Welcome to this week’s edition of WIW. We are half way through July, half way through the baseball season and 8 days away from the start of the Summer Olympics. Yet, the NBA is still playing basketball. That’s a long season! It won’t take long to read the following cases. As always we are happy to discuss your cases with you. Please call 718-619-4601 or send an email to [email protected].
RICARDO SANCLEMENTE V. THE NEW YORK RACING ASSOCIATION, INC., NAVILLUS TILE, INC., TUTOR PERINI BUILDING CORP., GENTING NEW YORK, LLC, MANAFORT BROTHERS, INC., AND LVI DEMOLITION SERVICES, INC.
VENUE: Supreme New York
TYPE OF CASE: Workplace Liability
FACTS: A 55-year-old asbestos-abatement specialist was attempting to move a 1,000 pound tall scaffold with the help of two coworkers when the scaffold tipped towards him, resting on his shoulder for approximately 5-10 seconds before the structure completely fell.
- Four days after the accident, the plaintiff sought treatment at the hospital.
- The plaintiff claimed that he sustained a partial tear of his left, nondominant shoulder’s glenoid labrum and subscapularis tendon (part of the rotator cuff).
- The plaintiff also claimed to have sustained a tear of the posterior horn of his left knee’s medial meniscus.
- The plaintiff claimed to have sustained herniated discs at L3-L4 and L5-S1 and a bulging disc at L4-L5.
- The plaintiff also claimed he developed residual impingement of a spinal nerve.
- The plaintiff claimed that his left knee developed chondromalacia (softening of cartilage) and synovitis (inflammation of joint-lining membrane).
- The plaintiff underwent decompressive arthroscopic surgery of the left shoulder including: debridement of damaged tissue, lysis of adhesions of soft tissue, and an acromioplasty.
- A month later, the plaintiff underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, including: a chondroplasty, involving removal of cartilage, a meniscectomy with excision of the damaged portion of the knee’s medial meniscus, and a synovectomy with excision of inflamed tissue.
- The plaintiff also underwent low back surgery including a discectomy with excision of his L4-L5 and L5-S1 discs, fusion of the corresponding levels of his spine, application of a stabilizing graft of bony matter, and implantation of stabilizing hardware.
- The plaintiff received physical therapy and the administration of epidural injections of steroid-based painkillers.
- Defense counsel argued the plaintiff only sustained soft tissue injuries and that all other injuries predated the accident.
MEDIATED SETTLEMENT: The parties negotiated a $1,500,000 pre-trial settlement from a policy providing $2,000,000 in coverage.
PEI Z. MEI V. ROBERT SAHI QERIMAJ LIMO CORP.
HI/LOW AGREEMENT/VERDICT: 2021
VENUE: Supreme Queens
TYPE OF CASE: Automobile Liability
FACTS: A 69 year old retiree collided with a taxi as it was completing a left turn.
- The plaintiff claimed he sustained a small fracture of the head of his left fibula.
- The plaintiff claimed he sustained a tear of his right, dominant shoulder’s glenoid labrum.
- The plaintiff sustained C2-C3, C3-C4, C4-C5, C5-C6, C6-C7, L1-L2, L2-L3, L4-L5, and L5-S1 disc herniations.
- The plaintiff claimed that his left leg’s fracture resulted in the sprain of his left knee.
- The plaintiff underwent a conservative treatment consisting of acupuncture, chiropractic manipulation, physical therapy, and the administration of two sets of painkilling trigger-point injections, directed to his left knee.
- The plaintiff underwent a percutaneous discectomy involving surgical excision of his C4-C5 disc.
- The plaintiff claimed he sustained residual pain and limitations which hinder his ability to partake in physical activity.
- The plaintiff claimed that his left knee and right shoulder require future arthroscopic surgery and may require cervical and lumbar fusions.
- Defense counsel argued that the plaintiff did not sustain a serious injury as defined by the no-fault law.
- The defense’s expert orthopedist opined that the plaintiff’s left knee injury is resolving.
VERDICT: The parties negotiated a high/low stipulation prior to trial which stated that the damages could not exceed $90,000 but had to equal or exceed $10,000. The jury concluded that the parties shared liability and that the plaintiff was responsible for 40% of the liability. The jury awarded $140,000 one year of future pain and suffering, however the plaintiff received $84,000 as a result of the comparative negligence.
MARTORELLA V. 150 CENTERVILLE HOLDING, LLC
DECIDED: November 25, 2015, Appellate Division, Second Department
VENUE: Supreme Queens
TYPE OF CASE: Trip and Fall
FACTS: A 64-year-old woman tripped and fell on a broken sidewalk.
- The plaintiff was diagnosed with an intracranial hemorrhage and a stroke twelve days after the accident.
- The plaintiff was treated with daily transfusions of platelets and IV immunoglobulin therapy.
- The plaintiff received one month of inpatient rehabilitation at a skilled nursing facility.
- The plaintiff underwent three months of hospital outpatient rehabilitation treatment for left side hemiparesis.
- The plaintiff was wheelchair bound for one month and required the use of a cane for the following month.
- The plaintiff claims to continue to experience left side weakness, hindering her ability to walk upstairs and complete two-handed activities such as cooking or dressing herself.
- At the time of the trial, the plaintiff ceased all treatment for her injuries.
- The plaintiff had pre-existing history of idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP), meaning that existing platelets are destroyed and not enough are produced.
- The defense counsel argued that there was no proof that her stroke was a result of her fall, as the stroke was 12 days later, and the stroke could have been the result of ITP.
AFFIRMED: The Supreme Queens judge awarded $165,000 for the past 3.5 years and $20,000 for the future 17 years of pain and suffering. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $185,000 in 2015 is equivalent to $205,994.54 in 2021.