What’s it Worth? June 16, 2021

On Behalf of | Jun 16, 2021 | What's It Worth? |

We’re back and we hope you’re well. Over the past few weeks we have been busy with law school final exams and a family wedding. Fortunately both went well and now we’re back to work. Without further ado, let’s get to it.



AFFIRMED: April 29, 2021, Appellate Division, First Department

VENUE: Supreme Bronx

TYPE OF CASE: Workplace Liability

FACTS: A 28-year-old construction worker fell from an unsteady ladder on the premises of an apartment building construction project


  • The plaintiff claims to have suffered bulging discs at L4-L5 and L5-S1 impinging on nerve roots with radiating pain.
  • The plaintiff received therapy and two epidural injections for the bulging discs.
  • The plaintiff suffered a scaphoid fracture of his right, dominant wrist.
  • A year and a half after the accident, the plaintiff underwent an open wrist reduction with repair of the scaphoid nonunion distal radius bone graft.
  • 15 months after the first surgery, the plaintiff underwent a scaphoid excision, four corners fusion of the right wrist, and neurectomy.
  • The plaintiff claims he experiences constant and permeant pain and limitations of range of motion requiring braces as well as pain medication and treatment.
  • The plaintiff claims he will likely require further wrist surgery.
  • The plaintiff claims that he is unable to return to work and he is unable to partake in several aspects of daily living.
  • Defense counsel argued that the plaintiff did not sustain the wrist injury as a result of the accident. Counsel noted that the plaintiff failed to mention any wrist pain on the scene of the accident or the immediately subsequent hospital visit and he did not seek further medical attention until three months after the accident, at which point he went to the chiropractor for his back.
  • The plaintiff argued that he did not mention his wrist injury due to a language barrier, and the fracture was small and could easily be missed.
  • Experts from both sides agreed that scaphoid fractures such as the plaintiff’s usually results from extending arms out to break a fall.

AFFIRMATION: The Appellate Division, First Department upheld the jury’s award of $550,000 for the past 6 years and $1,500,000 for the future 47 years of pain and suffering.



REDUCED: February 16, 2021, Appellate Division, First Department

VENUE: Supreme Bronx

TYPE OF CASE: Workplace Liability

FACTS: A traffic flagman was directing traffic around an unguarded trench in the roadway being excavated to install new sewer lines when he was struck in the lower back by a truck and fell into the trench.


  • The plaintiff was unconscious immediately after the accident on the scene. As he was being transported to the hospital, he complained of back and leg pain.
  • The plaintiff was admitted to the hospital for three weeks following the accident.
  • The plaintiff suffered a herniated disc at L4-L5.
  • The plaintiff received physical therapy and multiple epidural injections into his spine.
  • The plaintiff underwent a laminectomy to address L4-L5.
  • The plaintiff claims to suffer from failed back syndrome, continuing lumbar radiculopathy with worsening of back pain and disc space collapse.
  • The plaintiff claims to suffer from persistent back pain requiring the use of narcotics and the insertion of spinal cord stimulator.
  • The plaintiff claims that he is unable to walk without the support of a rolling walker or cane.
  • The plaintiff struggles with sleeping, bending down, and putting on shoes or socks.
  • The plaintiff claims that he has been unable to return to work since the accident.
  • Defense counsel argued that an MRI showed the plaintiff suffered from a pre-existing significant degenerative disease which pre-dated the accident.

REDUCTION: The Supreme Bronx jury awarded $1,500,000 for the past 6 and $1,500,000 for the future 26 years of pain and suffering. The Appellate Division, First Department reduced the past pain and suffering award to $500,000 for total damages of $2,000,000.




VENUE: Supreme Kings

TYPE OF CASE: Automobile Liability

FACTS: A 47-year-old chef walking in a crosswalk collided with a bus as it was executing a left turn.


  • The plaintiff suffered a comminuted fracture of his right iliac bone and massive resulting hemorrhage.
  • The plaintiff suffered a fracture of his pelvis’ inferior pubic ramus.
  • The plaintiff sustained an open fracture of his right hip’s acetabulum, the pelvic cavity that receives the head of the right leg’s femur.
  • The plaintiff suffered a comminuted, displaced fracture of his right sacral ala, one if the two bony projections of the sacrum.
  • The plaintiff sustained a dislocation of his right hip.
  • The plaintiff damaged his femoral artery, femoral nerve, and femoral vein.
  • The plaintiff suffered transection of his right spermatic cord, evisceration of the right side of his groin, laceration of his right perineum and scrotum, and the loss of his right testicle.
  • The plaintiff fractured his right knee’s patella and his right elbow’s medial epicondyle.
  • The plaintiff suffered a pneumothorax including a collapse of the right lung, pulmonary emboli, and resultant pulmonary infarction.
  • The plaintiff also developed colonic ileus: obstruction of the colon.
  • The plaintiff underwent multiple surgeries, including: a tracheostomy, embolization of arterial bleeding, implantation of a vascular filter, ligation of his right spermatic chord, repair of his left testicle, and repair of his femoral artery, femoral nerve, and femoral vein.
  • The plaintiff underwent plastic surgery involving debridement of his groin and right thigh.
  • The following day, the plaintiff underwent complete amputation of his right leg as well as a removal of part of his pelvis.
  • The plaintiff underwent creation of a colostomy which was reversed six months later.
  • The plaintiff received a prosthesis for his right leg. To improve the fit, he underwent plastic surgery involving removal of the pelvic bone.
  • The plaintiff claims to suffer from permanent residual erectile dysfunction and would require lifelong, extensive medical treatment.

MEDIATION: The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement of $12.5 million.




VENUE: Supreme New York

TYPE OF CASE: Workplace Liability

FACTS: A 28-year-old carpenter fell into a trench which had been excavated at the construction site he was working at.


  • The plaintiff claimed he suffered herniations of his C2-C3, C5-C6, and C6-C7 intervertebral discs.
  • The plaintiff claimed to suffer trauma induced bulges of his C3-C4, C4-C5, L3-L4, and L5-S1 discs.
  • The plaintiff claimed he developed residual impingement of spinal nerves and resultant radiculopathy stemming from his spine’s lumbar region.
  • The plaintiff received physical therapy, epidural injections of steroid-based pain killers, painkilling facet-blocking injections, and painkilling nerve-block injections.
  • 16 months after the incident, the plaintiff underwent a rhizotomy, including an ablation of his spine’s L3, L4, and L5 nerves, because he claimed the prior treatments had been ineffective at treating his pain.
  • The plaintiff also claimed that he continues to experience pain related to the incident.
  • The plaintiff claims he is now unable to perform manual labor, such as carpentry. While the plaintiff has been unable to return to work as a carpenter, he has been working as a barber.
  • The defense argued that his injuries were not so severe to prevent him from working, and that he had always intended to become a barber.

SETTLEMENT: The parties settled at mediation for $1,300,000 from a $5,000,000 policy.

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