We hope that all of the fathers out there had an enjoyable Father’s Day 2021 and that everyone is gearing up for a great summer. This week’s case present some high settlements and a surprisingly high verdict on a soft tissue neck and back case in Supreme Queens. Thinking of summer fun, let’s dive right in!
PARAG MATHUR V. KLEET LUMBER CO., INC. AND SEAN J. LAVERTY (604853/19)
VENUE: Supreme Suffolk
TYPE OF CASE: Automobile Liability
FACTS: A 51-year-old dentist was stopped at a red light when his car was struck in the rear by another car, propelled forward after also being struck in the rear.
- The plaintiff claimed to have sustained herniated discs at C5-C6, C7-T1, T11-T12 and L5-S1.
- He also plaintiff claimed bulging discs at C3-C4, C4-C5, C6-C7, and L4-L5.
- The plaintiff claimed to suffer trauma that disrupted the cervical lordosis (the spine’s normal curvature in the cervical region).
- The plaintiff claimed that he sustained a tear of his right knee’s medial meniscus and a strain of his right knee’s medial collateral ligament.
- The plaintiff also claim bilateral subluxation of the patella.
- The plaintiff claimed to experience injuries in both shoulders, however he did not specify the nature of the injuries.
- The plaintiff claimed to develop tendinosis in each rotator cuff from the accident.
- The plaintiff underwent physical therapy, received trigger-point injections in his cervical spine and steroid injections in his knees.
- 16 months after the accident, the plaintiff underwent a cervical fusion including: a discectomy with excision of his C4-C5 and C5-C6 discs, a corpectomy with excision of his C4, C5, and C6 vertebrae, fusion of his spine’s C4-C5, C5-C6, and C6-C7 levels, implantation of stabilizing hardware, and application of a stabilizing graft of bony matter which was harvested from his pelvis’s iliac crest.
- After surgery, the plaintiff claims that his neck and back remain painful with decreased ranges of motion.
- The plaintiff also claimed that his condition has resulted in a reduction of his workload, ultimately shortening his career.
- Finally the plaintiff claimed he will require future surgery, including a lumbar fusion and a second cervical fusion.
- Defense counsel argued that the plaintiff did not suffer a serious injury and that the instant accident only caused minimal damage. Counsel claimed the herniations were degenerative conditions.
MEDIATED SETTLEMENT: The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement for $2,000,000.
ARTUR WOLOSZYN V. 834 FIFTH AVE CORPORATION, PHULIPPE LAFFONT, BROWN HARRIS STEVENS RESIDENTAL MANAGEMENT, LLC, AND SMI CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT INC.
VENUE: Supreme New York
TYPE OF CASE: On the job injury.
FACTS: A 51-year-old plumber was working at a renovation site when the plywood he was sawing jerked, causing his hand to be pulled into the field of the blade.
- The plaintiff suffered traumatic amputations of parts of his left, nondominant hand’s index and middle fingers at the proximal interphalangeal joint (situated approximately midway between the fingertip and base of the finger.)
- The plaintiff sustained open fractures of his left hand’s index, middle, and ring fingers.
- The plaintiff suffered tears of ligaments, nerves and tendons, and lacerations of his left hand’s thumb and little finger.
- Immediately after the accident, the plaintiff underwent surgeries including debridement of damaged tissue, open reduction and internal fixation of fractures, and repairs of damaged ligaments, nerves, and tendons.
- The plaintiff received physical therapy for a year following the accident.
- The plaintiff claimed to suffer residual pain, numbness, and diminution of range of motion.
- The plaintiff claimed he is unable to return to a job of manual labor or any other type of gainful work and has not worked since the accident.
- The vocational rehabilitation expert for the defense opined that the plaintiff could perform work that required little training and would pay $30,000-$54,000 annually.
SETTLEMENT: The parties negotiated a total settlement of $3,250,000. SMI Construction’s insurer agreed to pay $1,125,000 from a $2,000,000 policy. N. Pagano Plumbing & Heating Contractor’s insurer agreed to tender its $1,000,000 primary policy and $1,125,000 from it’s $4,000,000 excess policy.
HECTOR SERRANO ALVAREZ V. MOISE TINGUE
VENUE: Supreme Queens
TYPE OF CASE: Automobile Liability
FACTS: A 38-year-old cook was riding a bicycle when he collided with a car, causing him to fall onto the roadway.
- The plaintiff claimed to have sustained a torn labrum of the left hip.
- The plaintiff also claimed herniated discs at C4-C5, C5-C6, C6-C7, and L4-L5.
- He also claimed bulging discs at C3-C4, L1-L2, L2-L3, L3-L4, and L5-S1.
- The plaintiff underwent 17 weeks of physical therapy.
- The plaintiff claimed that his injuries prevented him from working for two weeks following the accident.
- The plaintiff claimed to suffer residual pain, which hinders his ability to sleep and perform rigorous tasks like lifting heavy objects.
- The plaintiff claims that due to his injuries, he can no longer play soccer with his children.
- The plaintiff claimed that a cervical fusion has been recommended which he has declined to date.
- The plaintiff said that he is now afraid of bicycling as a result of the accident.
- Defense counsel argued that the plaintiff did not sustain a serious injury as a result of the accident.
- The expert orthopedic surgeon for the defense opined that the plaintiff only suffered sprains from the accident and can perform all day to day activities without limitation.
VERDICT: The jury awarded $415,000 in damages, however the plaintiff only recovered $75,000 because the parties stipulated that damages could not exceed $75,000.