Guess who’s back? We hope that you have had a relaxing summer so far, whether it be hitting the beach or enjoying the Barbie-Oppenheimer double feature. For some of us, the last two months have been a little less thrilling as prepping for the bar exam was the one and only thing on the schedule. Now that the test is behind us, let’s get into some cases!
CLARINGTON FORTUNE V. NEW YORK CITY HOUSING AUTHORITY (521950/17)
REDUCED: 2022, Appellate Division, Second Department
VENUE: Supreme Kings
TYPE OF CASE: Workplace Liability
FACTS: A 70-year-old laborer and his coworker were repairing a water tank that was located on the building’s roof. While completing the task, the coworker fell off the roof 20 feet onto the plaintiff. The plaintiff claimed that the NYC Housing Authority failed to provide a safe workspace and that it violated Labor Law §240(1).
- The plaintiff suffered a severely comminuted, displaced fracture of his left hip’s acetabulum (the round pelvic cavity that receives the head of the left leg’s femur).
- The plaintiff also suffered from a fracture of his pelvis’ ischium (another component of the hip).
- The plaintiff sustained a fracture of his pelvis’ left superior public ramus.
- He sustained damage of his left leg’s sciatic nerve.
- Immediately after the accident, the plaintiff underwent an open reduction and the internal fixation of a total of four plates, which were secured by screws.
- The plaintiff received skeletal traction.
- After 15 days in the hospital, the plaintiff stayed 106 days in inpatient rehabilitative therapy.
- Two years after the accident, the plaintiff received a left hip replacement, for which he was hospitalized for 10 days and underwent inpatient therapy for 4 weeks.
- The plaintiff claimed that the injury to his left sciatic nerve resulted in a foot drop (weakness or paralysis of the muscles that control the front part of the foot).
- The plaintiff claimed that the hip replacement produced a limb reduction and subsequent limb-length disparity, which has resulted in required use of crutches and a permeant brace that prevents dragging of his left foot.
- According to the plaintiff, the injuries have prevented his performance of many basic physical activities such as applying or removing his socks and shoes, as well as performing any type of work.
- The plaintiff’s expert physiatrist opined that the plaintiff requires further physical therapy and the assistance of a personal aide.
- The defense’s expert orthopedist opined that the plaintiff did not suffer from limb-length disparity.
- The defense’s life-care-planning expert opined that the plaintiff does not require aide or further treatment.
REDUCTION: The jury awarded a total of $3,000,000 in pain and suffering: $2,000,000 for past and $1,000,000 for future 10 years. The Appellate Division, Second Department reduced the award to $1,300,000 for past and $700,000 for future pain and suffering for a total of $2,000,000 in damages.
KILLENGERGER V. STATE OF NEW YORK (531619)
AFFIRMED: October 28, 2021, Appellate Division, Third Department
VENUE: Court of Claims
TYPE OF CASE: Automobile Liability
FACTS: A 25-year-old was a passenger in the rear of a car when the driver lost control of his vehicle due to snow and ice, crossed over the center lane, and crashed into a snowplow.
- The plaintiff suffered a pelvic fracture.
- The plaintiff underwent an open reduction internal fixation surgery for his pelvis.
- The plaintiff sustained comminuted acetabular fractures.
- The plaintiff underwent an open reduction internal fixation surgery to address his comminuted acetabular fractures.
- The plaintiff claims that he will require a figure total hip replacement surgery.
- The plaintiff suffered a bilateral tibia/fibula and ankle joint fractures, which required surgery.
- The plaintiff suffers from a permanent foot drop.
- The plaintiff sustained nerve damage causing erectile dysfunction.
- The plaintiff suffers continuing pain requiring narcotic medications.
AFFIRMATION: The Court of Claims judge awarded $1,250,000 for the past 12.5 years and $1,500,000 for the future 38 years of pain and suffering. The Appellate Division, Third Department affirmed the $2,750,000 award.
MEYERS V. DELANCY CAR SERVICE, INC (7496/12)
AFFIRMED: August 18, 2021, Appellate Division, Second Department
VENUE: Supreme Kings
TYPE OF CASE: Automobile Liability
FACTS: A 36-year-old was unloading items from the trunk of a vehicle that was double parked along a curb when the driver of another car drove into him, pinning him between the two cars.
- The plaintiff suffered bilateral crush injuries to his lower extremities with bilateral tibial plateau and tibial spine avulsion fractures.
- The plaintiff sustained comminuted fractures of his left distal femur with thigh degloving.
- The plaintiff suffered a resultant insensate right leg caused by complete occlusion of the right popliteal artery.
- The plaintiff underwent nine surgeries to address his various injuries.
- The plaintiff underwent an open reduction internal fixation to left distal femur and left tibial plateau.
- The plaintiff underwent external fixator and arthroscopic surgery to left knee.
- The plaintiff underwent a vein graft.
- The plaintiff underwent fasciotomies (a procedure in which the fascia is cut to relieve pressure in the muscle compartment).
- The plaintiff underwent several debridements.
- The plaintiff spent a month in the hospital and three months in a rehabilitation facility.
- The plaintiff has extensive scarring throughout both legs limiting his ability to function in all walks of life.
- The plaintiff claims to have continuing pain.
- The plaintiff has a significant limp.
- The plaintiff claims that he will need numerous future surgeries including left total knee replacement and right ligament repair.
AFFIRMATION: The Supreme Kings jury awarded $2,000,000 for the past six years and $4,600,000 for the future 40 years of pain and suffering. The Appellate Division, Second Department affirmed the $6,500,000 award.