia. He contended that traction was $4,910,321 Personal Injury: future lost 16743/07 Carla Eng-Kohn, at Northern Westchester applied to the baby’s head. He noted that earnings (38 years) Venue: Westchester Supreme, NY Hospital, in Mount Kisco. Michael sustained an injury of his brachial Judge: Nicholas Colabella During the delivery, Eng-Kohn encoun- plexus, which comprises the nerves that Post-Trial: Judge Joan Lefkowitz denied Date: 12-10-2009 tered a dystocia, which is a potentially fatal service the arms and shoulders, and he defense counsel’s motion to reduce or set condition that occurs when the mother’s pu- claimed that such an injury is always a aside the damages awards. PLAINTIFF(S) Attorney: bic bone entraps one of the baby’s shoulders. result of the delivering doctor’s use of • Christopher B. Meagher; Meagher The dystocia was relieved, and the delivery excessive traction. The plaintiffs’ expert Editor’s Comments This report is based & Meagher, P.C.; White Plains, NY, was completed. However, doctors ultimately neurologist opined that Michael also suf- on information that was provided by for Bruce Swanson, Mary Swanson, determined that Michael suffers damage fered lateral medullary syndrome--a disease plaintiffs’ and defense counsel. Michael Swanson of his brain. Michael’s parents, Bruce and that causes impairment of speech and/or Mary Swanson, claimed that Michael’s the ability to swallow. He contended that Expert: impairment is a result of asphyxia that oc- that condition is also an exclusive result of MedicaL MaLPractice • Chone Chen M.D.; Pediatric curred while Eng-Kohn was relieving the the application of excessive traction. Neurology; Brooklyn, NY called by: dystocia. They contended that Eng-Kohn The plaintiffs’ expert obstetrician opined Prolonged dystocia led to baby’s asphyxia, Christopher Meagher did not expeditiously relieve the dystocia. that eight or nine minutes passed before suit alleged Bruce and Mary Swanson, acting indi- the dystocia was relieved, and the plain- • Joseph Carfi M.D.; Physical Rehabili- vidually and as Michael’s parents and natu- tiffs’ expert neurologist opined that the Verdict: (P) $60,939,847.00 tation; New Hyde Park, NY called by: ral guardians, sued Eng-Kohn; Eng-Kohn’s prolonged dystocia asphyxiated the baby. Case Type: Negligent Treatment, Medical Christopher Meagher employer, Women’s Medical Associates, He contended that monitors indicated that Malpractice - Delayed Treatment, Medical • Michael Soudry MBA; Economics; PLLC; and Northern Westchester Hospi- Michael suffered two minutes of tachycar- Malpractice - Childbirth, Medical Mal- New York, NY called by: Christopher tal. The plaintiffs alleged that Eng-Kohn dia, which is an abnormally fast heartbeat, practice - OB-GYN, Medical Malpractice Meagher and the hospital’s staff failed to properly and he suggested that the condition was - Nurse perform the delivery, that their failures an indication of distress. Plaintiffs’ counsel Case: Michael Swanson, an Infant Under • Michele Batista M.D.; OB-GYN – constituted malpractice, and that Women’s claimed that Michael was not crying when 14 Years of Age, by and Through His See also Gynecology; Pomona, NY Medical Associates was vicariously liable he was delivered, and he contended that Parents and Natural Guardians, Mary called by: Christopher Meagher for Eng-Kohn’s actions. Women’s Medical the child’s face exhibited a bluish discol- Swanson and Bruce Swanson, and Mary Associates stipulated that it was vicariously oration. The plaintiffs’ expert obstetri- Swanson and Bruce Swanson, Individu- Facts: liable for Eng-Kohn’s actions. cian opined that Eng-Kohn neglected to ally v. Northern Westchester Hospital -Continued on p14 On Oct. 10, 2003, plaintiff Michael Plaintiffs’ counsel claimed that Eng- TOP 25 NEW YORK VERDICTS IN 2009 CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL PLAINTIFF'S EXPERT(S) AMOUNT 24 Lomotowski v. September 25 Bronx Supreme Construction: Worker fractured David H. Perecman of The Perecman Firm Alan M. Leiken, Ph.D., David R. $9,200,000 Naica Housing feet, knee in 20-foot fall through Payne, M.D. - The Spine and Development Fund open floor Joint Center, Stuart Remer, M.D., Co. Inc. Harold L. Goldstein, 25 Reis v. Volvo Cars of November 25 New York Supreme Products Liability: Car's unexpect- Susan A. Friery & Noah H. Kushlefsky of Krein- Karen Pechman, M.D. - White $8,753,000 North America Inc. ed lurch cost bystander a leg dler & Kreindler LLP Plains Hospital Center / Burke Rehabilitation Center, David Asprinio, M.D. - University Or- thopaedics PC, Nicholas Guarino, CPO - Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics, Leonard R. Freifelder, Ph.D. - Freifelder & Associ- ates Consulting, Inc., William E. Gest, P.E. - Augspurger Komm Engineering & BTI Consultants, Dorra Blacker, C.R.C., Mark M. Kramer, M.D., Gary Tannenbaum, M.D., Murray Bernstein, P.E., Mona Yudkoff, R.N., M.P.H., C.R.R.N., 12 Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 12 4/21/10 3:40:22 PM Park
  • 13. WWW.YOURLAWYER.COM 1-800-YOURLAWYER(1-800-968-7829) New Office: 6 Harbor Park Drive Port Washington, New York 11050-4647 Tel 516.466.6500 1.800.LAW.INFO Fax 516.466.6665 Florida: 3301 Bonita Beach Road Bonita Springs, Florida 34134 Tel 239.390.1000 Fax 239.390.0055 New Jersey: 2300 Woodridge Avenue Edison, New Jersey 08817 Tel 732.985.8888 Fax 973.297.1020 New York City: 111 John Street, 14th Floor New York, New York 10038 Tel 212.267.6700 Landmark cases are the norm for the attorneys at Parker Waichman Alonso LLP. Attorneys from the firm were among the first to lead the charge in New York State’s Diet Drug and ReNu with MoistureLoc Contact Lens Solution litigations and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The firm is also routinely appointed to Plaintiffs’ Steering Committees in Multi-District Litigations including Zyprexa, Ortho Evra, Gadolinium, Vytorin, Chinese- Manufactured Drywall, Denture Cream, Yasmin and Yaz (Drospirenone), Heparin and Bayer Combination Aspirin. In addition to these and many other mass tort cases, the firm has a long history of handling traditional, single-event tort cases. While there are many memorable cases, a few stand out. Andres F. Alonso, a partner at Parker Waichman Alonso LLP, says that the case of Allison Hugh is one that he will carry with him forever. On July 15, 2009 a Bronx County jury awarded $60 million in damages to Ms. Hugh, 44, in a medical malpractice case she brought against Queens plastic surgeon Ferdinand A. Ofodile, M.D. The case involved a thigh lift procedure, performed by Dr. Ofodile, which caused significant injury and deformity to the labia of Ms. Hugh’s vagina. Dr. Ofodile failed not only to provide Ms. Hugh with informed consent but also failed to use proper surgical technique. In November 2002, Alison Hugh underwent gastric bypass surgery. Over the next 18 months she lost approximately 200 pounds. As a result, beginning in December 2003, Ms. Hugh started looking for a plastic surgeon who could remove the excess skin that had formed between her thighs. She consulted with surgeons in New York, Pennsylvania and Jamaica who uniformly recommended a medical thigh lift but warned of the risk that the procedure could leave her with deformed labia. A year later, however, Ms. Hugh consulted with Dr. Ofodile. At their initial consult, Ms. Hugh raised her concerns of deformity and keloid scarring but was assured that Dr. Ofodile would perform a different type of procedure, which would give her the results she wanted without the risks she so des- perately wanted to avoid. With that assurance, Ms. Hugh consented to the procedure. Unfortunately, shortly after the surgery her worst fears came to pass. Ms. Hugh was left horribly scarred. In a vigorous defense throughout the two week trial, Dr. Ofodile made a futile attempt to explain that he properly informed Ms. Hugh of all attendant risks, that she was, in part, to blame for assuming the inherent risks of the procedure, and perhaps most shockingly, that Ms. Hugh’s visibly deformed and scarred vagina was “normal.” “The stark differences in Ms. Hugh’s before and after photographs belied this defense,” said Mr. Alonso. “We believe that the defendant’s testimony that ‘if you lined up one thousand vaginas, there would be no evidence …that would suggest an injury’ angered the jury.” After a short deliberation, the jury found that Dr. Ofodile indeed failed to appropriately advise Ms. Hugh about the risks of this type of procedure and that he deviated from good and accepted medical practices in his surgical technique. They awarded Ms. Hugh $10 million for past pain and suffering, and $50 million for future pain and suffering. Ms. Alonso admitted that he was not surprised by the verdict but was astounded by the size of the award. “We were not expecting a number anywhere near as substantial,” said Mr. Alonso, noting that the defense did not make any pretrial offers. “But the jury clearly recognized the gruesome nature of Ms. Hugh’s injury and sent a message with their verdict. I’m just sorry for Allison that they had to.” 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 13 ParkerWaichmanAlonso.indd 1 4/16/10 10:29:45 PM 4/21/10 3:40:23 AM
  • 14. -Continued from p12 tently compressed during a period that respiration and its response to stimuli. vention and/or Michael’s permanent need employ generally accepted techniques that spanned 6:40 and 6:43. The defense’s Each category receives a grade of zero, 1 for residential care. Plaintiffs’ counsel also would have allowed quicker resolution of medical experts agreed that those readings or 2, and the grades are totaled. A healthy claimed that Michael has to undergo about the dystocia. established that the head could not have infant typically receives a total grade of 8, 15 years of intense therapy that will address Plaintiffs’ counsel also claimed that the been delivered prior to 6:45. 9 or 10. A poor total grade often indicates a residual impairment of his speech. He dystocia was a result of a nurse’s misman- Eng-Kohn acknowledged that a dys- that immediate life-saving attention must further claimed that Michael must undergo agement of the delivery. He contended tocia occurred, but she contended that it be undertaken. Michael underwent two occupational and physical therapy. He con- that Eng-Kohn was not present when was resolved during a period that spanned such tests, and his grades totaled 7 and 8. tended that Michael’s residual injuries will the nurse initiated the pushing process. some two minutes. She claimed that she Eng-Kohn also contended that a nurse impair his career. He claimed that the nurse’s actions had utilized two generally accepted techniques: a initiated the pushing process, and she Michael’s parents sought recovery of not been approved by Eng-Kohn, and he McRoberts maneuver and the application of claimed that the process began prior to her Michael’s past medical expenses, the cost argued that such a unilateral act would suprapubic pressure. She acknowledged that arrival. She contended that the pushing of his future rehabilitative therapy, the cost have constituted a departure from accepted traction had been applied, but she claimed was promptly suspended when the dysto- of his future custodial care, his remaining standards of medical care. He contended that merely minimal force was utilized. The cia was discovered. future medical expenses, his future lost that Mary Swanson’s unsupervised pushing defense’s expert neurologist opined that The nurse contended that the pushing earnings, and damages for his past and led to the development of the dystocia. excessive traction would have caused far process was not initiated until sometime future pain and suffering. They also pre- Although the parties agreed that greater damage of Michael’s brachial plexus. after Eng-Kohn had arrived. She also sented derivative claims, but Ms. Swanson Michael’s delivery was completed at 6:49 The defense’s medical experts disputed contended that Eng-Kohn authorized the ultimately withdrew her claim. p.m., they provided conflicting reports plaintiffs’ counsel’s contention that moni- initiation of that process. Eng-Kohn’s counsel noted that Michael’s of the timing of the prior aspects of the tors indicated that Michael was suffering first two years were not marked by any delivery. Plaintiffs’ counsel claimed that distress. They contended that the fetus’s Injury: special treatment or abnormal diseases. He Michael’s head was delivered at 6:40, and tachycardia was a reassuring sign that Plaintiffs’ counsel claimed that Michael claimed that Michael’s delays did not begin he contended that the dystocia immedi- reflected stimulation of the fetus. The suffered asphyxia that caused damage of his until the second year of his life. The de- ately followed. Thus, he argued that the experts also agreed that the monitors did brain’s stem. He contended that the damage fense’s expert neurologist opined that Mi- dystocia spanned a period of eight or nine not provide any evidence that Michael caused residual injuries that include moder- chael’s developmental problems stemmed minutes. Eng-Kohn contended that she suffered deprivation of oxygen. Defense ate delays of the development of the child’s from pervasive developmental disorder--an did not arrive until 6:44. The hospital’s counsel noted that Michael’s birth was speech and ability to swallow. Michael unrelated autistic condition. The expert records were not available, but Eng-Kohn’s followed by good Apgar grades, which are also suffers residual aspiration pneumonia. contended that the condition was a result counsel claimed that monitors indicated cumulative measures of a newborn’s color, Plaintiffs’ counsel claimed that the latter of insufficient pre-birth development of that the infant’s head was being intermit- its heartbeat, the tone of its muscles, its condition could necessitate surgical inter- Michael’s brain. -Continued on p16 TOP 2009 VERDICTS BY CATEGORY Animals CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Liano v. Deserio 10/8 Ulster Supreme Animals: Man bitten while heeding girl- Michael H. Forrester of Silver, Forrester & Schisano $202,133 friend's order to grab her dog Bruce v. Marchasani 8/12 Greene Su- Animals: Pit bull's owners ignored its vi- Steven H. Cohen of Finkelstein & Partners, L.L.P. $178,361 preme cious nature, plaintiff alleged Frederick v. Ullery 6/5 Erie Supreme Animals: Veterinarian's attendant claimed Walter P. Seegert of Miserendino, Celniker, Seegert & Estoff P.C. $147,547 patron didn't muzzle vicious dog Marchese v. Dekanchuck 10/8 Nassau Supreme Animals: Woman's finger bitten, broken Edmond C. Chakmakian of Law Offices of Edmond C. Chakmakian, P.C. $98,134 while separating fighting dogs Buchta v. Prentice 10/29 Erie Supreme Animals: Suit: Owners ignored dog's Robert B. Nichols of Paul William Beltz, P.C. $41,500 propensity to chase motorcycles Civil Rights CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Sinkov v. Putnam 10/12 U.S. District Civil Rights: Pltffs: son should have been Kim P. Berg of Gould & Berg, LLP $757,000 Court, Southern placed on 24hr. watch at jail for suicide District risk... Germain v. County of Suffolk 7/7 U.S. District Civil Rights: Pregnant officer claimed denial Janice Goodman , and Gillian Thomas of Legal Momentum $50,000 Court, Eastern of light duty was discrimination District 14 Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 14 4/21/10 3:40:24 PM Ode
  • 15. Eitan A. Ogen, Esq. Natalie Sedaghati, Esq. Members of Multi-Million The team of Eitan Ogen and Natalie Sedaghati have an impressive proven record of multiple 7 and Million Dollar figure and 6 figure verdicts and settlements, many for non-surgical, “soft tissue, disputed cases and/or ” with problematic liability scenarios. We are pleased to have some of our recent “soft tissue” verdicts honored Advocates Forum in VerdictSearch’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009. NOTEWORTHY CASES $1.2 Million Jury Verdict DISPUTED ON-THE-JOB CASES A 43 year old driver, in a soft tissue, non-surgical $900,000 Settlement $2.45 Million Pre-Trial Settlement herniated disc MVA case, where Defendants denied In a case involving an employee injured on the job A 42 year old in a low speed, minimal impact, liability, client’s treatment was with a chiropractor (ordinarily barred from suing the employer), where- disputed liability MVA (our client pulled out of a and no other doctor was seen until 3 months after in we successfully held the tenant (a separate but parking spot and collided with the defendant’s the accident. No lost wages and minimal & sporadic related corporate entity from the employer) liable vehicle that was going straight at 1 mph, after just treatment. for the client’s injuries. starting from a stopped position); Defendants’ doctors testified that Plaintiff’s exami- $600,000 Settlement Client had nearly identical MRI findings prior to the nation and films were normal. Defendants argued Following liability jury verdict in a hotly disputed accident (same bulging discs with degeneration Plaintiff’s claimed injury did not meet threshold. liability case where our client was injured while and osteophyte formation) and prior treatment and Jury determined 100% liability. Of note, amount working at a store. The tenant who operated the lost time from work for this same complaint before suggested to Jury was $1 Million. The award was store was her employer. We sued the landlord, this accident; one of the highest ever for pain and suffering only who denied any liability, and argued that he was an for a single non-surgical disc. App. Div. 2d sus- Defendants’ doctors disputed any causality and absentee landlord who had nothing to do with the tained $700,000, one of the largest amounts sus- necessity of any surgery, as client had returned to store. Jury awarded 100% liability against the land- tained ever for such injury. work after MVA, her EMGs/MRIs were normal for lord, who settled immediately thereafter. her age, and she had minimal and sporadic therapy. $960,000 Judicial Award $450,000 Settlement The doctors stated that she had resolved and did A 37 year old driver with non-surgical bulging discs. For hand injury in a case involving an employee in- not need any further treatment. There was minimal damage to both vehicles in- jured on the job (ordinarily barred from suing the volved. $1.375 Million Jury Verdict employer), wherein we successfully sued related, A 39 year old unemployed man in a soft tissue MVA, $850,000 Jury Verdict but separate, corporate entities, despite the fact knee arthroscopy case with no property damage, A 49 year old unemployed man in a soft tissue non that they were owned by the same parent corpora- no EMS, no ER, 1st visit was to chiropractor, and no surgical herniated disc MVA vehicle case, with mini- tion and owners. other doctor seen for 3 weeks. Also, no lost wages, mal property damage, no EMS, no ER, no lost wag- COURT DECISION IN THE NEWS minimal & sporadic treatment. es. Plaintiff first sought medical attention 9 days after the accident with a chiropractor. Treatment $11 Million lawsuit against Madison Square Defendants’ doctors testified that Plaintiff’s exami- thereafter was sporadic and minimal. Garden given go-ahead to proceed by New York nation was completely normal. Defendants’ radiolo- State Supreme Court in widely publicized case gist testified MRI films showed normal findings with Defendant’s radiologist testified that plaintiff’s where spectator was struck by a hockey puck at degenerative pre-existing conditions. Client had a back condition was pre-existing and degenerative. MSG. (Precedent-setting case in New York). prior injury and surgery to same body part. Defendant’s doctor stated that Plaintiff was not injured, his exam was completely normal. NON-SURGICAL SOFT TISSUE Defendant argued Plaintiff claimed injury did not DISPUTED LIABILITY CASES meet threshold. $1.3 Million Jury Verdict $500,000 New York County Pre-Trial Settlement A 35 year old, in a soft tissue, non-surgical herniated A 43 year old immigrant residing in Suffolk County disc MVA, where Defendants denied liability, plain- who claimed non-surgical bulging and a herniated tiff had therapy for 6 months, minimal and sporadic disc, and was never recommended for any surgery. treatment thereafter, no lost wages. Defendants’ doctors’ testified that their examinations were com- Defendant’s doctors stated Plaintiff’s examina- pletely normal. Defendants argued he had the same tions were completely normal and that he was ca- injury, from a prior MVA, which he failed to reveal pable of working without any restrictions. Defen- to his doctors, and that Plaintiff’s claimed injury did dants argued plaintiff’s alleged soft tissue injuries not meet threshold. Of note, amount suggested to were minor, degenerative, and were completely Jury was $1 Million. resolved. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd OdenSedaghati.indd 1 15 4/21/10 3:40:25 4/19/10 4:03:44 PM
  • 16. -Continued from p14 counsel and counsel of Eng-Kohn and Facts: informed consent to the surgery. Verdict Information The jury found that Women’s Medical Associates. Northern On March 2, 2005, plaintiff Allison Ofodile contended that he properly Eng-Kohn and the hospital’s staff departed Westchester Hospital Center’s counsel did Hugh, a 40-year-old unemployed woman, performed the surgery. He claimed that the from an accepted standard of medical care. not respond to the reporter’s phone calls. underwent cosmetic surgery. Hugh had surgical wound’s dehiscence is a normal, Eng-Kohn and Women’s Medical Associ- experienced a loss of a great amount of accepted risk of the surgery. ates were assigned a total of 75-percent li- weight, and she sought removal of remain- Ofodile also contended that he properly ability, and Northern Westchester Hospital MedicaL MaLPractice ing, loose tissue of her thighs. The proce- explained all of the surgery’s associated was assigned 25-percent liability. The jury dure was performed by a cosmetic surgeon, risks. Defense counsel noted that Hugh Botched surgery produced vaginal defor- determined that the plaintiffs’ damages Dr. Ferdinand Ofodile, at North General had consulted other surgeons, and he con- mity, suit alleged totaled $60,939,847. Hospital, in Manhattan. During the ensu- tended that those surgeons also would have ing weeks, Hugh suffered dehiscence and explained the procedure’s associated risks. Verdict: (P) $60,000,000.00 Bruce Swanson degradation of the surgical wound. She He further noted that Hugh signed a form Case Type: Surgical Error, Medical Mal- $5,000,000 Personal Injury: loss of services claimed that she developed a permanent that indicated her consent to the surgery practice - Informed Consent, Medical Michael Swanson residual deformity of her vagina’s labium. and its associated risks. Malpractice - Cosmetic Surgery, Medical $105,000 Personal Injury: Past Medical Hugh sued Ofodile. Hugh alleged that Malpractice - Plastic Surgery, Medical Cost Ofodile failed to properly perform the Injury: Malpractice - Plastic Surgeon $2,442,591 Personal Injury: Future Medi- surgery, that he failed to obtain informed Hugh claimed that she suffers a sig- Case: Allison Yusefa Hugh v. Ferdinand cal Cost consent to the procedure and that his nificant deformity of her labium. Hugh’s Ofodile M.D., No. 20473/05 $4,633,000 Personal Injury: Future Lost failures constituted malpractice. expert plastic surgeon opined that the Venue: Bronx Supreme, NY Earnings Capability Hugh’s counsel claimed that Ofodile deformity is permanent. Judge: Alan J. Saks $2,000,000 Personal Injury: Past Pain And removed too much tissue. He contended Hugh contended that she experiences Date: 07-14-2009 Suffering that the error created excessive tension of significant pain when she spreads her legs. PLAINTIFF(S) Attorney: $20,000,000 Personal Injury: Future Pain the skin of Hugh’s groin, and he claimed She further contended that she experiences • Andres F. Alonso; Parker Waichman And Suffering that the tension opened the vagina and pain during sexual encounters. She also Alonso LLP; Great Neck, NY, for Alli- $1,073,143 Personal Injury: cost of future caused dehiscence of the surgical wound. contended that the deformity produces son Yusefa Hugh rehabilitative therapy Hugh’s expert plastic surgeon blamed self-consciousness and emotional distress. $25,686,113 Personal Injury: cost of improper surgical techniques. She sought recovery of damages for her Expert: custodial care Hugh contended that Ofodile did not past and future pain and suffering. • Burt Greenberg M.D.; Plastic Sur- disclose that she could have developed The defense’s expert gynecologist ex- gery/Reconstructive Surgery; Great Editor’s Comments This report is based on a deformity of her vagina. Thus, Hugh’s amined photographs and medical reports, Neck, NY called by: Andres Alonso -Continued on p18 information that was provided by plaintiff’s counsel argued that Ofodile did not obtain Construction CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Angamarca v. New York City Partnership Hous- 4/8 Kings Supreme Construction: Carpenter fell through Marc C. Saperstein of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. $20,000,000 ing Development Fund comany Inc. skylight that wasn't properly covered Corter v. Holt Construction Corp. 2/4 Orange Construction: Workers claimed they were Joseph Carfora & Daniel Weir of Sacks & Sacks $11,504,836 Supreme poisoned by steel's fumes Lomotowski v. Naica Housing Development 9/25 Bronx Supreme Construction: Worker fractured feet, knee David H. Perecman of The Perecman Firm $9,200,000 Fund Co. Inc. in 20-foot fall through open floor Vukovich v. 1345 Fee LLC 3/26 New York Construction: Worker fell from ladder Douglas J. Fanning & James J. McCrorie of Fanning & McCrorie, P.C. $5,323,249 Supreme after receiving electrical shock DeJesus v. W2001Z/15cpw Realty 1/16 New York Construction: Worker's ankle broken by David H. Mayer & Howard R. Borowick of Sacks & Sacks LLP $5,068,767 Supreme crate that fell off of dolly Damages CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Nash v. Port Authority of New York and New 3/12 New York Damages: Victim of '93 WTC bombing Louis A. Mangone of Mangone & Schnapp $5,360,000 Jersey Supreme alleged permanent brain damage Ruiz v. Port Authority of New York & New 1/29 New York Damages: WTC bombing victim alleged Michael J. Kuharski of Kuharski, Levitz & Giovinazzo, Esqs., trial counsel, $595,742 Jersey Supreme post-traumatic stress disorder The Law Office of Richard J. Katz Employment CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Bianco v. Flushing Hospital Medical Center 2/23 Queens Employment: Nurse claimed hospital Rick Ostrove & Thomas Ricotta of Leeds Morelli & Brown, P.C. $15,000,000 Supreme ignored doc's sexual advances Farb v. Baldwin Union Free School District 5/7 U.S. District Employment: Teacher alleged termina- Rick Ostrove of Leeds Morelli & Brown, P.C. $5,250,000 Court, Eastern tion was due to retaliation because of District complaints about the principal Worthen-Caldwell v. Special Touch Home Care 4/22 Kings Supreme Employment: Employee alleged business Ronald Paul Hart of Ronald Paul Hart, P.C. $1,860,000 Services Inc. owner sexually harassed her at work 16 Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 16 4/21/10 3:40:26 PM Mea
  • 17. Christopher Meagher Meagher & Meagher, P.C 175 Main Street Suite 205 Christopher B. Meagher is a founding member and White Plains, NY 10601-3128 partner of the firm Meagher & Meagher, P.C. As a T: (914) 328-8844 result of his extensive litigation and trial experi- F: (914) 328-8570 ence focused on medical negligence, he has been covered in The New York Times, The Journal News, and News 12 Westchester. Recently, on July 20, Practice Areas: 2009, Christopher Meagher won a $47.95 million medical malpractice verdict -- the highest in Westchester County history.. Medical Malpractice Personal Injury Commercial Litigation Note Worthy Cases: Meagher & Meagher, P.C Meagher & Meagher, P.C Meagher & Meagher, P.C Quaramta & Associates Obtains $1,183,000.00 Jury Verdict in Surpasses Record Verdict in Westchester County New York City $60,939,000.00 Achieve record verdict in Westchester County $47,950,000 Jury verdict In this medical malpractice case involving a 62 year In this medical malpractice case involving the old man, the jury found that the plaintiff’s cardi- delivery of an infant, the jury found that the Plain- In this medical malpractice case involving a 29 year ologist negligently performed a transseptal cardiac tiff’s obstetrician and the hospital staff failed to old mother of two, the jury found that plaintiff’s in- catheterization procedure without obtaining his timely relieve shoulder dystocia. The jury also found ternist failed to diagnose a spinal tumor (astrocy- patients informed consent. During the trial the jury that this negligence caused the infant to suffer per- toma) of the thoracic spine and that he also failed found that the cardiologist failed to protect the pul- manent brain stem damage resulting in residual to timely refer her to a specialist for work up of her monary veins from scarring. The jury also found injuries including developmental delays, speech complaints. The jury found that as a result of these that as a result of these departures the Plaintiff suf- impairment and aspiration pneumonitis. departures she suffered permanent paralysis in her fered pulmonary vein stenosis and the partial loss legs. During the trial several defendants (OB/GYN, of left lung capacity. Attorney Christopher B. Meagher, of Meagher & Chiropractor, Internist and Hospital) settled with Meagher, P.C., tried this case in Supreme Court, the plaintiff. It was alleged that plaintiff treated with Attorny Christopher B. Meagher of Meagher & Westchester County in front of judge Nicholas Co- each of these settling defendants and offered com- Meagher, P.C., tried the case in Supreme Court, labella. On December 10, 2009 the jury reached plaints that were not properly addressed. New York Country in front of Judge Alice Schle- the unprecedented verdict of $60,939,000 million singer. On September 25, 2009 the jury reached a dollar verdict surpassing the previous $47,950,000 Attorney Christopher Meagher of Meagher & Plaintiff’s verdict in the amount of $1,183,000.00. million dollar verdict set in July of 2009 by Mr. Meagher, P.C. with the help of Merryl Weiner, part- Meagher & Meagher, P.C. Meagher. The $60,939,000 million dollar verdict ner with Quaranta & Associates tried the case in (914) 328-8844 included both future medical/rehabilitation expense supreme Court, Westchester County in Front of and pain & suffering. Judge Nicholas Colabella. On July 20, 2009 the Accepting referrals from the bar in the area of jury reached an unprecedented 47.95 million dol- Medical Malpractice You can reach our attorneys by phone or email at : lar verdict for our client which included 50 years of Meagher & Meagher, P.C. future medical/ rehabilitation expenses and pain & (914) 328-8844 suffering. Accepting referrals from the bar in the area of Quaranta & Associated Medical Malpractice (914) 244-0029 Meagher & Meagher, P.C. (914) 328-8844 The practice of law is a public trust that we take very seriously. Our attorney are leader in their field. 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 17 Meagher.indd 1 4/15/10 10:40:25 PM 4/21/10 3:40:27 AM
  • 18. -Continued from p16 MedicaL MaLPractice Setauket, NY called by: Christopher ined by her primary physician, Dr. Keith and he determined that Hugh does not Meagher, Merryl Weiner Edwards, who issued a referral to an suffer any abnormalities or deformities of Doc overlooked symptoms of spinal orthopedist, Dr. Shariar Sotudeh, who her vagina. Defense counsel also noted tumor, suit alleged • Steven Valenstein M.D.; Oncology; suspected that Ffrench was suffering sco- that Hugh’s treating gynecologist’s records Hartsdale, NY called by: Christopher liosis. Ffrench was referred to a specialist, indicate that Hugh’s vaginal anatomy does Verdict: (P) $47,950,000.00 Meagher, Merryl Weiner but Ffrench’s insurer would not reimburse not exceed normal limits. Thus, defense Case Type: Failure to Test, Medical the cost of such an evaluation. As such, counsel argued that Hugh does not suffer a Malpractice - Failure to Refer, Medical • Allan Hausknecht M.D.; Neurology; Ffrench did not pursue the referral. significant injury. Malpractice - Failure to Diagnose New York, NY called by: Christopher On March 2, 2000, Ffrench’s obstetri- Case: Shania-Gay Ffrench v. Guirlaine Meagher, Merryl Weiner cian/gynecologist, Dr. Guirlaine Agnant, Agnant, M.D., Mount Vernon OB/GYN performed lysis of adhesions. However, the Verdict Information The jury found Associates, Keith S. Edwards, M.D., Gary • Sandra Gonchar M.S.N.; Life Care procedure did not resolve Ffrench’s pain. that Ofodile failed to properly perform Guerrino, M.D., The Mount Vernon Planning; Staten Island, NY called by: During the ensuing two months, Agnant the surgery. It also found that he failed to Hospital, Craig Baver, D.C., Montefiore Christopher Meagher, Merryl Weiner performed several postoperative examina- obtain informed consent to the surgery. It Medical Center and Stephen T. Onesi, tions of Ffrench. Edwards also performed determined that Hugh’s damages totaled M.D., No. 14401/02 Facts: two reexaminations of Ffrench. $60 million. Venue: Westchester Supreme, NY On Feb. 3, 2000, plaintiff Shania-Gay In January 2001, Ffrench selected a new Judge: Nicholas Colabella Ffrench, a 21-year-old unemployed wom- primary physician, Dr. Gary Guerrino, Allison Yusefa Hugh Date: 07-20-2009 an, presented to Mount Vernon Hospital, who recommended a neurological evalu- $10,000,000 Personal Injury: Past Pain in Mount Vernon. She reported that she ation. Ffrench also sought the evaluation And Suffering PLAINTIFF(S) Attorney: was suffering pain that stemmed from her of a chiropractor, Dr. Craig Bauer. In July $50,000,000 Personal Injury: Future Pain • Christopher B. Meagher; Meagher & back, and she claimed that the pain radi- 2001, an MRI scan revealed that Ffrench’s And Suffering Meagher, P.C.; White Plains, NY, for ated to her legs. She also reported that she pain was a product of a spinal tumor: an Shania-Gay Ffrench was suffering headaches, and she contend- intramedullary astrocytoma. The tumor Post-Trial: Defense counsel has moved to ed that her weight had been decreasing. could not be removed until 2007, and set aside the verdict as excessive. • Merryl F. Weiner; Quaranta & Associ- Doctors suspected that Ffrench’s symptoms Ffrench suffers residual deficits of her ates; Mount Kisco, NY, for Shania- were a product of uterine fibroids. She was legs’ motor skills and sensory ability. She Editor’s Comments This report is based Gay Ffrench told that she would have to be reexamined claimed that her tumor should have been on a press release and information that was by her primary physician and an obstetri- diagnosed in February 2000, and she con- provided by plaintiff’s and defense counsel. Expert: cian/gynecologist. tended that prompt treatment would have On Feb. 8, 2000, Ffrench was exam- -Continued on p20 • Alan Leiken Ph.D.; Economics; East Employment CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Morgenstern v. County of Nassau 8/7 U.S. District Employment: Plaintiff claimed she was Scott Browning Gilly & Douglas H. Wigdor of Thompson Wigdor & Gilly $1,800,000 Court, Southern fired for criticism of politician LLP District Garafolo v. Healthcare Services Group Inc. 4/23 U.S. District Employment: Manager alleged she was William Sipser & Jack Tuckner of Tuckner, Sipser, Weinstock & Sipser, LLP $1,000,000 Court, Southern fired for not being 'one of the boys' District Hursey v. City of Newburgh 1/16 U.S. District Employment: Trash collector claimed he Stephen Bergstein & Helen G. Ullrich of Bergstein & Ullrich $195,763 Court, Southern was fired because of sight problems District Ryan v. Kellogg Partners Institutional Services 5/1 New York Employment: Fund trader claimed em- Thomas S. Rosenthal & Joel Christoph of Thomas S. Rosenthal PC $175,000 Supreme ployer withheld promised bonus Frett v. Rudick 2/11 Bronx Supreme Employment: Office manager claimed she Pamela D. Hayes $95,200 was denied contracted bonuses Cheathem v. Great American Brochure & 2/25 Orange Employment: Worker claimed she was Stephen Bergstein & Helen G. Ullrich of Bergstein & Ullrich $25,000 Catalog Co. Supreme forced to play skirt-lifting game Fraud CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Bank Hapoalim (Switzerland) Ltd. v. Banca 10/20 New York Fraud: Bank sold notes for company it Phoebe Wilkinson & Scott S. Balber of Chadbourne & Parke LLP $14,566,353 Intesa S.p.A. Supreme knew would fail, suit alleged Intentional Torts CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Estate of Ingrassia v. Lividikos 6/18 Richmond Intentional Torts: Father claimed assault on Vito A. Cannavo of Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo P.C. $10,100,000 Supreme car resulted in son's death Lewis v. City of New York 4/7 U.S. District Intentional Torts: Plaintiff claimed police Roberta D. Asher & Ryan Heath Asher of Asher & Asher Associates, P.C., $4,600,000 Court, Eastern officer pushed him off of roof and Leslie D. Kelmachter of The Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Firm L.L.P. District 18 Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 18 4/21/10 3:40:28 PM
  • 19. Paul W. Beltz, center, and six of the firm’s 17 members. Decades of multi-million dollar results. Areas of practice Dedication that’s priceless. ■ Airplane Accidents Since 1968, no firm has done more to advocate for the rights of injured men ■ Auto & Motorcycle Accidents and women in Western New York than Paul William Beltz, LLC. From the local courthouse to the New York Court of Appeals, our firm has ■ Construction Accidents consistently been on the cutting edge. This tireless work over the years has helped not only our clients, but has helped to change New York State Law. ■ Defective Products Our continuing, proven success in the courtroom includes: ■ Injury on Property ■ $40.2 million verdict to passenger in roll-over accident ■ Maritime Injury ■ $15.2 million settlement for driver involved in bus accident ■ $15.0 million verdict for swimmer injured in diving accident ■ Medical Errors ■ $12.6 million verdict to worker injured when a scaffold collapsed ■ Railroad Accidents / F.E.L.A. ■ $10 million verdict to daughter born to woman left comatose after guard rail failure ■ $9.8 million verdict to worker after 25-foot fall from roof ■ Workplace Accidents ■ $8.9 million verdict to construction worker ■ $7.2 million verdict for a lattice crane collapse (highest in WDNY) The attorneys at Paul William Beltz are honored to be included in the Prior results do not guarantee Top New York Verdicts of 2009. a similar outcome. 716.852.1000 800.874.0960 36 Church Street, Buffalo, New York 14202 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 19 4/21/10 3:40:30 PM
  • 20. -Continued from p18 immediate performance of an MRI scan. However, her ambulatory ability is limited, liability; Mount Vernon Hospital was prevented her residual injuries. They also claimed that Edwards should and she is largely confined to a wheelchair. assigned 25-percent liability; Agnant was Ffrench sued Edwards; Mount Vernon have issued a referral to a neurologist. Ffrench requires the daily assistance of assigned 15-percent liability; Guerrino Hospital; Agnant; Agnant’s professional They further claimed that Edwards did not a residential aide, and that assistance is was assigned 10-percent liability; Mount affiliate, Mount Vernon OB/GYN Associ- properly document and address Ffrench’s expected to continue throughout the next Vernon OB/GYN Associates was assigned ates; Guerrino; Bauer; a neurologist who ensuing complaints. 12 years. During the ensuing 12 years, 10-percent liability; and Sotudeh was was involved in her treatment, Dr. Stephen Defense counsel contended that Ffrench she will undergo less physical therapy. assigned 10-percent liability. Sotudeh was Onesti; and a hospital that was involved in did not disclose any symptoms that would However, she will require greater residen- not a party of the suit. her treatment, Montefiore Medical Cen- have necessitated performance of an MRI tial assistance. Ffrench also undergoes The jury determined that Ffrench’s dam- ter. Ffrench alleged that Agnant, Bauer, scan or a neurological evaluation. He neurological evaluations, and doctors must ages totaled $47.95 million, but Ffrench Edwards, Guerrino, Onesti and Mount noted that Edwards issued a referral to continually investigate possible recurrences will recover the share for which Edwards is Vernon Hospital’s staff failed to properly Sotudeh, who was not able to diagnose of her tumor. She also claimed that she liable: 100 percent of economic damages address her condition, that their failures Ffrench’s condition. suffers residual pain that necessitates her and 30 percent of noneconomic dam- constituted malpractice, that Mount use of painkillers. However, she retains ages. As a result, Ffrench’s recovery totaled Vernon OB/GYN Associates was vicari- Injury: full-time work. $27.3 million. ously liable for Agnant’s actions, and that In July 2001, Ffrench learned that she Ffrench sought recovery of her past and Montefiore Medical Center was vicariously was suffering an intramedullary astrocy- future medical expenses, her past life- Shania-Gay Ffrench liable for Onesti’s actions. toma. Doctors attempted to debulk the care expenses, $18 million for her future $350,000 Personal Injury: Past Medical Montefiore Medical Center and Onesti tumor, but complications necessitated life-care expenses, $5 million for her past Cost were released via summary judgment. abortion of the procedure. Instead, Ffrench pain and suffering, and $25 million for her $16,000,000 Personal Injury: Future Ffrench and Bauer negotiated a pretrial underwent the application of radiation. future pain and suffering. Medical Cost settlement. Terms were not disclosed. The In February 2007, doctors aborted a Defense counsel contended that $4,500,000 Personal Injury: Past Pain And matter proceeded to a trial against the re- second attempt to debulk Ffrench’s tumor. Ffrench’s treatment and prognosis would Suffering maining defendants. However, during the The tumor was ultimately removed in not have been altered by sooner diagnosis $25,000,000 Personal Injury: Future Pain trial, Ffrench, Agnant, Guerrino, Mount March 2007, but Ffrench suffers residual of her tumor. And Suffering Vernon Hospital and Mount Vernon OB/ impairment of her legs’ motor skills and $100,000 Personal Injury: cost of past GYN Associates negotiated settlements. sensory ability. Verdict Information The jury found that rehabilitation services Terms were not disclosed. Thus, the trial Ffrench must undergo extensive physical Edwards departed from accepted standards $2,000,000 Personal Injury: cost of future proceeded against Edwards. therapy and rehabilitation. She performs of medical care, but it also determined that rehabilitation services Ffrench’s counsel claimed that Ffrench’s exercises that strengthen her legs, and other parties shared liability for Ffrench’s Post-Trial: Defense counsel’s motion to initial symptoms should have prompted she has braces that assist her ambulation. injuries. Edwards was assigned 30-percent -Continued on p22 Intentional Torts CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Berry v. Parchester South Condominium Inc. 6/25 Bronx Supreme Intentional Torts: Condo complex's police John R. DePaola of Papa, DePaola & Brounstein, and Peter J. Creedon of $3,095,000 rough during arrest, plaintiffs alleged Creedon & Associates P.C Weizmann v. County of Suffolk 8/27 U.S. District Intentional Torts - Government: Police too Earl Ward of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP $463,000 Court, Eastern rough during false arrest, plaintiff alleged District Payne v. Jones 9/24 U.S. District Intentional Torts: Policeman's insult led to Frank Policelli of Law Offices of Frank Policelli $360,000 Court, assault, plaintiff alleged Northern District Giangrasso v. N.Y.C.H. & H. Corp. 7/8 Bronx Supreme Intentional Torts: Hospital's patient claimed Mitchell Franzblau of Belovin & Franzblau, L.L.P. $304,000 he was beaten by police officers Priporin v. Simmons 4/30 Westchester Intentional Torts: Plaintiffs claimed Matthew T. Gammons of Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. $240,000 Supreme distress from FBI imposter's traffic stop Sheen v. Mainstay Cooperative Section One Inc. 6/26 Queens Intentional Tort - Discrimination: Co-op Benjamin R. Tessler $225,000 Supreme board used double standard, Asian tenant claimed Chappell v. City of New York 6/11 Kings Supreme Intentional Torts: Plaintiff claimed police Christopher J. Donadio of Burns & Harris $200,000 sergeant beat him, confiscated tool Rivera v. City of New York 9/21 New York Intentional Torts: Rough police officers Ari Jacobson of Scott A. Wolinetz P.C. $150,000 Supreme worsened broken leg, arrestee claimed Medical Malpractice CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Baizan v. St. John's Riverside Hospital 5/8 Westchester Medical Malpractice: Infant's cerebral palsy Randy B. Nassau of Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald $77,418,670 Supreme due to slow OB/GYN, suit alleged Swanson v. Northern Westchester Hospital 12/10 Westchester Medical Malpractice: Prolonged dystocia Christopher B. Meagher of Meagher & Meagher, P.C. $60,939,847 Center Supreme led to baby's asphyxia, suit alleged Hugh v. Ofodile 7/14 Bronx Supreme Medical Malpractice: Botched surgery Andres F. Alonso of Parker Waichman Alonso LLP $60,000,000 produced vaginal deformity, suit alleged 20 Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 20 4/21/10 3:40:31 PM
  • 21. Millions in Verdicts Secures Duffy & Duffy’s Place on the Top New York Verdicts of the Year Duffy & Duffy is one of the nation’s preeminent law firms specializing in medical malpractice. Founded in 2001 by James R. Duffy and Michael E. Duffy, the firm offers seasoned trial lawyers with decades of experience handling complex medical malpractice cases, and has a proven track record of recovering millions of dollars on behalf of the victims of medical malpractice. Four Duffy & Duffy cases rank on the top medical malpractice verdicts of 2009. Devastating Outcome Due to Lack of Differential Diagnosis Figueroa v. Southern Duffy & Duffy secured a $19.2 million verdict in Bronx Supreme Court in the 12th Judicial District. On behalf of a 53-year-old plaintiff, Duffy & Duffy proved a delay in diagnosis and treatment of a spinal abscess resulting in paraplegia. The verdict was awarded after the firm adeptly communicated the victim’s medical needs for the remainder of his life, conveyed the notion of earnings lost, and clearly articulated the pain and suffering that the victim, his wife and children will suffer. received a $3.1 million verdict for secured $2.2 million for the the losses sustained by the widow plaintiff ’s family. and their two children. Not Ordering a Simple Medical Test Leaves a Family Fatherless Negligent Care Leaves Teenager Delay in Diagnosis Leaves Father with Severe Arthritis Benigno v. Covey with Advanced Stage Cancer Salzano v. Ritter On behalf of the estate of a 40-year- D’Andraia v. Pesce old husband and father of two, Duffy & Duffy demonstrated that Duffy & Duffy proved that the On behalf of a man who suffered an 18-year-old plaintiff was left attending doctor failed to order from advanced prostate cancer, with severe arthritis in his shoulder a repeat nuclear stress test, a Duffy & Duffy proved that the when his doctor was negligent in common cardiology test used to plaintiff ’s doctor delayed in ordering an MRI, and allowed the rule out occlusive artery disease. properly diagnosing his cancer and plaintiff to continue to play football After a three week trial and a full failed to refer him to an urologist. on a previous injury. The plaintiff day of jury deliberation in Nassau By the time the plaintiff was was awarded $1.3 million. County Supreme Court in the referred, his cancer had advanced 10th Judicial District, the estate to an incurable stage. Duffy & Duffy Duffy & Duffy 1370 RXR Plaza, Uniondale, New York 11556 T: 516.394.4200 F: 516.394.4229 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 21 4/21/10 3:40:36 PM
  • 22. -Continued from p20 PLAINTIFF(S) as Tiffany’s parent and natural guardian, not arrive until some 15 minutes had passed reduce the verdict was denied. Defense Attorney: sued the hospital, the attending obste- and that Tiffany did not breathe indepen- counsel filed a notice of appeal. • Stephen R. Coffey; O’Connell & trician, Dr. Fe Theresa McCarthy, and dently until more than 20 minutes after Aronowitz; Albany, NY, for Tiffany McCarthy’s practice, F. Theresa McCarthy, her birth. They argued that the neonatal Editor’s Comments This report is based Busone, J. Tracy Busone M.D., P.C. The plaintiffs alleged that nurse and physician’s assistant who were on court documents and information that McCarthy and the hospital’s staff failed the first responders to the emergency were was provided by plaintiff’s counsel and Ed- • Robert E. Harris; Robert E. Harris, to properly manage the delivery, that the not summoned until the infant’s depressed wards’ counsel. The remaining defendants’ Esq.; Albany, NY, for Tiffany Busone, failures constituted malpractice, and that post-delivery state was confirmed. They counsel was not asked to contribute. J. Tracy Busone McCarthy’s practice was vicariously liable contended that the nurse and the physi- for McCarthy’s actions. cian’s assistant should have been summoned Expert: The plaintiffs, McCarthy and McCarthy’s earlier, so they would have been present and MedicaL MaLPractice • Jose Foradada M.D.; Pediatric Neu- practice negotiated a pretrial settlement. fully prepared when the delivery occurred. rology; Tampa, FL called by: Stephen Terms were not disclosed. The matter pro- They also contended that the nurse and the Baby’s brain damage blamed on unskilled Coffey, Robert Harris ceeded to a trial against the hospital. physician’s assistant were not adequately delivery staff Plaintiffs’ counsel claimed that Tif- trained to perform advanced resuscitative Facts: fany was deprived of oxygen for about 27 procedures. They claimed that neither had Verdict: (P) $43,500,000.00 On July 15, 1984, plaintiff Tiffany Buso- minutes during and immediately after the ever suctioned or intubated a patient in the Case Type: Delayed Treatment, Medical ne was born. The delivery was performed at delivery. They contended that the umbili- trachea below the vocal cords. Malpractice - Childbirth, Medical Mal- Bellevue Maternity Hospital, in Niskayuna. cal cord had been wrapped around her Defense counsel contended that Tiffany practice - Cerebral Palsy, Medical Malprac- Tiffany’s mother, J. Tracy Busone, had been neck in the birth canal since some 10 min- was properly treated. He contended that tice - Brain Injuries, Medical Malpractice placed in the complex case log book after utes prior to her delivery, when Busone Tiffany’s injury occurred before labor had - OB-GYN amniotic fluid with heavy meconium stain- commenced pushing. The plaintiffs’ expert commenced. Case: J. Tracy Busone, Individually and as ing had been observed 17 hours prior to the neurologist opined that MRI scans indi- Parent and Natural Guardian of Tiffany delivery. Bradycardia, or deceleration of the cated that Tiffany’s brain lesions occurred Injury: Busone, an Infant v. F. Teresa McCarthy, infant’s heart rate, was noted seven minutes in close proximity to her birth. Plaintiffs’ counsel claimed that Tiffany M.D., F. Teresa McCarthy M.D., PC and prior to birth. When Tiffany was delivered, Plaintiffs’ counsel further claimed that sustained a hypoxic event that produced Bellevue Maternity Hospital, No. 1/87 the umbilical cord was wrapped around her Tiffany’s respiration and resuscitation were brain damage. Tiffany suffers cerebral palsy Venue: Saratoga Supreme, NY neck. Doctors ultimately determined that further impaired by the presence of thick and spastic quadriplegia. She is confined to Judge: Stephen A. Ferradino Tiffany had suffered a hypoxic event that meconium-stained amniotic fluid in her a wheelchair, and she can produce merely Date: 10-08-2009 caused cerebral palsy. trachea. They contended that competent limited speech that is understood only by J. Tracy Busone, acting individually and resuscitative personnel, a neonatologist, did -Continued on p24 Medical Malpractice CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Ffrench v. Agnant 7/20 Westchester Medical Malpractice: Doc overlooked Merryl F. Weiner of Quaranta & Associates, and Christopher B. Meagher $47,950,000 Supreme symptoms of spinal tumor, suit alleged of Meagher & Meagher, P.C Busone v. McCarthy 10/8 Saratoga Medical Malpractice: Baby's brain damage Robert E. Harris of Robert E. Harris, Esq. & Stephen R. Coffey of $43,500,000 Supreme blamed on unskilled delivery staff O'Connell & Aronowitz Cush v. Interfaith Medical Center 11/24 Kings Supreme Medical Malpractice: Baby's defects Charles Silverstein of Silverstein & Bast $24,100,000 blamed on failure to restrain at-risk mom Figueroa v. Southern 7/10 Bronx Supreme Medical Malpractice: Undiagnosed spinal James Wilkens & Edward G. Bithorn of Duffy & Duffy $19,792,000 abscess caused paralysis Quillen v. Shapiro 4/7 Bronx Supreme Medical Malpractice: Plaintiff alleged can- David J. Dean of Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo P.C. $10,500,000 cer spread when docs nixed surgery Lyon v. Gingold 5/8 Onondaga Medical Malpractice: Spinal-fluid leak led Jeff D. DeFrancisco of the DeFrancisco Law Firm $9,785,000 Supreme to immobility of legs, suit alleged Laboy v. Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center 10/8 Bronx Supreme Medical Malpractice: Poorly treated ulcer Edward P. Milstein of Dankner & Milstein P.C. $8,300,000 led to amputation, plaintiff alleged Clay v. Habermann 2/25 Bronx Supreme Medical Malpractice: Hip surgery shortened William Pagan of William Pagan & Associates, P.C. $7,000,000 patient's right leg by more than an inch Devadas v. Niksarli 6/10 New York Medical Malpractice: LASIK surgery dam- Todd J. Krouner of Law Office of Todd J. Krouner $5,580,000 Supreme aged eye, patient alleged Badger v. Montefiore Medical Center 5/18 Bronx Supreme Medical Malpractice: Lack of testing caused David L. Taback of David L. Taback, P.C. $5,450,000 infection to spread to heart, suit alleged Irving v. Mary Immaculate Hospital 2/20 Queens Su- Medical Malpractice: Dead defibrillator Conrad Jordan of East Hampton, NY, trial counsel to Law Offices of $5,322,000 preme battery cost heart attack victim her life, Morton Povman PC suit claimed Silverberg v. Guzman 4/1 Kings Supreme Medical Malpractice: Undetected esopha- Wendy S. Van Dorn & Leland S. Beck of Beck & Strauss, P.L.L.C. $5,000,000 geal injury led to dementia, plaintiff alleged Chery v. Okere 12/7 Bronx Supreme Medical Malpractice: Woman claimed doc- Kevin S. McDonald & Barry A. Washor of Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs $5,000,000 tor caused her brain damage & Kool Aparicio v. Goldberg 5/12 Bronx Supreme Medical Malpractice: Cancer patient's Walter F. Benson of The Lynn Law Firm, Syracuse, NY, trial counsel, Rone- $5,000,000 death blamed on lack of chemotherapy mus & Vilensky, New York, NY Leone v. Byrnes 10/9 Kings Supreme Medical Malpractice: Cancer's fatal spread Thomas P. Giuffra of Barton Barton & Plotkin, LLP $4,194,000 blamed on unreported results of X-rays Rosario v. Novoselsky 1/29 Kings Supreme Medical Malpractice: Teen's undiagnosed Erica Sattler of Ebanks & Sattler, LLP $3,929,305 pneumonia proved fatal 22 Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 22 4/21/10 3:40:37 PM Sack
  • 23. Kenneth Sacks Evan Sacks New York’s Most Experienced and firm has obtained more than 100 verdicts and settlements exceeding $1 million, and more than 10 exceeding Trusted Construction Injury Attorneys $10 million, including: $85.6 million for an ironworker who fell from a ladder, $30.5 million for a construction worker crushed by a collapsed column, $26.9 million for WITH MORE THAN 40 YEARS EXPERIENCE WORKING a journeyman who fell through an unguarded opening, with the often complex legal issues involved in construc- $18.2 million for an ironworker who slipped on an icy ramp, tion accidents, Sacks & Sacks is well-known for representing $16.5 million for an elevator mechanic who fell from a individuals who have been injured or who have suffered sub- collapsed catwalk, $14.2 million for a rigger who fell from stantial loss due to the negligence of others. the jib of a crane and $12.5 million for an ironworker who fell down a shaft. BROAD RANGE OF PRACTICE AREAS In addition to specializing in construction accidents, the firm is also experienced in cases involving automotive accidents, birth injury, brain injury, wrongful death and premises liability. 150 Broadway, Fourth Floor, New York, NY 10038 SIGNIFICANT VERDICTS AND SETTLEMENTS PH: (212) 964-5570 • FX: (212)349-2141 With more than 100 years of combined experience, the • 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd SacksandSacks.indd 1 23 4/20/10 12:08:12 PM 4/21/10 3:40:38
  • 24. -Continued from p22 Motor VehicLe • Jennifer Abeles D.O.; Primary Care her family and some close friends. She uses Verdict Information The jury found Physician; Buffalo, NY called by: special equipment to help her synthesize that the hospital’s staff departed from an Brothers in SUV crash named each other Anne Rimmler speech, and she operates her wheelchair accepted standard of medical care. It deter- as drivers with the aid of a joystick. mined that Tiffany’s damages totaled $43.5 • Lisa Keenan Ph.D.; Psychology/ Tiffany was mainstreamed in school, and million. The award is subject to an offset of Verdict: (P) $40,026,376.25 Counseling; Buffalo, NY called by: she functions at a high intellectual level. the money that the plaintiffs recovered via Case Type: Single Vehicle, Motor Vehicle Anne Rimmler She recently graduated from Arizona State the pretrial settlement. - Rollover University. She also participates in sports, Case: Thomas J. Smolinski v. Matthew A. • Thomas Polisoto M.D.; Physical such as wheelchair soccer, and she swims Tiffany Busone Smolinski and Ford Motor Company, No. Medicine; Buffalo, NY called by: by using upper-arm flotation devices. $2,000,000 Personal Injury: Future- 5874/01 Anne Rimmler Tiffany will need home health care for LostEarningsCapability Venue: Erie Supreme, NY the rest of her life. She needs assistance in $6,000,000 Personal Injury: Past Pain And Judge: Joseph R. Glownia • Kevin Pranikoff M.D.; Urology; Buf- her personal hygiene, eating, drinking and Suffering Date: 03-20-2009 falo, NY called by: Anne Rimmler other daily activities. Tiffany’s condition $15,000,000 Personal Injury: Future Pain • Ronald Reiber Ph.D.; Economics; is currently stable, but the underlying And Suffering PLAINTIFF(S) Attorney: Buffalo, NY called by: Anne Rimmler impairment and disabilities are expected to $20,000,000 Personal Injury: future • Brian R. Hogan; Paul William Beltz, cause complications and further impair- residential-care expenses P.C.; Buffalo, NY, for Thomas J. • James Locke; Accident Reconstruc- ment of her health. $500,000 Personal Injury: future medical Smolinski tion; College Station, TX called by: Tiffany’s mother sought recovery of Tif- expenses (wheelchairs) Anne Rimmler fany’s future medical expenses, including • Anne B. Rimmler; Paul W. Beltz, P.C.; the cost of additional wheelchairs, the cost Editor’s Comments This report is based Buffalo, NY, for Thomas J. Smolinski • Alberto Martinez-Arizala M.D.; Neu- of Tiffany’s future residential-care expenses, on information that was provided by plain- rology; Miami, FL called by: Anne Tiffany’s future lost earnings, and dam- tiffs’ counsel. Bellevue Maternity Hospital’s • Philipp L. Rimmler; Paul William Rimmler ages for Tiffany’s past and future pain and counsel did not respond to the reporter’s Beltz, P.C.; Buffalo, NY, for Thomas J. suffering. phone calls, and the remaining defendants’ Smolinski • Richard Bergman; Design; Williams- Defense counsel contended that Tif- counsel was not asked to contribute. ville, NY called by: Anne Rimmler fany’s injury was a result of a prior uterine Expert: assault or a pneumonia infection that her • Victor Smith; Medical Equipment; Facts: mother had suffered several weeks prior to Amherst, NY called by: Anne Rimmler At about 7 p.m. on Nov. 20, 1999, Tiffany’s delivery. -Continued on p26 Medical Malpractice CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Tineo v. Martinez 4/2 Bronx Supreme Medical Malpractice: Root-canal gaffe led Albert W. Chianese of McKenna, Siracusano & Chianese $3,903,408 to severe, permanent pain, plaintiff alleged Benigno v. Covey 11/13 Nassau Supreme Medical Malpractice: Fatal myocardial Edward G. Bithorn of Duffy & Duffy, Esqs. $3,100,000 infarction blamed on doc's failure to test Harford v. Hippolyte 4/21 Kings Supreme Medical Malpractice: Baby's palsy blamed Christopher R. Dean of Bauman & Kunkis, P.C. $2,500,000 on doc's traction during delivery Trainor v. Westchester County Health Care 9/25 Westchester Medical Malpractice: Quadriplegic man Raymond J. Keegan of Keegan, Keegan, Keegan & Strutt $2,250,000 Corp. Supreme alleged doctors impeded rehabilitation D'Andraia v. Pesce 3/16 Suffolk Supreme Medical Malpractice: Cancer grew fatal in Edward G. Bithorn of Duffy & Duffy, Esqs. $2,200,000 absence of referral, suit alleged Collazo v. NY Eye and Ear Infirmary 3/18 Kings Supreme Medical Malpractice: Undiagnosed Robert W. Margulies of Drabkin & Margulies $2,150,000 aneurysm proved fatal, suit alleged Weiss v. Fields 5/4 Bronx Supreme Medical Malpractice: Surgeon overlooked Andrew W. Siegel of Geller, Siegel & Coonerty, LLP $2,000,000 damage of bladder, patient alleged Ayala v. Cattani 2/25 New York Medical Malpractice: Unsanitary doc Robert F. Danzi of The Law Office of Robert F. Danzi $2,000,000 Supreme caused infection that led to blindness, suit alleged Marzan v. Patel 10/3 Kings Supreme Medical Malpractice: Untreated bowel Rhona A. Silverman of Law Offices of Rhona A. Silverman $2,000,000 infection fatal, suit alleged D'Alessandro v. Fabian 12/21 Kings Supreme Medical Malpractice: Patient alleged delay Nicholas E. Warywoda of Douglas & London, LLP $1,937,000 in treating infection led to hospitalization Ziemer v. Teixeira 7/7 Bronx Supreme Medical Malpractice: Surgeon overlooked Joseph M. Palmiotto $1,500,000 bowel obstruction, suit alleged Cuevas v. St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center 11/24 New York Medical Malpractice: Patient alleged TMJ Mariangela Chiaravalloti of Friedman, Friedman, Chiaravalloti & Giannini $1,500,000 Supreme injury caused by negligent intubation Salzano v. Ritter 3/12 Suffolk Supreme Medical Malpractice: Student re-injured David S. Pollack of Duffy & Duffy, Esqs. $1,300,000 arm while playing football, mother faulted team doctor Hindin v. Weollett 9/25 New York Medical Malpractice: Doctor's treatment Christopher B. Meagher of Meagher & Meagher, P.C. $1,183,000 Supreme resulted in lost use of lung, patient alleged Estate of Horn v. Catholic Health System 12/23 Erie Supreme Medical Malpractice: Estate claimed Robert B. Nichols of Paul William Beltz, P.C. $1,000,000 negligent intubation caused perforation 24 Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 24 4/21/10 3:40:39 PM
  • 25. Jane Bilus Gould and Kim Patricia Berg, the founding partners of Gould & Berg, LLP, draw on over 40 years of combined experience litigating claims and counseling clients Jane Bilus Gould EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION LITIGATION IN STATE e-mail AND FEDERAL TRIAL AND APPELLATE COURTS • harassment and hostile work environment • discrimination based on gender, race, religion, national origin, disability, age • retaliation COUNSELING CLIENTS IN A VARIETY OF EMPLOYMENT MATTERS, INCLUDING DRAFTING AND NEGOTIATING EMPLOYMENT Kim Patricia Berg AGREEMENTS AND SEPARATION PACKAGES e-mail CIVIL RIGHTS LITIGATION IN STATE AND FEDERAL TRIAL AND APPELLATE COURTS • 1st Amendment freedom of speech, press, religion • 1st Amendment right of political and union association • 4th Amendment false arrest, malicious prosecution, excessive force G O U L D & B E R G, L L P attorneys at law • 8th and 14th Amendment deliberate indifference to rights of prisoners • 14th Amendment due process and equal protection 222 Bloomingdale Road White Plains, New York 10605 COMMERCIAL LITIGATION IN STATE AND FEDERAL TRIAL AND APPELLATE COURTS phone 914-397-1050 fax 914-397-1051 web When Debra D’Amore was left injured on the lobby floor of the MetLife building at 200 Park Avenue, Seeger Weiss LLP was there to help pick her up. Negligent building maintenance left dirty and dangerous puddles of water unmarked and uncleaned throughout the MetLife lobby. Debra slipped on one such puddle on the lobby stairs and fractured her ankle. After several painful surgeries over five years, her doctors decided to fuse her injured ankle - helping abate the pain, but severely limiting her movement. When MetLife refused to compensate Debra for her injuries, Seeger Weiss was ready. Christopher A. Seeger, Marc Albert, and Moshe Horn brought Debra’s case to trial, and the jury awarded her $1.4 million. Debra’s case is an example of why here at Seeger Weiss, we treat every case as if it is going to trial. Seeger Weiss has earned its place among the most elite personal injury and medical malpractice law firms in the country. Over the last ten years, we have recovered over $6 billion dollars for personal injury Christopher A. Seeger and mass tort victims nationwide. With a roster of award-winning lawyers that includes former prosecutors and alums from the largest Wall Street firms, Seeger Weiss is well equipped to litigate against the biggest and most aggressive insurance companies. If you or someone you know has been injured, get the help you need. Contact Seeger Weiss today. 888-9-SEEGER | New York ◦ New Jersey ◦ Pennsylvania ◦ Oklahoma ◦ California 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 25 4/21/10 3:40:42 PM
  • 26. -Continued from p24 counsel contended that Matthew Smolinski, suffering abrasions that suggested that his was ejected via one of the vehicle’s side plaintiff Thomas Smolinski, 24, a rental-car a police officer, was intoxicated when the chest had been scraped by the vehicle’s windows. He also contended that the provider’s management trainee, occupied accident occurred and that he implicated steering wheel. The report also noted that technician’s handwritten notes included a sport utility vehicle that was traveling his brother out of fear of losing his job, he was suffering lacerations of only one Thomas Smolinski’s apparent admission on Bailey Hill Road, in Leon. Smolinski’s mistakenly believing that his brother was side of his head, the left, which was the that he was the vehicle’s driver. brother, Matthew Smolinski, also occupied dead. Plaintiff’s counsel also contended that direction in which the SUV rolled. Defense counsel also challenged the sig- the vehicle. The vehicle’s driver lost control Matthew Smolinski recanted the apparent The plaintiff’s accident-reconstruction nificance of Matthew Smolinski’s apparent while attempting to negotiate a curve. lie during conversations with police the expert noted that an insurer’s investigator admission to police that he had been the The vehicle landed in a roadside ditch and ensuing day. Plaintiff’s counsel noted that uncovered scuffs of the vehicle’s ceiling. vehicle’s driver. Defense counsel contended rolled. Thomas Smolinski was ejected, and a witness, who saw the Smolinskis minutes The marks began above the front passenger that Smolinski did so because he had been he sustained injuries of his neck. prior to the accident, claimed that Matthew seat and extended to the vehicle’s rear win- advised that the family could not have During the immediate aftermath of the ac- Smolinski was the vehicle’s driver. dow, which shattered during the accident. recovered damages if his brother had been cident, Matthew Smolinski told state troop- Plaintiff’s counsel presented the sworn The expert agreed with the investigator’s the driver. ers that his brother was the SUV’s driver. statement of one of the three emergency initial conclusion that Thomas Smolinski Defense counsel contended that evidence Thomas Smolinski sued his brother and medical technicians who were present dur- had been ejected from the passenger seat established that the passenger seat’s seat belt the SUV’s lessor, Ford Motor Credit Co. ing the immediate aftermath of the accident. and out of the vehicle’s rear window. The was the only one in use at the time of the Thomas Smolinski alleged that his brother The statement included the technician’s con- expert opined that such an incident was accident. Given that Matthew Smolinski was the SUV’s driver, that his brother was tention that Matthew Smolinski admitted consistent with the mechanics of the ac- did not sustain a significant injury, defense negligent in his operation of the vehicle that his brother was ejected from the SUV’s cident, and he contended that seat-belted counsel argued that he had to be the person and that Ford Motor Credit was vicari- front passenger seat and out of the vehicle’s passengers have been known to be ejected who occupied the passenger seat. ously liable for his brother’s actions. rear window. The technician also contended during rollover accidents. However, during The defense’s accident-reconstruction Matthew Smolinski’s insurer denied that Matthew Smolinski admitted that he the trial, the insurer’s investigator contend- expert acknowledged that seat-belted coverage, believing that his brother was moved his brother’s injured body to an ed that he had changed his opinion and passengers have been known to have been the vehicle’s driver. As such, Matthew area near the vehicle’s driver-side door. The decided that Smolinski had been ejected ejected during accidents, but he contended Smolinski did not answer the complaint, other two emergency medical technicians through the driver-side window. that such an event is rare. He noted that and a default judgment was entered. His claimed that Matthew Smolinski hysterically Defense counsel challenged the accu- Thomas Smolinski’s body was found insurer ultimately tendered its policy, and admitted that he was the vehicle’s driver and racy of the recollection of the emergency outside of the vehicle’s driver-side window, the matter proceeded to a trial against Ford that he feared that he would be fired if his medical technician who provided the and he contended that Thomas Smolinski’s Motor Credit. alcohol use was discovered. sworn statement. He contended that the injuries suggested that he had been struck Thomas Smolinski claimed that his The emergency medical technicians’ technician initially indicated that Matthew by the vehicle’s driver-side air bag. However, brother was the SUV’s driver. Plaintiff’s report noted that Matthew Smolinski was Smolinski had reported that his brother -Continued on p28 Medical Malpractice CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Ramos v. New York City Health and Hospitals 1/22 New York Medical Malpractice: Woman's ureter was Hernan Caceres, trial counsel & Robert Kaminski of Law Offices of $974,166 Corp. Supreme transected during ovarian cyst surgery Robert Kaminski PLLC Katz v. St Francis Hospital 10/27 Queens Su- Medical Malpractice: Untreated postsurgi- Robert F. Danzi of The Law Office of Robert F. Danzi, Westbury, NY, trial $973,913 preme cal infection fatal, suit alleged counsel, Richard J. Katz, New York, NY Gilbert v. Burns et al. 1/29 Niagara Su- Medical Malpractice: Drs. failed to monitor John DeFazio, Corey J. Hogan & Amanda A. Gresens of Hogan Willig $845,000 preme labor & manage bleeding, mother said Walsh v. Brown 3/23 Kings Supreme Medical Malpractice: Patient's neuropathy John A. Bonina Jr. of Bonina & Bonina, P.C. $750,000 blamed on surgeon's use of retractors Sheridan v. Mt. Sinai 2/26 New York Medical Malpractice: Plaintiff claimed fail- Laurence M. Deutsch of Laurence M. Deutsch, P.C., Law Firm $625,000 Supreme ure to diagnose led to hysterectomy... Carrington v. Tehrani 9/23 Bronx Supreme Medical Malpractice: Mammoplasty pro- Andrew M. Friedman of Friedman, Khafif & Sanchez, LLP $510,000 duced undesirable look, patient alleged Bott v. Polcino 11/20 Nassau Supreme Medical Malpractice: Overlooked surgical Herbert G. Lindenbaum of Law Offices of Herbert G. Lindenbaum, $500,000 wounds caused peritonitis, suit alleged P.L.L.C. Dupree v. Giugliano 4/2 Suffolk Supreme Medical Malpractice: Doctor-patient affair Kenneth Cooperstein of Of Counsel & Evan Tanenbaum of Berler & $500,000 equaled malpractice, suit alleged Tanenbaum, PC Estate of Hanna v. Woodhull Medical & Mental 3/17 Kings Supreme Medical Malpractice: Untreated gangrene Michael D. Fitzgerald of Sgarlato & Sgarlato PLLC $500,000 Health Center led to fatal sepsis, estate alleged Greco, Greco v. O'Connor, M.D. 11/16 Queens Medical Malpractice: Undetected colon John Bonina of Bonina, Bonina & Bonina, P.C. $500,000 Supreme wound led to colostomy, hernia, suit alleged Rizzo v. Kay 5/28 Queens Medical Malpractice: Patient claimed den- Albert W. Chianese of McKenna, Siracusano & Chianese $490,000 Supreme tist did poor work then abandoned her Knorr v. Shapiro 5/27 Monroe Medical Malpractice: ER's failures led to James F. Foley of Foley & Foley $480,350 Supreme patient's loss of vision, suit alleged Estate of Iliakostas v. Karten 8/11 Bronx Supreme Medical Malpractice: Doc ignored symp- Z.G. Najdovski of The Najdovski Law Firm, PLLC $420,000 toms of fatal cancer, estate alleged 26 Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 26 4/21/10 3:40:43 PM
  • 27. Arze & MollicA, llP The Dauti Law Firm, PC The Woolworth Building Gerald G. arze 233 Broadway, 28th Floor arze & Mollica, llP New York, NY 10279 Attorneys At law Phone: (212) 566-4891 2352 80th Street Fax: (212) 271-3314 Brooklyn, New York 11214 Web: 718-996-5600 Mr. Dauti is a graduate of The University of Connecticut School of Law. He was admitted Gerald G. Arze, Senior Partner of the firm of Arze & Mollica, LLP, is trial to NY Bar in January 2001 and he is also a duly licensed Solicitor of England and Wales counsel to several prominent New York Metropolitan Personal Injury law (non-practicing). Prior to founding The Dauti Law Firm, P.C., (December 2005), Mr. Dauti firms, as well as the head trial attorney of the firm. Mr. Arze represents was a Trial Attorney, for five years, with two highly respected New York City law firms. individuals seriously injured as a result of the negligence or malpractice of corporations or individuals. Mr. Arze has successfully tried to verdict Mr. Dauti has succesfully tried and settled numerous civil actions for his clients. cases in every county of New York, as well as Nassau and Suffolk Coun- Mr. Dauti’s practice area in the law has focused on and continues to focus on the rights of ties. He has obtained large verdicts and settlements on behalf of injured those persons injured in construction accidents and as a result of the negligence of the persons in automobile accidents, trip and fall accidents, construction ac- others. cidents, wrongful death cases and medical malpractice cases. Recently in December 2009, Mr. Arze obtained a significant verdict in Kings County Mr. Dauti has specially championed and continues to champion the rights of undocument- Supreme Court on behalf of a passenger on a NYCTA bus involved in a ed workers to recover in personal injury cases. Last year, he successfully represented and collision with another vehicle. The Client, thirty four years old at the time obtained a seven-figure verdict on a personal injury action for a plaintiff who at the time of of the accident, sustained two disc bulges in her cervical spine, and an the accident was subject to deportation proceedings. He succeeded in convincing the trial EMG exam performed by her treating doctor indicated she suffered from Judge, via motion in limine, to bar defendant from referring to plaintiff as an illegal alien radiculopathy in her neck. The jury awarded the plaintiff $175,000 for before the Jury. This was the first known case in the State of New York where plaintiff’s legal past and future pain and suffering. status at the time of personal injury trial was undetermined due to pending immigration proceedings. Mr. Arze is an active member of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and Brooklyn Bar Association. Mr. Dauti speaks several languages and he is a member of various national and international bar associations. ArzeMollica.indd 1 4/15/10 12:26:32 PM DautiFirm.indd 1 4/15/10 11:45:03 AM Jeff D. Defrancisco, esq. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Law Firm Richard Dubi 121 East Water Street Gregory Bellantone Syracuse, New York 13202 9 Cedar Ridge Lane Dix Hills, NY 11746 315-479-9000 Phone: 631-499-3030 Fax: 631-462-4976 $9,835,000 verdict Website: case name: Joel and Shelly Lyon v. Scott Gingold, M.D., Crouse Hospital, David Thompson, M.D., and Crouse Radiology Associates Specialty: Personal Injury Brief summary: On August 31, 2004, Joel Lyon was a 44 year old As a boutique litigation firm, Dubi Bellantone has the expertise self employed contractor who underwent laminectomy by Defendant and trial experience to vigorously and successfully represent Scott Gingold, M.D. at Crouse Hospital. During the ensuing week post clients in personal injury, malpractice, commercial litigation, surgery Mr. Lyon suffered pain, spasms and fluid discharge at the and criminal defense matters. Many attorneys refer cases surgical site. On September 10, 2004, Mr. Lyon presented to the Crouse to us with complete confidence, knowing our reputation and Hospital emergency room where an MRI was performed by Defendant experience in handling challenging and complex litigation David Thompson, M.D. and he was examined by Defendant Gingold. matters. Mr. Dubi and Mr. Bellantone serve as trial counsel to Mr. Lyon was discharged from the hospital but again presented to the Crouse many prominent law firms in several counties. Mr. Dubi and Hospital emergency room on September 14 at which time he was admitted. Mr. Bellantone have both successfully litigated cases through While hospitalized, Mr. Lyon’s spinal fluid leak was finally diagnosed but he trial and obtained verdicts in many counties throughout became septic with the development of pseudomonas meningitis. Due to the State of New York, Florida, and Federal Court systems. the delay in diagnosis, Mr. Lyon suffered multisystem organ failure, was in a Mr. Dubi and Mr. Bellantone have dedicated their careers comatose state for over a month, and he developed muscle calcifications and to representing injured victims of negligence, professional other injuries causing paralysis and the inability to work. The jury found malpractice and complex commercial matters. Defendant Scott Gingold, M.D. 100% at fault for the injuries. DeFrancisco.indd 1 4/15/10 11:21:07 PM DubiBellantone.indd 1 4/16/10 12:05:25 AM 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 27 4/21/10 3:40:44 PM
  • 28. -Continued from p26 tional and physical therapy allowed him to operate a computer. He also contended that cal cost (30 years) the expert acknowledged that he could not regain some use of his limbs. He is now con- Smolinski must utilize his tongue to dial a $2,387,184 Personal Injury: future lost locate any scuffs or markings that supported sidered to suffer incomplete quadriplegia. phone. earnings (26 years) his contention, and he also contended that Smolinski contended that his doctors $8,300,000 Personal Injury: future pain he was not aware that an emergency medi- have recommended additional intensive Verdict Information After two mistrials, a and suffering (30 years) cal technician had reported overhearing occupational and physical therapy and a third jury found that the defendants were $53,671 Personal Injury: future loss of Matthew Smolinski indicate that he had full-time residential aide, but that he has liable for the crash. A fourth jury deter- household services (30 years) moved his brother’s body. not been able to obtain those services. He mined that Smolinski’s damages totaled claimed that the relevant agencies have sug- $40,226,376.25. That amount is subject to Post-Trial: Defense counsel moved to set Injury: gested that he should rely on the assistance offsets of collateral sources of income, and aside the jury’s finding of liability, but the Thomas Smolinski sustained fractures of of his wife, who is a full-time teacher and the award could be reduced to reflect the motion was denied. He has appealed the his C6 and C7 vertebrae and a subluxation the main custodian of the couple’s 1-year- present-day value of some of its components. denial of that motion. Both sides have filed of his spine’s C5 and C6 levels. old twin daughters. Defense counsel reported that numerous motions regarding the damages awards, Smolinski was not breathing when Mr. Smolinski, formerly an accomplished court-issued rulings prevented him from and defense counsel reported that he will emergency medical technicians arrived at springboard diver who achieved Academic providing further evidence that Thomas file a second appeal that will be based on the scene of the accident. He was revived, All-America status, twice attempted to Smolinski admitted that he was the ve- the contention that Ford Motor Credit did placed in an ambulance and transported coach the sport, but he claimed that his hicle’s driver. Plaintiff’s counsel challenged not receive a fair trial. to Erie County Medical Center, in Buf- injuries impeded those efforts. He has not that contention and suggested that defense falo. He underwent 15 surgeries. The procured any other type of work. counsel’s arguments were entirely based Editor’s Comments This report is based procedures included a corpectomy, which Smolinski sought recovery of his past and on the testimony of people who were not on information that was provided by involved the removal of his C6 vertebra; future medical expenses, his past and future aware of Matthew Smolinski’s initial claims plaintiff’s counsel and Ford Motor Credit’s decompression and fusion of a portion of lost earnings, and damages for his past and that he was the vehicle’s driver. counsel. Matthew Smolinski’s counsel was the anterior side of his spine’s cervical re- future pain and suffering. not asked to contribute. gion; the insertion of a Harms stabilization Defense counsel contended that Smo- Thomas J. Smolinski cage and a fixation plate; the application of linski exaggerated his need for therapy and $600,000 Personal Injury: Past Medical a graft; and the application of a myocu- residential assistance. He claimed that Smo- Cost Motor VehicLe taneous flap that addressed a decubitus linski can obtain full-time work, possibly as $385,521 Personal Injury: Past Lost Earn- Woman’s leg destroyed when struck by bus ulcer--or bedsore--that formed during his a telemarketer or a diving coach. However, ings Capability hospitalization, which lasted seven weeks. plaintiff’s counsel contended that Smolin- $2,500,000 Personal Injury: Past Pain And Verdict: (P) $27,500,000.00 Doctors initially believed that Smolinski ski possesses virtually no use of his hands, Suffering would suffer total quadriplegia, but occupa- very little use of his arms and no ability to $25,800,000 Personal Injury: future medi- -Continued on p30 Medical Malpractice CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Sierra v. Chavez-Cacho 6/29 Queens Medical Malpractice: Patient: records were Laurence M. Deutsch of Laurence M. Deutsch Law Firm, P.C. $400,000 altered after unnecessary surgery Ramos v. City of New York 6/4 Bronx Supreme Medical Malpractice: Untreated infection Pablo A. Sosa of Law Office of William A. Gallina $376,590 caused child's hearing loss Groce v. Makower 5/28 Kings Civil Medical Malpractice: Patient claimed op- Edward A. Ruffo of Dankner & Milstein, P.C. $300,000 erative tourniquet caused foot injuries Roy v. Montefiore Medical Center 2/26 Bronx Supreme Medical Malpractice: Patient's tongue went Dana Vlachos of Bowman & Vlachos $200,000 permanently numb, he blamed it on tooth extraction Keslinger v. Salierno 3/24 Bronx Supreme Medical Malpractice: Alvin C. Gordon of Meiselman & Gordon, LLP $150,000 Cooper v. New City Plastic Surgery Center 5/22 Rockland Medical Malpractice: Rhinoplasty impaired Daniel R. Goldman & Michael I. Krakower of Krakower & Goldman $114,500 Supreme nostrils' function, patient alleged Motor Vehicle CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Smolinski v. Smolinski 3/20 Erie Supreme Motor Vehicle: Brothers in SUV crash Anne B. Rimmler, Philipp L. Rimmler & Brian R. Hogan of Paul William $40,026,376 named each other as drivers Beltz, P.C. Aguilar v. New York City Transit Authority 4/15 New York Motor Vehicle: Woman's leg destroyed Peter J. Saghir, Ben B. Rubinowitz & Richard M. Steigman of Gair, Gair, $27,500,000 Supreme when struck by bus Conason, Steigman & Mackauf Radeva v. NYC Transit Authority 4/23 New York Motor Vehicle: Bicyclist, bus driver debated David J. Dean of Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo P.C. $15,130,307 Supreme who struck whom Benedikt v. Certified Lumber Corp. 7/21 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Pedestrian claimed injuries Ephrem Wertenteil , and Barry A. Washor of Queller, Fisher, Washor, $5,500,000 from car crash altered life Fuchs & Kool, LLP Cruz v. Stillwell Transportation Inc. 12/18 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused spinal Seth I. Fields of Fields & Levy, LLP $4,414,701 injuries, plaintiff alleged Lin v. McCormack 6/15 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused knee, James J. McCrorie of Law Offices of James J. McCrorie, P.C., New York, NY, $2,714,113 neck injuries, plaintiff claimed trial counsel, James P. Lo Esq., PC, New York, NY 28 Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 28 4/21/10 3:40:45 PM
  • 29. Friedman, Khafif & Sanchez, LLP A T T O R N E Y S A T L A W Andrew M. Friedman is a graduate of the University of California, Hastings TODD J. KROUNER HAS OBTAINED College of the Law, and has a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Harvard THE TWO LARGEST VERDICTS IN THE University. HISTORY OF LASIK MALPRACTICE CASES. Albert Khafif is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School and a former New York 16 Court Street. 26th Floor County Assistant District Attorney. Brooklyn, N.Y. 11241 (718)797-2488 Emil J. Sanchez is a graduate of Tulane University School of Law. He is bilingual in English and Spanish. The is a litigation boutique which prides itself on client service and commitment to excellence. $7.25 Million LASIK malpractice verdict We provide a personal touch that can only be maintained by a for LASIK screening error Since 1996 the partnership now known Our personal service is essential since as Friedman, Khafif & Sanchez, LLP, most people are not familiar with the judicial system and must $5.6 Million has successfully represented thousands rely on their lawyer to properly advise and represent them. Our LASIK malpractice verdict of plaintiffs in medical malpractice, for post-LASIK Ectasia products liability, general liability and aggressive legal services when required. civil rights matters. The Carrington case is just one of those successes in the area of plastic surgery medical malpractice. Website: WWW.KROUNERLAW.COM M PHONE: 914.769.8700 The firm also acts as Trial Counsel to the 140 BEDFORD ROAD • P L E A S A N T V I L L E, N E W YO R K • 10570 Profession. FKS.indd 1 4/15/10 11:33:27 AM Barton Barton & Plotkin llP Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP 475 Park Avenue South (32nd Street) 420 Lexington Avenue, 18th Floor New York, New York 10016 New York, NY 10170 212.687.6262 After twenty plus years as a defendant’s attorney, Dennis A. Breen found a home Founded in 1959, our firm is a leader in providing personalized, comprehensive, results- at Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan oriented legal services to our injured clients. Our firm is one of the largest personal injury and medical malpractice firms in New York. Our attorneys are highly experienced and well- LLP. This plaintiff’s personal injury firm respected in this industry and have obtained millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients. As a full-service firm, we also employ nurses, paralegals and support staff to concentrates its practice in Labor Law, ensure that the client receives the best legal services available. General Negligence with some auto cases Case: Leone v. Byrnes, Index No. 38317/05 - always with an emphasis on their client’s Case Type: Medical Malpractice Cancer’s fatal spread blamed on unreported results of X-rays obtaining maximum results quickly. The Verdict: (P) $4,194,000.00 Soto case is a perfect example. The Estate of Anthony Leone Dennis A. Breen $102,000 Personal Injury: Past Lost Earnings Capability verdict was an amazing sixteen months $2,000,000 Personal Injury: Past Pain And Suffering $12,000 Personal Injury: cost of funeral, burial after the accident and was for non- $80,000 Personal Injury: cost of residential care Josephine Leone economic damages only. (Mr. Soto had $2,000,000 Personal Injury: Past Loss Of Services returne to work within three months of Attorney: Thomas P. Giuffra; Barton Barton & Plotkin, LLP; New York, NY, for Josephine the accident) The firm’s commitment to Leone, Estate of Anthony Leone their clients allows Dennis to marshal the Facts: evidence and the resources necessary to Josephine Leone as Administratrix of the Estate of Anthony Leone alleged that Defendant hospital deviated from good and accepted medical practice by failing to notify him of the demonstrate to juries the true value of an presence of a suspicious mass in the right lung on a chest x-ray. It was alleged that Defen- dant Dr. Byrnes deviated from good and accepted medical practice in failing to obtain the injury. results of the x-ray report despite being aware that a film had been taken cancerous mass. LIMR.indd 1 4/15/10 12:42:15 PM BartonBartonPlotkin.indd 1 4/16/10 10:40:33 AM 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 29 4/21/10 3:40:46 PM
  • 30. w -Continued from p28 Mark Goldberg M.D.; Prosthetics; in Manhattan. Aguilar sustained injuries of entered the roadway. He also opined that Case Type: Pedestrian, Motor Vehicle - East Setauket, NY called by: Ben her arms, head, legs and torso. Aguilar entered the roadway before Monaco Right Turn, Motor Vehicle - Bus, Govern- Rubinowitz, Peter Saghir, Richard Aguilar sued the bus’s driver, Andrew had begun his turn. He contended that ment - Municipalities Steigman Monaco, and the bus’s operator, the New Aguilar initiated the contact, and he also Case: Gloria Aguilar and Aristides Aguilar York City Transit Authority. Aguilar al- contended that the impact occurred slightly v. New York City Transit Authority and • Charles Kincaid Ph.D.; Life Care leged that Monaco was negligent in his outside of the crosswalk. Andrew Monaco, No. 103132/06 Planning; Hackensack, NJ called by: operation of the bus. She further alleged Defense counsel contended that the Venue: New York Supreme, NY Ben Rubinowitz, Peter Saghir, Richard that the New York City Transit Authority incident occurred shortly after Aguilar had Judge: Paul G. Feinman Steigman was vicariously liable for Monaco’s actions. completed an eight-hour workday and that Date: 04-15-2009 Aguilar claimed that a green pedestrian- she was tired and hurrying home at the time • Robert Goldstein M.D.; Orthopedic traffic signal permitted her entrance to of the incident. He suggested that the inci- PLAINTIFF(S) Attorney: Surgery; New York, NY called by: Ben the intersection. She contended that she dent was a result of Aguilar’s inattentiveness. • Ben B. Rubinowitz; Gair, Gair, Rubinowitz, Peter Saghir, Richard checked both directions of traffic, entered Conason, Steigman & Mackauf; New Steigman a crosswalk, walked 10 to 15 feet and was Injury: York, NY, for Gloria Aguilar, Aristides struck by the bus, which was completing a Aguilar’s left leg was crushed by the Aguilar • Mark Rubinstein M.D.; Psychia- right turn onto West 50th Street. However, bus’s front right tire. She also sustained an try; New York, NY called by: Ben she acknowledged that she did not see the injury of her right leg and abrasions and • Peter J. Saghir; Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Peter Saghir, Richard bus until it was immediately upon her. The road rash of her head, limbs and torso. She Steigman & Mackauf; New York, NY, Steigman New York City Transit Authority investi- was placed in an ambulance, and she was for Aristides Aguilar, Gloria Aguilar gated the matter, and it determined that transported to Bellevue Hospital Center, • Jeffrey Siedenberg Ph.D.; Econom- the impact occurred within a crosswalk. in Manhattan. Her left leg could not be • Richard M. Steigman; Gair, Gair, ics; Riverdale, NY called by: Ben Monaco contended that the impact oc- saved, so it was amputated below the knee. Conason, Steigman & Mackauf; New Rubinowitz, Peter Saghir, Richard curred while he was maintaining a speed of Aguilar subsequently developed an York, NY, for Aristides Aguilar, Gloria Steigman about 5 mph. He claimed that he utilized infection of the remaining portion of her Aguilar intersection-scanning procedures that he left leg. As a result, she had to undergo Facts: had been taught during the New York City surgeries that included further amputation Expert: On Nov. 4, 2005, plaintiff Gloria Transit Authority’s training, but that he of the leg. She ultimately lost her left knee • Robert Genna; Accident Reconstruc- Aguilar, 45, a homemaker and part-time did not see any pedestrians in or near the and about four additional inches of the tion; Commack, NY called by: Ben housecleaner, was struck by a public bus. crosswalk. area above the knee. She wears a prosthetic Rubinowitz, Peter Saghir, Richard The incident occurred on West 50th Street, The defense’s expert engineer opined that device. Her hospitalization lasted two Steigman alongside its intersection at 10th Avenue, Aguilar should have seen the bus before she -Continued on p32 Law Office Of ROnaLd PauL HaRt, esq. RobeRt e. HaRRis attoRney and C o u n C i l o R a t l aw New Case Albany, NY Office: Kings County Supreme Court 67 Columbia Street, Albany, NY 12210 Employer retaliation against sexually Phone and Fax (518) 434-3071 Mobile (518) 605-5879 New York City Area Office: harassed employee 860 East Broadway, Suite 6T, Long Beach, NY 11561 Phone (516) 474-2640 Mobile (518) 605-5879 Janice Worthen-Caldwell v Special Touch Home Care Services Inc., Robert E. Harris graduated from Niagara University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1965 and from the Albany Law School (Union University) with a Juris Doctor Degree in 1970. Kings County Index#: 30102/2009 A position as an Assistant Counsel for the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles commenced his legal career. Positions as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Albany, First As- sistant County Attorney for the County of Albany, and a Bureau Chief for the Albany County District Attorney’s Office were some early positions, which he held in the public service. Plaintiff wins $1.86 million dollars after four (4) month long sexual harassment trial against company President, Mr. Harris has successfully prosecuted and defended many criminal cases to favorable ver- Steven Ostrovsky, and his corporation the Special Touch Home Services, Inc., for sexually harassing her in Kings dicts by jury Since 1995 Mr. Harris has focused his interest on personal injury litigation in his County on April 22 2009, under index #: 5012/2006. Defendants’ sexual harassment consisted of several sexual private law practice. He has successfully prosecuted personal injury claims for medical malprac- tice, products liability, common law negligence, automobile accidents, slip and fall injuries and assaults upon the Plaintiff, demands for group sex with Plaintiff and other employees, and constantly leering at vicious animal injury claims. women’s breasts to name just a few of the episodes that gave rise to Plaintiff’s claims. The Busone case was brought to him by Tiffany’s mother after Mr. Harris had successfully handled a wrongful death medical malpractice action for Mrs. Busone’s brother and the Estate of his deceased spouse. The Tiffany Busone case had been partially settled by the family’s first After Plaintiff won her jury verdict, Defendants abruptly fired her after 19 years of service. Defendants then attorney and ultimately dismissed for the failure to prosecute after he and three other attorney’s misappropriated her personal and priceless family belongings dating several decades. To make matters worse, were unable to document a basis for continuing the case against the hospital. Mr. Harris was Defendants interfered with her unemployment benefits to further harm her economically. Defendants’ retaliation able to research, develop, articulate, document and substantiate with medical proof a viable and and other claims are now the subject of Plaintiff’s second lawsuit in Kings County involving Retaliation under Index successful claim against the hospital. The matter was of course reopened and successfully tried to a jury verdict for $43.5 million by Mr. Harris and Mr. Stephen R. Coffey. 30102/2009. Mr. Harris has resurrected several serious injury cases after other attorneys have given up on them. He is whimsically referred to by some members of the defense bar as the patron saint of This is a case of great public concern as it relates to a woman’s right to be free from workplace sexual hopeless cases. He is available for consultation and review of cases to render a second opinion harassment. on litigation matters. As a member of the NYS Bar Association and the Bar Association’s Law Section on Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law, Mr. Harris keeps current on changing issues in this field of law. Mr. Harris has raised three children, a grand child and maintains an interest in community affairs. 225 Broadway, Suite 912 New York, New York 10007 Office 212-766-1443 Mobile 646-242-6194 30 Verdicts Search’s Top NY1Verdicts of 2009 RonaldPaulHart.indd 4/20/10 2:18:27 PM 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 30 4/21/10 3:40:49 PM Fitzg
  • 31. w FITZGERALD & FITZGERALD PC WE FIGHT FOR INJURED PEOPLE $3.16 MILLION JURY VERDICT* $77 MILLION VERDICT* Bronx Police Officer injured Medical Malpractice - Birth Trauma during chase when NYC fence Failure to deliver by C-Section. collapsed. **Randy was selected as one of USA’s Top 10 lawyers of the year 2009 ** Source: Lawyers Weekly USA (#06072) $20 MILLION JURY VERDICT* $1 MILLION SETTLEMENT Medical Malpractice - Birth Trauma Bronx pediatric clinic pays for Queens baby injured by failure to failing to diagnose and treat treat pre-term labor and fetal distress. child with lead poisoning. (#05088) (#04010) W W W. L AW FIT Z .C O M 800·323·9900 This notice is ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. Prior results cannot and do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future matter. SE HABLA ESPAÑOL *Jury verdicts can be reduced or dismissed on appeal. Case #03151: post trial motion pending: Case#05088: Present Value $12 Million post trial motion pending: Case # 06072: Present Value $33 Million. Settle for confidential amount. Of Counsel Offices Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, New Jersey Main Office: 528 Riverdale Ave., NY 10705 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 31 Fitzgerald.indd 1 4/21/10 3:40:50 4/20/10 2:27:22 PM
  • 32. -Continued from p30 totaled $27.5 million. documents and an interview of plaintiff’s See also Gynecology; Great Neck, NY months, and she subsequently underwent and defense counsel. called by: Charles Silverstein orthopedic treatment. Aristides Aguilar • Joseph Carfi M.D.; Life Care Plan- Aguilar claimed that she suffers re- $1,000,000 Personal Injury: past loss of ning; Great Neck, NY called by: sidual damage of her legs’ nerves. She also services and society MedicaL MaLPractice Charles Silverstein claimed that she experiences “phantom” $1,000,000 Personal Injury: future loss of Baby’s defects blamed on failure to restrain pain that seems to stem from the missing services and society (27.4 years) Facts: at-risk mom portion of her left leg. She further claimed Gloria Aguilar On July 28, 1994, plaintiff Kevin Cush that she undergoes treatment of residual $9,500,000 Personal Injury: Future and his sister, plaintiff Kiyanna Cush, were Verdict: (P) $24,100,000.00 psychological conditions that include post- Medical Cost born. Their birth was premature and a Case Type: Negligent Treatment, Medical traumatic stress disorder and major depres- $4,000,000 Personal Injury: Past Pain And result of a massive hemorrhage that their Malpractice - Birth Injury sion. She contended that her disability Suffering mother, Kisha Swaby, sustained while she Case: Kiyanna Cush, and Kevin Cush by prevents her resumption of work. $4,000,000 Personal Injury: future pain was hospitalized at Interfaith Medical Their mother and natural guardian Kisha Aguilar’s life-care-planning expert and suffering (32.5 years) Center, in Brooklyn. Swaby v. Interfaith Medical Center, J. opined that Aguilar must undergo lifelong $4,000,000 Personal Injury: past emotion- Swaby’s hospitalization had begun on Finley, S. Nakra, Dian Kinch, and Andre physical therapy. He also opined that al, mental and psychological suffering July 16, 1994. She was suffering pla- Celestin, No. 12356-2004 Aguilar’s prosthesis must be replaced every $4,000,000 Personal Injury: future emo- centa previa--abnormal development and Venue: Kings Supreme, NY three to five years. tional, mental and psychological suffering positioning of the placenta. As a result, Judge: Marsha L. Steinhardt Aguilar sought recovery of about $5.6 (32.5 years) the placenta is prone to sudden detach- Date: 11-24-2009 million for her future medical expenses. She ment, which can cause severe bleeding that also sought recovery of damages for her past Post-Trial: Defense counsel made motions necessitates immediate, premature delivery PLAINTIFF(S) Attorney: and future pain and suffering. Her husband to set-aside the verdict as excessive and for of the mother’s fetus or fetuses. Swaby’s • Charles Silverstein; Silverstein & Bast; sought recovery of damages for his past and a new trial, but the motions were denied. hemorrhage occurred while she was walk- New York, NY, for Kiyanna Cush, future loss of services and society. Defense counsel indicated that they plan ing to a restroom. She claimed that the Kevin Cush to appeal. hospital’s staff should have ensured that Verdict Information The jury found that she was confined to a bed. Expert: the defendants were liable for the accident. Editor’s Comments This report includes Swaby, acting as the parent and natural • Daniel Adler M.D.; Pediatric Neu- It also found that Aguilar was negligent, information that was gleaned from articles guardian of Kevin and Kiyanna, sued the rology; Englewood, NJ called by: but it concluded that her negligence was that were published by The New York hospital and several of its employees. She Charles Silverstein not the cause of the accident. The jury Times and New York Post. It also includes alleged that the hospital’s staff failed to • Philip Bresnick M.D.; OB-GYN – determined that the plaintiffs’ damages information that was gleaned from court render proper care. She further alleged that Motor Vehicle CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Lanza v. A-1 Compaction Inc. 1/23 Westchester Motor Vehicle: Pedestrian claimed truck Peter E. Tangredi of Peter E. Tangredi & Associates $2,493,530 Supreme struck him and caused back injuries Kayes v. Liberati 11/9 Queens Su- Motor Vehicle: Man hit by falling sign, Todd A. Restivo of Garden City, NY, trial counsel, Law Offices of Omrani $2,000,000 preme claimed injury of neck & Taub, P.C., New York, NY Dowd v. New York City Transit Authority 4/6 Queens Su- Motor Vehicle: Woman struck, killed by Christopher T. McGrath of Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo P.C. $2,000,000 preme reversing bus in terminal Williams v. New York City Transit Authority 3/10 New York Motor Vehicle: Pedestrian injured after Ezra B. Glaser & Jon L. Norinsberg $1,800,000 Supreme being hit by bus on busy corner James v. Farhood 10/1 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car bounced out of crash, Eitan A. Ogen of Ogen & Sedaghati, and Brett I. Bloom of Bloom & Noll, $1,800,000 jumped sidewalk, struck two LLP, Mineola, NY, trial counsel, Law Office of Melvin Maiman, New York, NY Rivera v. Panarella 5/7 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Expressway accident acti- Jason Shapiro of Shapiro Law Offices $1,500,000 vated scoliosis, plaintiff alleged Letman v. PTM Management Corp. 3/10 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Plaintiff claimed motorist's Cory J. Rosenbaum of Rosenbaum Faria L.L.P., New York, NY, trial counsel, $1,450,000 failure to yield caused crash Martin L. Ginsberg, P.C. Blackmon v. Fabiano 6/11 Ulster Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused spinal Joseph E. O'Connor of Mainetti, Mainetti & O'Connor, P.C. $1,400,000 injuries, atrophy, plaintiff alleged Marrero v. Najib 12/22 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Parties debated car crash's Kenneth E. Mangano of Ferro, Kuba, Mangano, Skylar, P.C. $1,296,438 link to back and knee injuries Estate of Nichols v. Plant 1/27 Suffolk Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash blamed on Richard A. Dubi & Gregory D. Bellantone of Law Office of Richard A. $1,250,000 driver's failure to activate headlights Dubi, P.C. Finley v. Anderson 8/28 Erie Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash's parties each David G. Henry of Lipsitz, Green, Scime, Cambria, LLP $1,189,041 claimed green light Soto v. Kraft Foods Global Inc. 3/4 U.S. District Motor Vehicle: Truck hit from behind, Dennis A. Breen of Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP $1,100,000 Court, Eastern pushed into pedestrian District Chimento v. Degenhart 11/9 Erie Supreme Motor Vehicle: Accident caused neck injury, J. Michael Hayes of Law Offices of J. Michael Hayes $1,100,000 early retirement, plaintiff alleged Alicea v. City N.Y. 4/1 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Bus's passenger claimed Pablo A. Sosa of Law Office of William A. Gallina $1,033,760 snowy, icy stop caused fall Beato-Lopez v. S.M. Transportation Ltd. 10/8 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Ambulette's passenger Alexandra F. Pinilla of Law Offices of Morton Povman, P.C., Bronx, NY, $1,005,000 claimed rough ride caused injuries trial counsel, Orlian & Levine 32 Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 32 4/21/10 3:40:51 PM
  • 33. the staff’s failure constituted malpractice. affected by brief walks to a restroom, but followed by about 12 weeks of physical Kiyanna Cush The hospital ultimately agreed to accept he also contended that Swaby’s hemor- rehabilitation. $2,500,000 Personal Injury: Past Pain And responsibility for the actions of its employ- rhage occurred during an unapproved trip During supervised therapy, Kiyanna Suffering ees. As such, plaintiff’s counsel discontinued to a restroom. can walk while she is wearing a brace that $11,600,000 Personal Injury: Future Pain the claims against the employees. The mat- Defense counsel also contended that covers most of her torso. However, she And Suffering ter proceeded to a trial against the hospital. Swaby was not severely constipated, that requires the assistance of crutches and $10,000,000 Personal Injury: medical Plaintiff’s counsel claimed that the hos- the laxative’s administration was an ap- a therapist. In all other settings, she is expenses pital’s staff was aware that Swaby’s hospi- propriate response to her condition and confined to a wheelchair. Plaintiff’s counsel talization was preceded by several minor that her bed’s rails were properly deployed claimed that Kiyanna suffers atrophy of Editor’s Comments This report is based instances of uterine bleeding, and he also when the hemorrhage occurred. He sug- her legs’ muscles, and he contended that on information that was provided by claimed that she had been bleeding during gested that her hemorrhage was more doctors doubt that she will be able to inde- plaintiff’s counsel and Interfaith Medical her hospitalization. He contended that the likely to have been the result of sexual pendently walk. Kiyanna undergoes yearly Center’s counsel. hospital’s staff should have undertaken every intercourse that occurred during the hours examinations by specialists, but no other measure to prolong the infants’ gestation, that preceded her hospitalization. treatment is rendered. and, as such, he argued that Swaby should Swaby sought recovery of Kiyanna’s Products LiabiLity not have been permitted to ambulate. He Injury: medical expenses and damages for Ki- Diaper-changing dad contracted polio acknowledged that her bed was bounded Kiyanna’s premature birth caused yanna’s past and future pain and suffering. from stool by railings, but he claimed that the railings periventricular leukomalacia--damage During the trial, plaintiff’s counsel dis- were not continuously deployed. and softening of the inner portion of the continued Kevin’s claim. Mixed Verdict: $22,500,000.00 Plaintiffs counsel also noted that Swaby’s brain. The damage causes spastic triparesis- Defense counsel contended that Case Type: Failure to Warn, Products Li- hemorrhage occurred after she had been -spasticity of her legs and one arm. Her Kiyanna does not suffer atrophy of her ability - Pharmaceutical, Medical Malprac- administered a laxative. He contended that hospitalization lasted about 12 weeks, and legs’ muscles, and he argued that her tice - Prescription and Medication a laxative should not have been adminis- it included treatment of respiratory distress current limitations are a partial result of Case: Dominick Tenuto and Elizabeth tered to a patient who was supposed to be syndrome. her unwillingness to thoroughly perform Tenuto v. Lederle Laboratories, Division of confined to a bed. He claimed that Swaby During Kiyanna’s seventh year, she rehabilitation that was prescribed. American Cyanamid Company, Leroy L. had become severely constipated, and he underwent a rhizotomy, which involved Schwartz, M.D., No. 1134/81 argued that the hospital’s staff should not the severing of nerves. The procedure was Verdict Information The jury found Venue: Richmond Supreme, NY have allowed the development of such a intended to release tension of her legs. that the hospital’s staff departed from Judge: Joseph J. Maltese condition. During the ensuing year, she underwent an accepted standard of medical care. It Date: 03-20-2009 Defense counsel contended that Swaby’s surgery that addressed residual disloca- determined that Kiyanna’s damages totaled pregnancy would not have been negatively tion of one of her hips. Each surgery was $24.1 million. -Continued on p34 Motor Vehicle CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Mannick v. Bonner 6/9 Suffolk Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused concus- Steven Costantino of Costantino & Costantino $1,000,000 sion, migraines, plaintiff alleged Ramos v. N.Y.C.T.A. 5/22 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Bus clipped open door of Lucille M. Barbato of Spiegel & Barbato $930,000 stopped vehicle, suit alleged Owsian v. Cobo 2/20 Erie Supreme Motor Vehicle: Angry motorist's com- J. Michael Hayes of Law Offices of J. Michael Hayes $900,000 plaints blamed for crash Saracino v. New York City Transit Authority 10/5 New York Motor Vehicle: Bus's sudden start and stop Joseph Monaco of Law Offices of Joseph Monaco PC, New York, NY, trial $760,000 Supreme caused fall, passenger alleged counsel, Corozzo & Greenberg, Howard Beach, NY O'Donnell v. Schessel 1/29 Westchester Motor Vehicle: Parties argued neck injury's Richard R. Mogg of trial counsel, Lever and Stolzenberg LLP $755,000 Supreme relation to car crash Isme v. NYCTA 1/13 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Motorist's U-turn ended Herbert Rodriguez Jr. of Gross Schwartz Goldstone & Campisi LLP $750,000 with bump by bus Banks v. City of New York 2/9 New York Motor Vehicle: Double-parked car didn't Jeffrey A. Guzman of Krentsel & Guzman $732,500 Supreme create an 'emergency,' plaintiff alleged Gonzalez v. American Steel Processing Co. 3/11 Suffolk Supreme Motor Vehicle: Tractor-trailer's crank struck Ted J. Tanenbaum of Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C. $712,000 user, caused blinding injury Heyliger v. Green 1/12 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Kid struck in crosswalk, Robert J. Bellinson of trial counsel, Wingate, Russotti & Shapiro LLP $695,000 driver claimed boy ran into his path Bouls v. New York City Transit Authority 9/29 New York Motor Vehicle: Man hit by bus claimed Norman R. Gershon of trial counsel, Harmon Linder & Rogowsky $675,000 Supreme carpal tunnel syndrome resulted Derilus v. Valentino 4/9 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Plaintiff claimed he tore Avi D. Caspi of Law Offices of Avi D. Caspi PLLC, Brooklyn, NY, trial $670,000 knee in vehicular accident counsel, Gary R. Weinberg Pagan v. O'Brien 5/11 Bronx Civil Motor Vehicle: Parkway accident caused Erica B. Sattler of of counsel, Harmon Linder & Rogowsky, Esqs. $650,000 herniated discs, plaintiff alleged Kline v. Abbey 8/12 Broome Su- Motor Vehicle: Man injured knee when hit Victoria Leib Lightcap of Finkelstein & Partners $583,509 preme by car that was struck in parking lot Richardson v. Caribbean Clear of Nassau Inc. 12/11 Nassau Supreme Motor Vehicle: Motorcyclist hit by truck, Joel Levine of Levine & Wiss $550,000 alleged herniated discs resulted Rhoden v. NYC Transit Authority 9/9 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Bus's driver drifted into col- Alan S. Ripka of Napoli Bern Ripka LLP $550,000 lision with bicyclist, suit alleged Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 33 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 33 4/21/10 3:40:52 PM
  • 34. -Continued from p33 Biology; Scranton, PA called by: tered by pediatrician Dr. Leroy Schwartz. risks, and that the product and its label had PLAINTIFF(S) Attorney: Benedict Morelli, Martin Edelman, Tenuto sued Schwartz and Orimune’s been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug • Martin W. Edelman; Edelman & Stanley Kops, Arthur Salmon manufacturer, Lederle Laboratories. Tenuto Administration. They claimed that infec- Edelman, P.C.; New York, NY, for alleged that Orimune was hazardous, that tions stemmed from merely one of each Dominick Tenuto • Lawrence Steinman M.D.; Pediatric Lederle Laboratories and Schwartz failed one-to-10 million injections. The defense’s Immunology; Stanford, CA called by: to provide warnings of the drug’s hazard- expert virologist opined that Orimune did • Stanley Kops; Law Offices of Stanley Martin Edelman, Benedict Morelli, ous condition, and that Schwartz’s failure not violate any federal regulations, and he Kops; Bala Cynwyd, PA, for Domin- Arthur Salmon, Stanley Kops constituted malpractice. also opined that Lederle Laboratories was ick Tenuto Schwartz died after the suit was filed. His not negligent in its distribution of the drug. • Carl Anderson M.D.; Internal defense was handled by his estate. Schwartz’s counsel contended that the doc- • Benedict P. Morelli; Morelli Ratner, Medicine; Staten Island, NY called by: Tenuto’s counsel claimed that Orimune tor acted in a medically responsible manner. P.C.; New York, NY, for Dominick Martin Edelman, Benedict Morelli, vaccinations contained type-I, type-II Tenuto Arthur Salmon, Stanley Kops and type-III live strains of the polio virus. Injury: Tenuto contracted the type-III strain of the Tenuto contracted paralytic poliomyelitis. • Arthur L. Salmon; Morelli Ratner, • Alan Lieken Ph.D.; Economics; virus. Tenuto’s counsel contended that the On June 22, 1979, he began to lose control P.C.; New York, NY, for Dominick Stony Brook, NY called by: Martin type-III strains originated from geneti- of his legs. He was transported to Staten Tenuto Edelman, Benedict Morelli, Arthur cally unstable lots that exceeded the federal Island University Hospital, in Richmond Salmon, Stanley Kops government’s “reference standard” for public County. As his disease progressed, he Expert: distribution. Tenuto’s expert virologist developed symmetrical paralysis of his legs, • Mona Yudkoff R.N., M.P.H., Facts: opined that the type-III virus entered Te- paralysis of his anal and urinary sphincters, C.R.R.N.; Life Care Planning; In May 1979, plaintiff Dominick Te- nuto’s daughter’s alimentary tract, reverted paresis of his arms, and respiratory distress. Bala Cynwyd, PA called by: Martin nuto, 31, a supervisor of a securities firm, to its wild form and entered the girl’s stool, He claimed that he feared that he would die Edelman, Benedict Morelli, Arthur contracted paralytic poliomyelitis, which is and Tenuto’s counsel contended that Led- or lapse into a permanent vegetative state. Salmon, Stanley Kops commonly termed “polio.” The virus was erle Laboratories was aware that such events He underwent about four months of ex- transmitted via a stool that Tenuto encoun- could occur. They argued that Schwartz tensive rehabilitation that was administered • Joseph Pagano M.D.; Infectious tered while changing his infant daughter’s and Lederle Laboratories failed to provide at The Rusk Institute for Rehabilitation Diseases; Chapel Hill, NC called by: diaper. The stool contained a live strain proper warnings of that potential hazard. Medicine, in Manhattan. Martin Edelman, Benedict Morelli, of the polio virus, and the virus’s presence Lederle Laboratories’ counsel contended Tenuto, now 61, is confined to a wheel- Arthur Salmon, Stanley Kops originated from a routine oral vaccination that Orimune was safe, that its label clearly chair. He attempted to resume work, but that Tenuto’s daughter had consumed. The explained that the administering doctor had his office could not accommodate wheel- • Michael Sulzinski Ph.D.; Molecular medication, Orimune, had been adminis- to disclose the product’s minute associated chair-bound employees. However, he has Motor Vehicle CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Coulibaly v. New York City Transit Authority 4/14 New York Motor Vehicle: Bike messenger became Christian M. McGannon of Budin, Reisman, Kupferberg & Bernstein LLP $525,000 Supreme pinned between bus and truck DeCristofaro v. Ormsby 4/9 Saratoga Su- Motor Vehicle: Highway crash caused neck David Taffany of Anderson, Moschetti & Taffany, PLLC $510,000 preme injury, plaintiff alleged Kasper v. Reynolds 9/29 Suffolk Supreme Motor Vehicle: Flutist claimed car crash led Andrew J. Fiore of Collado, Collado & Fiore, PLLC $500,000 to performance anxiety Estate of McHugh v. N.Y.C.T.A. 12/9 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Woman struck, killed by Christopher F. Downes & Andrew Murray of O'Dwyer & Bernstien, LLP $497,664 bus, estate alleged driver didn't yield Cabassa v. G & Sons Trans Inc. 11/16 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Motorist swept across traf- Justin M. Blitz of Schulman, Blitz & Williamson, LLP $470,000 fic, caused crash, plaintiff alleged Ahanonu v. JRS Trucking Service Inc. 3/5 Queens Su- Motor Vehicle: Trucker turned through red Stavros E. Sitinas of Wingate, Russotti & Shapiro, L.L.P. $467,500 preme light, caused crash, plaintiff alleged Nesci v. Romanelli 1/22 Nassau Supreme Motor Vehicle: Plaintiffs claimed rear-ender Joseph P. Campbell of Meltzer, Fishman, Madigan & Campbell $465,000 caused spinal injuries Zamora v. Zucker 6/12 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Parties debated car crash's Edward T. Cooper of Torgan & Cooper, P.C., of counsel, Weser & Weser, $461,600 link to spinal herniations P.C., Brooklyn, NY Rubin v. Herzberg 4/6 Queens Su- Motor Vehicle: Car crash aggravated Christopher Pagano of Slingsby, Sanders & Pagano; and Alexandra F. Pinilla $450,000 preme recent spinal fusion, plaintiff alleged of Law Offices of Morton Povman, P.C., Forest Hills, NY, trial counsel, Orlian & Levine, Bronx, NY Carcamo v. Stein 1/28 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Bicyclist and car collided at Ira M. Perlman of Garden City, NY, trial counsel, Reid B. Wissner, New $450,000 mouth of driveway York, NY Williams v. Louison 3/6 Monroe Su- Motor Vehicle: Crash on icy road unavoid- Craig H. Bernhardt of Nicholas, Perot, Smith, Bernhardt & Zosh $442,992 preme able, plaintiff alleged Santiago v. Cusco 5/19 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Head-on crash caused Scott J. Rothenberg & Bradley S. Hames of Law Firm of Allen L. Rothen- $438,600 many spinal injuries, plaintiff alleged berg Morgan v. Littles 6/26 Kings Civil Motor Vehicle: Plaintiff's injuries blamed on Michael E. Glynn of Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff $420,000 failure to utilize seat belt Savinon v. Gomez 6/10 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused knee, shin Hiram Anthony Raldiris of Eric Green & Associates $400,000 injuries, plaintiff alleged Rios v. Marinez 2/5 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Taxi's fare claimed her Stuart M. Rissoff of Law Offices of Stuart M. Rissoff $400,000 finger was broken by closing window 34 Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 34 4/21/10 3:40:52 PM
  • 35. performed about 20 years of volunteer work. that was provided by plaintiffs’ counsel. Saperstein construction on Jefferson Street in Brooklyn. Tenuto sought recovery of damages for Defense counsel did not respond to the Dustin Gordon Ph.D.; Neuropsychol- He was discovered lying unconscious on the his past and future pain and suffering. His reporter’s phone calls. ogy; Fair Lawn, NJ called by: Marc second floor of the building. Although no wife sought recovery of damages for her Saperstein one witnessed the fall and Angamarca had loss of consortium. no recollection of what happened, there was construction • Patricia Iyer M.S.N.; Pain & Suffering circumstantial evidence that he probably fell Verdict Information The jury rendered Evaluations; Flemington, NJ called two stories through an improperly covered Carpenter fell through skylight that wasn’t a mixed verdict. It found that Orimune by: Marc Saperstein skylight hole in the roof. Just prior to the properly covered was unreasonably dangerous, that Lederle fall, Angamarca and a co-worker were on Laboratories failed to adequately disclose • Edward Provder; Vocational Rehabili- the roof near the opening. There were only Verdict: (P) $20,000,000.00 the drug’s hazardous nature and, as such, tation/Counseling; Hackensack, NJ three pieces of plywood at the scene, two of Case Type: Labor Law, Slips, Trips & Falls that Lederle Laboratories was entirely called by: Marc Saperstein which covered the two openings in the roof. - Fall from Height, Construction - Acci- liable for Mr. Tenuto’s injuries. Schwartz’s More wood had been requested and was dents, Workplace - Labor Law, Workplace estate was not assigned liability. The jury • Jamie Williams Ph.D.; Bioengineer- being sent up by lift. He sustained multiple Safety determined that Tenuto’s damages totaled ing; Lancaster, PA called by: Marc fractures and a head injury. Case: Jorge Angamarca v. New York City $22.5 million. Saperstein Angamarca sued owner New York City Partnership Housing Development Fund Partnership Housing Development Fund comany Inc., No. 115471/2004 Dominick Tenuto • Douglas Cohen M.D.; Neurosur- Company Inc., developer Jefferson Town- Venue: Kings Supreme, NY $2,500,000 Personal Injury: Past Lost gery; New York, NY called by: Marc houses LLC, general contractor Novalex Judge: Karen S. Smith Earnings Capability Saperstein Contracting LLC and carpentry subcon- Date: 04-08-2009 $12,000,000 Personal Injury: Past Pain tractor Citywide contractors LLC pursuant And Suffering • Frank Tinari Ph.D.; Economics; to the provisions of New York’s Labor Law PLAINTIFF(S) Attorney: $2,500,000 Personal Injury: future medi- South Orange, NJ called by: Marc sec. 240(1) that imposes liability “[w]hen • Marc C. Saperstein; Davis, Saperstein cal cost (20 years) Saperstein the circumstances of a worker’s task create a & Salomon, P.C.; New York, NY, for $5,500,000 Personal Injury: future pain risk related to an elevation differential, a ba- Jorge Angamarca, Blanca A. Gu- and suffering (20 years) Facts: sis of the imposition of liability under Labor guancela Encolade Post-Trial: Lederle Laboratories’ counsel On Oct. 30, 2003, plaintiff Jorge Law sec. 240(1) is established. He did not has moved to set aside the verdict. Angamarca, early 30s, an undocumented sue his employer, Roadrunner Construction Expert: alien from Ecuador who worked as a carpen- Corp., which subcontracted with Citywide. • Ira Esformes M.D.; Orthopedic Editor’s Comments This report is based ter in New York, fell through a hole in a roof Plaintiff’s counsel argued that the circum- Surgery; Emerson, NJ called by: Marc on newswire articles and information of a residential townhouse project under -Continued on p36 Motor Vehicle CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Pichardo v. Mustafa 10/28 Bronx Civil Motor Vehicle: Parties debated whether Norman R. Gershon of trial counsel, Harmon Linder & Rogowsky $400,000 man's herniation was due to car crash Malloy v. VW Credit Leasing Ltd. 1/6 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused spinal Stuart M. Rissoff of Law Offices of Stuart M. Rissoff $400,000 injuries, plaintiff alleged Yousefzadeh v. Beyer Farms Inc. 11/29 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused back, Eitan A. Ogen & Natalie Sedaghati of Ogen & Sedaghati, P.C. $350,000 knee injuries, plaintiff alleged Roque v. Flores 12/16 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Auto shop's patron hurt in Lester R. Hill of trial counsel, Richard J. Katz, L.L.P. $350,000 multi-vehicle crash in garage Miller v. Premier Lincoln Mercury 9/22 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Boy hit by car needs surgi- Phil Castaldi of Lucarelli & Castaldi $350,000 cal adjustment of leg, suit alleged Lopez-Santos v. MTA 5/4 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Teen struck by bus sus- Kenneth E. Mangano of Ferro, Kuba, Bloom, Mangano, Gacovino & Lake, $350,000 tained back, knee, leg injuries P.C. Figueroa v. Rooania Limo Services Inc. 6/30 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Teacher claimed she can't Lennon C. Edwards of Leav & Steinberg, L.L.P. $350,000 work because of car crash's injury Moye v. St. Cyr 8/24 Erie Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash aggravated spinal James E. Morris of James E. Morris, Esq. $325,000 condition, plaintiff claimed Egan v. AllParking Management Inc. 5/11 New York Motor Vehicle: Plaintiff pinned when car Mitchell L. Korder of Eppinger, Reingold & Korder $300,000 Supreme backed out of control in garage Barkley v. Jean 12/16 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Speeding driver, failure to Stephen H. Jacobson of Hecht Kleeger Pintel & Damashek $300,000 yield caused crash, plaintiff alleged Echevarria v. Rodriguez 8/17 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused injuries of Jeffrey A. Rubin of Jeffrey A. Rubin & Associates, P.C. $300,000 hip and neck, plaintiff alleged Dimyan v. Freitas 1/20 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused back, Eitan A. Ogen of Ogen & Associates PC & Natalie Sedaghati of Sedaghati $275,000 shoulder injuries, plaintiff alleged & Associates PC Molina v. L.A. Taxi Inc. 3/27 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused spinal Jeffrey J. Schietzelt of Silverson, Pareres & Lombardi L.L.P $250,000 injuries, plaintiff alleged Lord v. Sakovich 12/16 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Motorist sped into inter- Elliot G. Budashewitz of trial counsel, Law Office of Craig Rosuck | Craig $250,000 section, caused crash, plaintiff alleged Rosuck of Law Office of Craig Rosuck Ligon v. Pereza Auto Corp 7/21 Queens Su- Motor Vehicle: Cab driver struck woman Dimitri Kotzamanis of Shaevitz & Shaevitz $250,000 preme while turning through intersection Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 35 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 35 4/21/10 3:40:53 PM
  • 36. -Continued from p35 skull, tibia, fibula, ulna, multiple ribs and Encolade, claimed loss of consortium. By Verdict Information The jury awarded stances of the accident makes a prima facie multiple vertebrae. He was found uncon- the time of trial the plaintiffs were legally $20 million. The three other defendants showing that he fell through a hole in the scious at the scene and he did not regain divorced and had reached a confidential and settled for $1 million each on the third day roof and that liability was therefore estab- consciousness until approximately three undisclosed agreement by which Angamarca of pretrial proceedings immediately prior to lished. He also relied upon expert testimony months later in January. agreed to pay her a portion of his previous jury selection. The plaintiff’s employer also that the nature of his injuries was consistent He also sustained a closed head injury, settlements. settled for $1 million. with having fallen through the skylight which ultimately left him with left side Defense counsel focused on the proper opening rather than from a lift as the de- visual neglect (an inability to mentally way to evaluate his future medical expenses. Jorge Angamarca fense suggest may have happened. process anything occurring in his left visual Defense counsel noted that Angamarca $1,531,172 Personal Injury: Past Medical Defense counsel argued that the plaintiff field). The blunt force trauma brain injuries admitted in depositions that prior to the Cost was likely the sole proximate cause of his resulted in extreme brain swelling. It was accident he and his wife had planned to $74,013 Personal Injury: Past Lost Earn- injuries and suggested that he toppled off initially treated with the installation of a bolt return to Ecuador for the rest of their lives ings Capability the nearby lift, rather than falling through drain to remove excess cranial fluids and after they had saved up $20,000. Defense $100,000 Personal Injury: Past Pain And an opening in the roof. (However, there was relieve pressure. When this proved insuf- counsel maintained that the jury should Suffering no evidence that plaintiff had been seen on ficient, a surgical procedure was performed evaluate his future medical expenses by the $16,721,684 Personal Injury: future medi- the lift prior to the accident or even that the whereby a portion of the skull was removed standards and projected expenses of Ecuador cal expenses (40 years) lift was on the roof at the time.). and there was a recession done to portions of where he would enjoy the benefit of social- $573,131 Personal Injury: future loss of Initial summary judgment motions as to the plaintiff’s right temporal lobe and right ized medicine. When the court would not earnings (23 years) liability made by both sides were denied. frontal lobe. The surgical opening remained allow this direct argument to be made, the $1,000,000 Personal Injury: loss of enjoy- But on interlocutory appeal the plaintiff was open for a three-month period, during defense sought to at least cross-examine the ment of life (40 years) granted summary judgment on liability and which the removed portion of the plaintiff’s plaintiff’s economic experts as to whether the all of the defendants were denied dis- skull was implanted into his abdomen where they had taken into consideration the lower Post-Trial: Judgment was entered against missal of the claims against them. Angama- it remained until it was reattached to the future medical costs that the plaintiff would Jefferson Townhouses for $16 million after rca settled with all of the defendants except skull in May. actually incur in the event, if not likelihood, credit was given for the settling defen- Jefferson Townhouses. Each of the settling The plaintiff also underwent spinal sur- that he returned to Ecuador. That approach dants. The available insurance coverage defendants owed indemnification to Jef- gery with the insertion of plates and screws to the issue was not allowed by the trial was $10 million. Jefferson Townhouses has ferson Townhouses. The plaintiff promised for process and compression fractures to court either, but the court was relying largely made unsuccessful motions for a new trial to hold harmless and indemnify the settling cervical and thoracic vertebrae. on procedural grounds having to do with and the verdict is now being appealed. The defendants from all claims arising from the The plaintiff claimed severe cognitive the timeliness of the argument. plaintiff has also made post-trial applica- accident. The case proceeded to trial against deficit as a residual to his brain trauma and The defense also challenged the plain- tions alleging bad faith for the failure of Jefferson Townhouses on damages only. was described as being intellectually and tiff’s claims of cognitive deficit by showing the defendant’s carrier to tender its entire mentally incapable of taking care of himself that even though no one disputed that he policy, which will be the subject of a cross- Injury: and his affairs for the rest of his life. spoke no English prior to the accident, he appeal. Angamarca fell two stories and bounced By the time of trial, the plaintiff was am- managed to gain fluency in English during off various landing and protrusions of bulatory but walked with a severely awkward his long convalescence without any formal Editor’s Comments This report is based the interior building structure on the and restricted gate. instruction or attempt to do so. on information that was provided by way down. He sustained fractures to his The plaintiff’s wife, Bianca Guguancela plaintiff’s and defense counsel. Motor Vehicle CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Mari v. Roma 9/3 Orange Motor Vehicle: Car crash led to disability, Kristine Cahill of Finklestein & Partners $244,000 Supreme retirement, plaintiff alleged Cruz v. Idris 4/30 New York Motor Vehicle: Parties debated whether Fabien Robley of Friedman, Khafif & Sanchez LLP, trial counsel, Morris $228,500 Supreme woman was hit by car or simply fell Handler Gallicano v. Levine 8/25 Westchester Motor Vehicle: Woman hit by car, claimed Benjamin Robinson of Ziegler & Robinson & Brad A. Kauffman, trial $225,000 Supreme injuries of shoulder, wrist counsel Lockward v. Garcia 5/13 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Van crashed into home's Alex A. Omrani of Omrani & Taub, P.C. $225,000 bedroom, injured resident Schroeder v. New York City Transit Authority 11/6 New York Motor Vehicle: Bicyclist claimed bus Paul J. Campson of Campson & Campson, White Plains, NY, trial counsel $200,000 Supreme changed lanes, crushing foot to Worby Groner Edelman LLP Ciaramella v. Law 4/30 New York Motor Vehicle: Traffic accident caused Jason Krakower of Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm, P.C. $200,000 Supreme spine, shoulder injuries, plaintiff alleged Mejia v. McCuffrey 10/6 Queens Civil Motor Vehicle: Motorist ignored stop sign, Andrew P. Wiese of Sacco & Fillas LLP $200,000 caused crash, plaintiff alleged Gonzalez v. Bentivegna 1/21 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Head-on crash caused back, Jonathan Silver $200,000 knee, wrist injuries, driver alleged Blandino v. Diaz 5/6 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Vehicular collision caused Paul Ehrlich of Joseph T. Mullen, Jr. & Associates $200,000 neck injuries, plaintiff alleged Gannon v. Liebergall 2/6 Rockland Motor Vehicle: Plaintiff claimed he was hit Jeffrey J. Keegan of Keegan, Keegan, Keegan & Strutt $195,000 Supreme while motorist drove away from ticket Gold v. Weinstein 3/6 Nassau Supreme Motor Vehicle: Reversing motorist struck Glenn L. Sabele of Elovich & Adell, and Andrew M. Laskin of Robinson & $186,000 two, plaintiffs claimed he didn't look Yablon, P.C. Acosta v. City Limits Corp. 5/18 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Parties disputed multi- Stephen Z. Williamson of Schulman, Blitz & Williamson, LLP, New York, NY, $175,000 vehicle crash's link to man's herniation trial counsel, Elliot Ifraimoff & Associates, P.C., Forest Hills, NY 36 Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 36 4/21/10 3:40:54 PM
  • 37. Motor Vehicle CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Liounis v. NYCTA 12/21 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Bus, car collided in tunnel, Gerald G. Arze of Arze & Mollica, LLP, trial counsel, Bisogno & Meyerson $175,000 driver's lane change blamed Oakes v. Williams 12/4 Ulster Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused back, face, John G. Rusk of Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, L.L.P. $170,000 neck injuries, plaintiff claimed Caussade v. Sirett 11/18 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Multi-vehicle crash caused Laurence M. Savedoff of Laurence M. Savedoff, P.L.L.C. $150,000 spinal injuries, plaintiff alleged Tejeda v. Candelario 12/14 Suffolk Supreme Motor Vehicle: Rear-ender caused addi- Jonathan A. Baum of Siben & Siben, LLP $150,000 tional injuries to spine, plaintiff alleged Kaiser v. DeGeorge 4/15 Suffolk Supreme Motor Vehicle: Gas-station fender bender David M. Strano of Miller, Montiel & Strano, P.C. $150,000 injured spine, plaintiff alleged Ganaishlal v. Santiago 3/18 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused shoulder, Brian C. Mardon of Spiegel & Barbato, LLP $150,000 spine injuries, plaintiff alleged Escamilla v. Horbach 11/16 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Woman hit by van, claimed Gary R. Small of Cannon & Acosta, L.L.P. $150,000 turning motorist didn't yield Padilla v. Tam 10/30 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Single-car crash caused Justin S. Blash of Terilli & Tintle, PLLC $150,000 neck injury, plaintiff alleged Pabon v. Cerda 8/25 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Man claimed back and wrist Eliot M. Wolf of Wolf & Fuhrman, L.L.P., trial counsel to Michael Naimark $150,000 injured when struck by taxi of Naimark & Tannenbaum Mendez v. Staple 8/4 Westchester Motor Vehicle: Car crash's parties debated Mark A. Siesel of trial counsel, Dominick J. Robustelli $150,000 Supreme status of traffic signal Manges v. Dommer 1/28 Erie Supreme Motor Vehicle: Man's leg, pelvis broken John C. Murrett of Cellino & Barnes $150,000 when car was hit and spun into hydrant McRae v. MVAIC 2/6 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Bicyclist claimed spine was Russell Librizzi & Matthew Gaisi of Lozner & Mastropietro $140,000 displaced in crash with car Akamnonu v. Rivera 2/4 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Plaintiff alleged car crash Dion Sankar of Weisman & Calderon, Mount Vernon, NY, trial counsel, $135,000 caused neck injuries Mark E. Weinberger, Great Neck, NY Shooshani v. Mittenthal 4/24 Nassau Supreme Motor Vehicle: Man hit by car claimed William Bellard of Marshall & Bellard, trial counsel, Omrani & Taub, P.C., $125,000 back, knee, shoulder injuries New York, NY Cariddi v. Hassan 5/14 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Vehicle bounced out of Louis J. Cerrato of Frommer & Cerrato, LLP $125,000 collision and struck woman Jones v. Ribeiro 5/18 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Bicycle messenger claimed Alison R. Keenan of Burns & Harris $122,000 passing car turned into him Kuse v. John 6/3 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused spinal Edward J. Pavia of Jonathan D'Agostino & Associates $120,000 injuries, plaintiff alleged Miller v. Kardamis 3/31 New York Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused back, rib, Kim H. Townsend of trial counsel, Levy & Levy $111,500 Supreme shoulder injuries, plaintiff alleged Sanchez v. Stewart 6/2 Suffolk Supreme Motor Vehicle: Plaintiff's jaw injury not Leonard J. Tartamella of Law Offices of Leonard J. Tartamella $105,000 serious, defense contended Felix v. Dubois 12/8 Queens Su- Motor Vehicle: Plaintiff claimed spinal Carolyn M. Canzoneri of Morici & Morici, LLP $105,000 preme injuries were caused by car crash Jose v. Lopez 11/6 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Motorist ignored stop sign, Joshua Goldblatt of Jacob Oresky & Associates, PLLC $100,000 caused crash, plaintiff alleged Barksdale v. Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnifi- 12/9 New York Civil Motor Vehicle: Girl hit by car claimed scars Carletha S. Parkinson of Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff $100,000 cation Corp. of back and face Biehl v. Lewinter 5/19 Suffolk Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused spinal Craig Holland of Agoglia, Holland & Agoglia PC $100,000 injuries, plaintiff alleged Baron v. Kim 1/15 New York Motor Vehicle: Woman and car collided, Richard M. Steigman of Gair, Gair, Conason, Steigman and Mackauf $100,000 Supreme parties argued who struck whom Karash v. Adetunji 5/5 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Sideswipe car collision led David H. Mayer & Howard R. Borowick of Sacks & Sacks LLP $100,000 to spinal fusion, plaintiff alleged Sutherland v. Knickerbocker Management LLC 6/23 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused back, Adam Handler of Law Offices of Spar & Bernstein $100,000 knee, shoulder injuries, plaintiff alleged Smith v. Dwyer 5/7 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Plaintiff claimed hit by SUV Scott Goldman of trial counsel, Thomas W. Russo PC $100,000 caused back, neck injuries Bordonaro v. Librizzo 6/30 Suffolk Supreme Motor Vehicle: Motorist ran red light, Franklin Braunstein of Frank J. Laine, P.C. $100,000 caused crash, plaintiff alleged Smith v. Chaudhry 6/4 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Motorist's wide turn led to Reza Rezvani of Rezvani Law Firm, New York, NY, trial counsel, Roth & $100,000 crash, plaintiff claimed Roth, LLP Ramirez v. Menendez 3/26 Suffolk Supreme Motor Vehicle: Plaintiff claimed driver sped Jay W. Dankner of Dankner & Milstein, P.C. $100,000 through red light, caused crash Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 37 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 37 4/21/10 3:40:55 PM
  • 38. Motor Vehicle CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Morrison v. Balan 3/17 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Driver ignored stop sign, Justin Brandel of David Resnick & Associates, P.C. $100,000 caused crash, plaintiff alleged Jacas v. Douglas 2/25 Queens Su- Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused spinal Leigh D. Eskenasi of Louis Grandelli, PC $100,000 preme injuries, plaintiff alleged Moody v. Numbers Operating Corp. 11/24 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Bicyclist, taxi collided when Christopher J. Donadio of Burns & Harris $100,000 streets merged Miller v. Barry 4/28 Suffolk Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash's injuries led to Jonathan A. Baum of Siben & Siben, LLP $100,000 loss of business, plaintiff alleged Lee v. Burton 4/3 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused shoulder Matthew Sakkas of Sakkas & Cahn, LLP $95,000 tear, plaintiff alleged Campoverde v. Rothkopf 10/22 Nassau Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused injury of Regina C. Nichols of Nichols & Cane LLP $81,878 shoulder, plaintiff claimed Spooner-Morgan v. Heath 1/20 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash's parties each Julio Cesar Roman of Elliot Ifraimoff & Associates $75,000 claimed other ignored stop sign Gordon v. DiCarlo 10/14 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Plaintiff claimed car crash Joseph Gaba of Robert A. Flaster, P.C. $75,000 caused bulging discs Arcuri v. McDonald 10/21 Nassau Supreme Motor Vehicle: Dance instructor claimed Leonard B. Chipkin of Sackstein, Sackstein & Lee $75,000 car crash ended teaching career Puleo v. Burnich 7/11 Erie Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused spinal Leonard D. Zaccagnino of Shaw & Shaw P.C. $75,000 injuries, plaintiff claimed Minzer v. Dinome 7/9 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused neck Richard K. Hershman of Law Office of Richard K. Hershman PLLC $75,000 injuries, plaintiff alleged Pirraglia v. Thompson 1/15 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Man involved in car crash James F. Cirrincione $75,000 alleged injuries of shoulder Boado-Grauer v. Sciara 9/8 Suffolk Supreme Motor Vehicle: Multi-vehicle crash caused Glenn Auletta of Gruenberg & Kelly, P.C. $75,000 shoulder injury, plaintiff claimed Dallek v. Meade 6/23 Suffolk Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused neck Edward J. Yule of the Law Office of Edward J. Yule, P.C., $75,000 injuries, plaintiff alleged Grosso v. Maccabee 10/16 Suffolk Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused perma- JoAn Abreu of Siben & Siben $73,500 nent spinal injuries, plaintiff claimed Hicks v. Geico General Insurance Co. 9/18 Erie Supreme Motor Vehicle: Head-on crash caused Boyd L. Earl of Law Offices of Eugene C. Tenney $65,668 neck, shoulder injuries, motorist alleged Buggeln v. Lue 1/6 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Plaintiff hit by car, parties Pablo A. Sosa of Law Office of William A. Gallina $65,000 disputed whether injuries ensued Nieves v. Paduano 12/14 Queens Motor Vehicle: Car crash's parties disputed Anselmo A. Alegria $65,000 Supreme right of way Dexter v. Allegra 2/6 Dutchess Motor Vehicle: Plaintiff claimed car crash's John J. Basso of Basso & Associates P.C. $62,500 Supreme fracture led to second fracture Merchan v. Martinez 6/1 Queens Motor Vehicle: Woman struck by car, Jonathan Davis of Mallilo & Grossman $60,000 Supreme alleged injuries of spine Retana v. Fusco 12/8 Westchester Motor Vehicle: Motorist's hasty turn Jordan Rice of Rice & Rice, Esqs. $60,000 Supreme caused crash, plaintiff alleged Jimenez v. Dibra 7/28 Queens Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused spinal David S. Dender of Kahn, Gordon, Timko & Rodriques, P.C. $55,000 Supreme injuries, plaintiff alleged Harry v. Aiyekoto 4/20 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash's parties both Justin D. Brandel of David Resnick & Associates, PC $55,000 claimed right of way Booker v. Stitt 2/17 Erie Supreme Motor Vehicle: Cars collided, each driver John C. Murrett of Cellino & Barnes $52,250 claimed other didn't yield Levy v. Bhim 9/23 Queens Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused jaw, Joseph Soffer of Joseph Soffer, Esq. $52,135 Supreme shoulder, spinal injuries, plaintiff alleged Ciccarelli v. Bronleben 5/1 Suffolk Supreme Motor Vehicle: Multi-car crash caused neck Steven B. Ewall of Ewall & Ewall $51,000 injury, plaintiff alleged Turan v. Sahin 4/27 Suffolk Supreme Motor Vehicle: Passenger in car claimed David N. Sloan of Hicksville, NY, trial counsel to Kupillas & Unger, Great $50,000 accident caused knee injury Neck, NY Mendez v. Queens Plumbing Supply Inc. 1/7 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Taxi's fare claimed crash Wesley M. Serra of Irom, Wittels, Freund, Berne & Serra PC, trial counsel, $50,000 caused injuries of back, neck Law Office of Frederic B. Potack Spinell v. Cannati 5/6 Suffolk Supreme Motor Vehicle: Motorist's hasty shift Brian P. Hickey & David Kritzer of Law Offices of Kritzer & Preston $50,000 caused crash, plaintiff alleged Bengaly v. Singh 10/21 Queens Motor Vehicle: Rear-ender caused serious Heidi L. Wickstrom of Gary B. Pillersdorf & Associates, P.C. $50,000 Supreme knee injuries, plaintiff alleged 38 Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 38 4/21/10 3:40:56 PM
  • 39. Motor Vehicle CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Osborne v. Vasquez 6/5 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Driver ignored stop sign, Roy C. Gordon of Costella & Gordon LLP $50,000 caused crash, plaintiff alleged Fantine v. Marz 12/2 Suffolk Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused back, Edwin Miller of Campbell & Miller $50,000 neck injuries, plaintiff alleged Keller v. Grzegorski 5/11 Queens Motor Vehicle: Motorist claimed loss of Joseph R. Crafa of Of counsel, Desena & Associates, LLP $50,000 Supreme consciousness led to crash Marshall v. Carbone 9/21 Westchester Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused arm, neck Wilbert Ramos of Law Office of Wilbert Ramos, Warwick, NY, trial coun- $50,000 Supreme injuries, plaintiff alleged sel, Peter E. Tangredi & Associates, White Plains, NY Paladini v. Bautista 11/17 Westchester Motor Vehicle: Woman hit by SUV claimed Jonathan S. Klein of Marcus Ollman & Kommer, LLP $45,000 Supreme she fractured foot Grant v. Guzman 3/24 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Plaintiff claimed crash at Keith A. Hawthorne $40,000 traffic light caused knee injury Williams v. Bay Express Inc. 7/10 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Seat belt use at issue in Glenn Auletta of Gruenberg & Kelly, P.C. $40,000 crash involving livery cab Pecce v. Kazaks 4/17 Suffolk Supreme Motor Vehicle: Plaintiff claimed car crash Michael F. Villeck of Sanders, Sanders, Block & Woycik, P.C. $40,000 caused spinal injury Mastakas v. Wing Keung Enterprises Inc. 4/22 Queens Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused back, Adam Weiss of Russo, Darnell & Lodato, Esqs. $36,000 Supreme knee, neck injuries, plaintiff claimed Borok v. New York City Transit Authority 6/17 New York Motor Vehicle: Bus's passenger claimed Reza Rezwani of Of Counsel, Frekhtman & Associates $35,089 Supreme violent jolt caused fall Sorto-Moran v. Dominguez 2/3 Suffolk Supreme Motor Vehicle: Man hit by van that JoAn Abreu of Siben & Siben LLP $35,000 mounted curb while driver battled wasp Googas v. Jeffrey 1/13 Albany Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused shoulder Charles A. Sarris of Kouray & Kouray $35,000 injuries, plaintiff claimed Nunez v. Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnifica- 10/19 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Parties debated whether Andrea Borden of Burns & Harris $34,600 tion Corp. woman was hit by car or tripped Estevez v. Cappuccia 1/7 Queens Motor Vehicle: Plaintiff clipped by truck, Robert J. Walker of Gallagher, Walker & Bianco $30,000 Supreme claimed driver inexperienced Okonta v. Jhoan Fausto Auto Corp 5/13 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Taxi's fare claimed crash Peter A. Frankel of Of counsel, Koenigsburg & Associates, P.C. $30,000 caused neck, shoulder injuries Gillespie v. Goetz 3/11 Queens Motor Vehicle: Plaintiff claimed motorist Andrew P. Wiese of Sacco & Fillas, LLP $30,000 Supreme hit his vehicle three times Koerber v. Merrill 10/29 Suffolk Supreme Motor Vehicle: Multi-vehicle crash caused David Kaufman of Tinari, O'Connell, Osborn & Kaufman, LLP $30,000 neck injuries, plaintiff alleged Magid v. Yager 11/16 Oneida Supreme Motor Vehicle: Plaintiff fractured vertebra Michael W. Harris of Harris & Panels $25,000 in car crash Garafola v. Comes 8/3 Kings Civil Motor Vehicle: Parties debated identity of Gregory T. Cerchione of Subin Associates, LLP $25,000 alleged hit-and-run driver Cichon v. Kendrick 1/23 Suffolk Supreme Motor Vehicle: Driver crossed center line, Frank S. Russell of Lite & Russell $25,000 caused crash, plaintiff alleged Brooks v. Robinson 8/17 Dutchess Motor Vehicle: Man hit by car claimed John W. Keegan, Jr. of Keegan, Keegan & Strutt $25,000 Supreme vascular deficiencies resulted Bergollo v. City of New York 6/25 Queens Motor Vehicle: Car crash's parties all Peter T. Moynihan of Sacks & Sacks $25,000 Supreme claimed right of way Furman v. Rollocks 1/13 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Plaintiff claimed he was hit Agatino LaTorre of Taller & Wizman, P.C. $25,000 by car, driver argued otherwise Centeno v. Santana 1/29 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused spinal Matthew W. Saliba of Newman & Okun $25,000 injuries, plaintiff alleged Dellas v. Calabria 2/25 Kings Civil Motor Vehicle: Plaintiff claimed his car was Mary Ann Candelario-Jones of Picciano & Scahill, P.C. $25,000 hit while he waited to park Plummer v. Good Bread Bakery & Cafe Limited 3/18 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Plaintiff claimed spinal Allen C. Goodman of Rubenstein & Rynecki $20,000 Partnership injuries, constant pain, after car crash Jenney v. Tapia 10/26 Westchester Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused fractures Nelson E. Canter of Canter Law Firm P.C. $20,000 Supreme of three ribs, plaintiff alleged Austrie v. Jeannot 8/11 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused back, Russell Librizzi of Lozner & Mastropietro $20,000 neck, shoulder injuries, plaintiff alleged Beisel v. Liotta 2/25 Suffolk Supreme Motor Vehicle: Driver's hasty actions Frank M. Maffei, Jr. of Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, $20,000 caused crash, plaintiff claimed LLP, St. James, NY, trial counsel, Nils Hunter Berlin, P.C., East Islip, NY Portillo v. Thompson 4/21 Nassau Supreme Motor Vehicle: Motorist claimed worker Robert B. Taylor of Rovegno & Taylor, P.C. $19,500 walked into path of her vehicle Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 39 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 39 4/21/10 3:40:57 PM
  • 40. Motor Vehicle CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Dipaola v. Mercado 8/3 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Motorist ignored stop sign, Michael Arce of The Arce Law Office $16,000 caused crash, plaintiff alleged Locke v. Kim 3/12 Nassau Supreme Motor Vehicle: Defense contended motor- Brian Gunn of Cerussi & Gunn PC $13,500 ist's hasty turn caused crash Radder v. Rebmann 3/20 Erie Supreme Motor Vehicle: Plaintiffs claimed vehicular Lawrence A. Perot of Nicholas, Perot & Strauss $12,500 crash caused spinal injuries Quakrim v. Florez 1/22 Queens Civil Motor Vehicle: Collision at traffic signal Laurence L. Love $10,000 caused spinal injuries, plaintiff claimed Safuto v. Alicea 9/21 Queens Su- Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused neck Jason M. Murphy of Daniel P. Buttafuoco & Associates $10,000 preme injuries, plaintiff alleged Young v. Afong 1/15 Kings Supreme Motor Vehicle: Car crash caused spinal Benjamin M. Pinczewski of trial counsel, Dinara Maylov & Associates $7,000 injuries, plaintiffs alleged Cancilla v. McDonell 1/14 Erie Supreme Motor Vehicle: Woman claimed she was Paul A. Bender of Bender, Crawford & Bender $5,000 hit by car in parking lane Lewis v. Sheth 11/4 Bronx Supreme Motor Vehicle: Parties disputed highway Carletha S. Parkinson of Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff, PLLC $5,000 accident's link to neck injuries Petrillo v. Hi-Tek United Corp. 2/10 Kings Civil Motor Vehicle: Car wash's customer Harlan A. Wittenstein of Wittenstein & Associates, P.C. $3,500 claimed worker crashed into him Motor Vehicle - Road Defects CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Belmer v. HHM Associates Inc. 1/26 New York Motor Vehicle - Road Defects: Work crew Edward W. Armstrong of Edward W. Armstrong, P.C. $1,675,174 Supreme left hazardous hole in street, driver alleged Ryan v. City of New York 9/23 Queens Su- Motor Vehicle - Road Defects: Motor- Neil A. Zirlin of Law Office of Joseph T. Mullen, Jr. & Associates $447,640 preme cyclist's crash blamed on long-ignored defects of road Negligence CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Jones v. C.O.N.Y. 2/13 Bronx Supreme Negligence: Corpse mix-up forced crema- Denise M. Dunleavy of Kramer & Dunleavy, LLP $800,000 tion, rather than burial Rojas v. Franco 7/29 Westchester Negligence: Flooded condo blamed on Francis M. DeCaro $50,000 Supreme old, neglected washing machine Smith v. Palmer 2/3 Suffolk Supreme Negligence: Partygoer claimed booze, Frank Panetta of Massimo & Panetta $45,500 rowdy guests led to slashing Vermeal v. Liner Specialists Inc. 4/20 Dutchess Negligence: Homeowner, contractor Joel D. Hanig of Hanig & Schutzman, LLP $19,000 Supreme argued over leveling of inground pool Nursing Homes CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Estate of Danzy v. Brooklyn-Queens Nursing 12/18 Kings Supreme Nursing Homes: Fatal infection called Dennis J. Kelly & David Grossman of Kelly, Grossman & Flanagan, LLP $18,750,000 Home Inc. product of nurses' neglect Personal Property CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Burton v. County of Onondaga 5/20 Onondaga Personal Property: Jewelry lost during William R. Morgan of William R. Morgan & Associates, P.C. $18,143 Supreme brief detainment, arrestee alleged Premises Liability CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Schaefer v. City of New York 11/27 New York Premises Liability: Policeman hurt during Gary B. Pillersdorf of trial counsel to Keith D. Silverstein of Silverstein & $5,340,584 Supreme evacuation of stalled elevator Stern, LLP Denis v. National Railroad Passenger Corp. 1/12 U.S. District Premises Liability: Man tripped by rope Alan R. Chorne $3,950,000 Court, Southern that was dangling from train station's roof District 40 Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 40 4/21/10 3:40:58 PM
  • 41. Premises Liability CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Turuseta v. Wyassup-Laurel Glen Corp. 6/19 Westchester Premises Liability: Building's operators James J. Killerlane & Christina M. Killerlane of Killerlane Law Offices $3,750,000 Supreme ignored hazardous doorway, suit alleged Juela v. Pinnacle Amsterdam LLC 10/19 New York Premises Liabilty: Improperly stored Vito A. Cannavo of Sullivan, Papain, Block, McGrath & Cannavo P.C. $3,385,000 Supreme combustibles ignited and propagated due to inadequate bomber hinges on fire doors Blainey v. Metro Nrth CMMTR RRA 1/29 Bronx Supreme Premises Liability: Man plummeted 40 feet Mark S. Pruzan of Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald, P.C. $3,160,000 when overpass's fence collapsed Mendez-Leguillou v. City of New York 1/23 Kings Supreme Premises Liability: Plaintiff claimed defec- Dominic DiPrisco of Decolator, Cohen & DiPrisco LLP $2,626,350 tive filing cabinet fell on hand Dumitriu v. 4525/4555 Apartments Corp. 6/23 Bronx Supreme Premises Liability: Building's tenant claimed James Culleton of Culleton, Marinaccio & Foglia $2,500,000 basement ramp a hazard Colon v. New York Eye Surgery Associates, P.C. 1/14 Bronx Supreme Premises Liability: Plaintiff claimed she fell Seth A. Harris & Alison R. Keenan of Burns & Harris $2,253,714 off of sidewalk's edge, fractured ankle Marshall v. M.T.A. Bridges & Tunnels 10/21 Bronx Supreme Premises Liability: Pothole patch not al- Ronald C. Burke of Kelner & Kelner $2,066,974 lowed to cure, plaintiff alleged Williams v. NYCTA 8/17 Kings Supreme Premises Liability: Subway station's patron Frank Melendez of Subin Associates, LLC $1,651,492 alleged she tripped on broken step Figueroa v. Van Cort Owners Inc. 5/26 Bronx Supreme Premises Liability: Residence's manager Howard G. Frederick of Silbowitz, Garafola, Silbowitz, Schatz & Frederick, $1,500,000 didn't clear icy lot, tenant alleged LLP D'Amore v. MetLife Inc. 3/19 New York Premises Liability: Plaintiff claimed she Christopher A. Seeger & Marc S. Albert of Seeger Weiss LLP $1,400,000 Supreme slipped in puddle in building's lobby Mancuso v. J & Velco Co., LP 3/11 Bronx Supreme Premises Liability: Trapdoor left open took Daniel P. Buttafuoco of Buttafuoco & Associates, P.L.L.C. $1,284,953 delivery person by surprise Chase v. OHM LLC 8/28 Sullivan Supreme Premises Liability: Hotel didn't clear icy Steven I. Milligram of Tarshis, Catania, Liberth, Mahon & Milligram, PLLC $1,065,000 parking lot, plaintiff alleged Torres v. St. Joseph's Medical Center 3/25 Westchester Premises Liability: Landlord, not docs, liable Alberto Casadevall of Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald, P.C. $1,050,000 Supreme for kids' deficits, defense argued Grant v. Steel Equities, Inc 4/22 Kings Supreme Premises Liability: Parking lot not properly Edward C. Tuozzo $1,020,000 lighted, plaintiff alleged Varone v. Jag Boys Inc. 2/6 Westchester Premises Liability: Butcher claimed ma- Douglas R. Dollinger & Doug Jones of Douglas R. Dollinger & Associates $940,000 Supreme chine's solvent caused slip and fall Quintin v. Stop & Shop Supermarket Co., LLC 3/10 Westchester Premises Liability: Store's string-controlled $940,000 Supreme elevator a hazard, man alleged Adornetto v. Waldbaum Inc. 6/17 Suffolk Supreme Premises Liability: Supermarket's staff Edmond C. Chakmakian of Law Offices of Edmond C. Chakmakian, P.C. $875,000 didn't warn of wet floor, patron alleged Purkiss-Riddle v. New York City Transit 10/26 Queens Premises Liability: Faulty escalator handrail Michael J. Hurwitz of David Horowitz P.C. $811,621 Authority Supreme caused plaintiff ’s knee injury Rodriguez v. Salvation Army 11/2 Bronx Supreme Premises Liability: Homeless shelter lax Stuart M. Rissoff $775,000 with violent resident, suit alleged Jones v. Ann-Gur Realty Corp. 6/17 Bronx Supreme Premises Liability: Plaintiff claimed poorly Wade Turnbull of Jacob Oresky & Associates, PLLC $585,860 installed cabinet fell onto her Rolle v. Harlem West II Development Fund Co. 3/16 Kings Supreme Premises Liability: Building's managers Thomas S. LoBue of trial counsel, Katz & Kern $500,000 Inc. ignored cracked step, plaintiff alleged Bonafede v. City of New York New York 12/17 Kings Supreme Premises Liability: Sanitation worker Jeffrey A. Guzman of Krentsel & Guzman LLP $500,000 claimed he slipped on oil slick in station Solano v. Rincon Latino Restaurant Bar Inc. 4/16 New York Premises Liability: Lax security led to Nolan Matz of trial counsel, Craig L. Davidowitz, P.C. $452,000 Supreme shooting at restaurant, suit alleged Sobers v. LoPresti 3/25 Kings Civil Premises Liability: Home's caretaker Christopher L. Vargas of Bader, Yakaitis & Nonnenmacher, LLP $450,000 claimed dark, cluttered stairway a hazard Donlick v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. 9/29 Broome Su- Premises Liability: Plaintiff falls in Wal-Mart Ronald R. Benjamin of Law Offices of Ronald R. Benjamin $422,000 preme parking lot, claims pothole the cause Lipp v. Port Authority of New York and New 2/11 Queens Su- Premises Liability: Woman tripped on Stephen I. Widlitz of Widlitz & Stern PC $400,000 Jersey preme uninstalled traffic sign in airport's lot Burgos v. 205 E.D. Food Corp. 7/2 Bronx Supreme Premises Liability: Supermarket's patron Robert Vilensky of Ronemus & Vilensky $377,500 claimed she tripped on stray box Luberda v. Ball, Bounce & Sport Inc. 9/11 Albany Supreme Premises Liability: Ball explosion in store James B. Tuttle $300,000 caused brain injury, plaintiff alleged Valdez v. 2020 Grand Realty L.L.C. 12/17 Bronx Supreme Premises Liability: Child poisoned by years Alberto Casadevall of Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald, P.C. $293,834 of exposure to lead, mother alleged Diaferia v. Cedarhurst Paper Corp. 3/13 Queens Su- Premises Liability: Store's entry ramp too Frank A. Ross of Dinkes & Schwitzer $234,931 preme difficult to see, plaintiff alleged Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 41 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 41 4/21/10 3:40:59 PM
  • 42. Premises Liability CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Juliano v. Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. 1/9 Erie Supreme Premises Liability: Store's patron struck by Sean Kelley of Law Offices of Roland M. Cercone $210,000 falling merchandise Espinosa v. JMG Realty Corp. 1/16 New York Premises Liability: Plaintiff tripped on fuel- Joseph S. Rosato of Rosato & Lucciola, P.C., trial counsel, Michelstein & $210,000 Supreme tank cap that protruded above sidewalk Greenberg, L.L.P. Chavez v. Atoloko 3/17 Bronx Supreme Premises Liability: Plaintiff: Neighboring Ira M. Perlman of Garden City, NY, trial counsel, Reid B. Wissner, New $200,000 building owners ignored broken driveway York, NY Vardoulias v. Nassau 11/4 Nassau Supreme Premises Liability: County long neglected Andrew C. Laufer of Law Office of Andrew C. Laufer, PLLC $200,000 sidewalk, plaintiff alleged Rivera v. NYC Transit Authority 2/24 Bronx Supreme Premises Liability: Broken step was Richard M. Altman $200,000 ignored for a year, subway's patron alleged Leiserowitz v. City of New York 5/14 Kings Supreme Premises Liability: City ignored hazardous Neal B. Forman $200,000 sidewalk, plaintiff alleged McDonald v. Long Island Rail Road 1/27 Queens Premises Liability: Railroad ignored large Andrew B. Siben of Siben & Siben LLP $175,000 Supreme gap at station's platform, suit alleged Marinelli v. 181 South Franklin Associates Inc. 7/9 Kings Supreme Premises Liability: Building's stairway a Seth M. Katz of Baron & Associates, P.C. $160,000 recurrent hazard, worker alleged Blaskey v. City N.Y. 5/29 Bronx Supreme Premises Liability: City ignored sunken Donte O. Mills of Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo P.C. $150,000 manhole cover, plaintiff alleged Dawson v. New York City Transit Authority 6/4 Queens Civil Premises Liability: Subway station's broken Bret L. Myerson of Sacco & Fillas, LLP $130,000 escalator ignored, suit alleged Lerner v. NYC Transit Authority 6/9 New York Premises Liability: Subway station's David P. Lesch of Lesch & Lesch $125,000 Supreme cracked tiles a hazard, plaintiff alleged Jankoff v. Recess Restaurant Inc. 1/21 New York Premises Liability: Woman toppled when Denise M. Dunleavy of Kramer & Dunleavy, LLP $100,000 Supreme cellar doors opened beneath her feet Perez v. City of New York 3/11 Bronx Supreme Premises Liability: Skating park's corroded Louis A. Pratt of Nyack, NY, trial counsel, Lloyd F. Goldstein $80,000 ramp a hazard, plaintiff alleged Cipriano v. 200 West 57th Street Associates Inc. 11/12 Kings Supreme Premises Liability: Fall out of elevator Robert M. Ginsberg of Ginsberg & Broome, P.C. $66,000 disfigured face, plaintiff alleged Navas v. Mehran Equities Ltd. 4/16 Queens Su- Premises Liability: Sidewalk crack a hazard, Marcelo A. Buitrago of The Law Office Jeffrey B. Melcer, PLLC $50,000 preme plaintiff alleged Bouzas v. Kosher Deluxe Restaurant 5/7 New York Premises Liability: Restaurant's visitor George J. Pfluger of Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo P.C., New $25,000 Supreme claimed freshly mopped floor a hazard York, NY, trial counsel, Leandros A. Vrionedes Ashley v. City of New York 5/5 Kings Supreme Premises Liability: City failed to address Emil J. Sanchez of Friedman, Khafif & Sanchez, LLP $22,742 broken curb, plaintiff alleged Chaze v. Associated Food Stores Inc. 11/2 Queens Premises Liability: Supermarket's staff William A. Goldstein of Costello, Shea & Gaffney LLP $20,000 Supreme ignored broken curb, patron alleged Products Liability CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT City of New York v. Amerada Hess Corp. 10/19 U.S. District Products Liability: City claimed chemical in Victor M. Sher & Joshua G. Stein of Sher Leff LLP, and Harvey R. Friedman $250,500,000 Court, Southern gasoline contaminated water wells & Robert S. Chapman of Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger District LLP, and Susan E. Amronb of Corporation Counsel Tenuto v. Lederle Laboratories 3/20 Richmond Products Liability: Diaper-changing dad Martin W. Edelman of Edelman & Edelman, P.C., Stanley Kops of Law Of- $22,500,000 Supreme contracted polio from stool fices of Stanley Kops, & Benedict P. Morelli & Arthur L. Salmon of Morelli Ratner, P.C. Reis v. Volvo Cars of North America Inc. 11/25 New York Products Liability: Car's unexpected lurch Susan A. Friery & Noah H. Kushlefsky of Kreindler & Kreindler LLP $8,753,000 Supreme cost bystander a leg Drabczyk v. Amchem Products Inc. 10/22 Erie Supreme Products Liability: Estate alleged asbestos Michael P. Joyce, and Jordan Fox of Belluck & Fox LLP $2,250,000 in valves caused death Nisanov v. Black & Decker (U.S.) Inc. 1/27 U.S. District Products Liability: Plaintiff lost three fingers Alan L. Fuchsberg of Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm, L.L.P. & Simcha Shonfeld $2,000,000 Court, Eastern to lawn mower's blade of Koss & Shonfeld, LLP District Real Property CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Stein v. Einhorn 10/22 Suffolk Supreme Real Property: Homeowners removed Steven N. Davi of Farrell Fritz, P.C. $550,000 neighbor's trees to improve their view 42 Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 42 4/21/10 3:41:00 PM
  • 43. School CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Vogl v. City of Buffalo 8/2 Erie Supreme School: Student's knee injured during Dean P. Smith of Dean P. Smith $944,825 unsupervised gym-class game Meyers v. Board of Education of the City of 11/18 Westchester School: Lack of oversight blamed for Paul W. Koors of Koors & Jednak, Bronx, NY, trial counsel, Blauman & $100,000 Mount Vernon Supreme molestation of kindergartner McCabe, Esqs. Transportation CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Sanders v. NYCTA 3/6 Kings Supreme Transportation: Train's motorman failed to Gary B. Pillersdorf of Gary B. Pillersdorf & Associates $10,306,000 avoid man on tracks, suit alleged Dibble v. New York City Transit Authority 2/9 New York Transportation: Plaintiff hit by train, Andrew J. Smiley of Smiley & Smiley, LLP $3,594,943 Supreme claimed motorman was slow to stop Rivera v. New York City Transit Authority 7/20 New York Transportation: Defense: Plaintiff careless Frank Melendez of Subin Associates, LLC $1,710,000 Supreme while exiting bus during storm Estate of Burke v. Dialysis Clinic Inc dba Univer- 12/11 Onondaga Transportation: Parties dispute cause of Thomas F. Shannon of Lynn Law Firm $1,593,864 sity Dialysis Center Supreme wheelchair fall during transportation Bialkowski v. National Railroad Passenger Corp. 6/26 U.S. District Transportation: Train collision led to spinal Joseph P. Carfora, and Michael A. Rose of Hach & Rose, L.L.P. $695,000 Court, Southern fusion, passenger alleged District Ryals v. N.Y.C.T.A. 3/23 Bronx Supreme Transportation: Plaintiff claimed bus driver Michael E. Glynn of Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff $400,000 discharged her in unsafe area Scotto v. Long Island Railroad 5/20 U.S. District Transportation: Commuter trains crashed, Carl Lustig of Arye, Lustig & Sassower, P.C. $226,000 Court, Southern passenger claimed spine injuries District Mai v. NYCTA 12/18 New York Transportation: Plaintiff alleged she was Raymond Maceira of Dansker & Aspromonte Associates $186,367 Supreme tossed off of bus's wheelchair lift Rivers v. NYCTA 11/13 New York Transportation: Train's rider claimed sud- Kenneth A. LaBarca $175,000 Supreme den start caused fall Workplace Safety CASE DATE COURT TYPE OF ACTION PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL AMOUNT Nunez v. City of New York 6/3 Kings Supreme Workplace Safety: Transit worker broke Lawrence P. Biondi of Law Offices of Lawrence P. Biondi $13,623,439 skull, pelvis in fall from elevated track DePascale v. Sylvania Electronic Products, Inc. 11/12 U.S. District Workplace Safety: Workers claim injuries Joseph D. Gonzalez of Gonzalez & Robinson $12,000,000 Court, Eastern resulting from toxic and radioactive District exposure Singleton v. City of NY 1/26 Kings Supreme Workplace Safety: Police officer claimed Howard R. Greenwald of trial counsel, Robert S. Fader, P.C. $8,400,000 she was upended, hurt in noncontact drill Dwyer v. Deutsche Lufthansa, AG 5/15 U.S. District Workplace Safety: Crash due to sleepy Esther Goldbas & Daniel M. Tanenbaum of Law Offices of Daniel M. $5,525,095 Court, Eastern driver, not cargo shift, defense contended Tanenbaum District Maliqi v. 17 East 89th Street Tenants Inc. 4/16 Bronx Supreme Workplace Safety: Building's painter al- Ylber Albert Dauti & Brian J. O'Connor of The Dauti Law Firm, P.C. $1,680,000 leged porter dropped mail cart onto him Pieri v. B & B Welch Associates 1/23 Erie Supreme Workplace Safety: Plaintiff claimed fall into Keith N. Bond of Walsh, Roberts & Grace $1,586,557 sewage pit caused spinal injuries Murphy v. CSX Transportation Inc. 2/9 Erie Supreme Workplace Safety: Train's engineer claimed John F. Collins & Patrick J. Donoghue of Collins Collins & Donoghue $930,402 he fell from locomotive's oily platform Cubeta v. York International Corp. U.P.G. 8/20 Suffolk Supreme Workplace Safety: Worker claimed defec- Edwin Miller of Campbell & Miller $385,000 tive forklift dumped boxes onto him Montanez v. Ashand Realty Corp 8/25 Bronx Supreme Workplace Safety: Painter claimed work Bruce E. Cohen of Davidson & Cohen, P.C. $275,000 site's cluttered stairs were a hazard DeMayo v. Metropolitan Transportation Author- 9/14 New York Workplace Safety: Motorcyclist hit by fall- Seth I. Fields of Edward R. Young & Associates $152,500 ity Supreme ing toll gate, blamed 'waving' officer Murillo v. Rosen Group Properties 5/21 New York Workplace Safety: Worker struck by falling Nicholas I. Timko of Kahn, Gordon, Timko & Rodriques, P.C. $75,000 Supreme light fixture, alleged poor maintenance •This chart is based on cases reported by VerdictSearch New York, an affiliate of the New York Law Journal. The verdicts are reported as issued after trial. The summaries and listings do not include whether post-trial motions or appeals have been decided or are pending ••The list includes awards involving injuries only to one plaintiff in each case and claims that derive from those injuries Verdicts Search’s Top NY Verdicts of 2009 43 2009NYTopVerdicts.indd 43 4/21/10 3:41:01 PM
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