Verdicts & Settlements

Personal Injury

$17,500,000 for violation of civil rights - Vargas v. City of New York

A Brooklyn jury awarded Mr. Vargas $17.5 million for the City of New York’s violation of his civil rights for failing to provide him medical care while in custody. Mr. Vargas, a type 1 diabetic, was in police custody for allegedly being involved in a drug transaction. While in custody, he made several requests for insulin, all of which were denied. After over 58 hours without insulin, Mr. Vargas developed diabetic ketoacidosis, causing a seizure that resulted in a coma. Mr. Vargas remained in a coma for eight days, suffering disabling damage to his brain. The jury found that the police officers involved failed to provide the necessary medical treatment and awarded $17.5 million to Mr. Vargas.

$4,730,398 verdict for trip and fall - Roseann Echevarria v. Ved Parkash

On December 7, 2018, Burns & Harris partners Seth Harris and Sheri Holland obtained a $4,730,398.00 jury verdict on behalf of our client who tripped and fell at a private apartment building in the Bronx, suffering a broken foot that developed a very painful, permanent neurological condition called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (“RSD”), rendering her totally disabled from work and unable to walk without assistive devices. The Bronx County jury agreed with Burns & Harris’ arguments at trial, awarding our client $2,808,000.00 for her pain and suffering, $968,971.00 for her loss of earnings and $953,427.00 for her medical bills. The verdict is one of the largest in New York State for the year 2018. Burns & Harris partner Alison Keenan successfully handled the case for four-years during extensive pre-trial proceedings and depositions, which were pivotal to our client’s favorable result.

$4 million verdict for excessive force - William Cardoza v. City of New York

A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff William Cardoza $4 million for injuries caused by the use of excessive force during an arrest. Mr. Cardoza was arrested and later acquitted for disorderly conduct, obstructing govern-mental administration, and resisting arrest. During the arrest, Mr. Cardoza was pepper-sprayed and hit repeatedly with a police nightstick. As a re-sult, Mr. Cardoza sustained injuries to his hand and finger. In addition, Mr. Cardoza also developed posttraumatic stress disorder, with manifestations that included depression. As a result of the injuries, Mr. Cardoza was forced to take another position because he was unable to complete the necessary tasks of his prior job. The jury awarded $500,000 for past pain and suffering, $2 million for future pain and suffering, and $1.5 million for punitive damages.

$3,470,670 for espresso machine scalding coffee shop customer - Samperisi v. Starbucks Coffee Co.

The firm’s client, a 33-year-old teacher’s assistant, was scalded by an espresso machine which exploded while the defendant’s employee was demonstrating how the machine worked. The client was a customer at defendant’s coffee shop on the date of the accident, and suffered first-degree burns to her right (dominant) hand, resulting in chronic Stage III reflex sympathetic dystrophy of the right upper extremity. The jury awarded the client $3,470,670.

$2,995,000 verdict for slip and fall in the Bronx - Perales v. City of New York

The firm’s client, a 47-year-old male, slipped and fell on a public sidewalk in the Bronx. It had snowed four to five days prior to the date of the accident, and the sidewalk was covered with ice. The client claimed that the city owned the adjacent parking lot and allegedly did nothing to prevent cars from riding over the sidewalk and parking in the lot, which resulted in a ridge on the sidewalk and created dangerous conditions for pedestrians. The client suffered a lumbar fracture and a herniated disc. The jury found the city liable and awarded the client a $2,995,000 personal injury settlement in the Bronx.

$2.61 million verdict for negligent maintenance - Luis Molina v. New York City Transit Authority

A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff Luis Molina $2.61 million for injuries sustained when he fell down a subway station stairway. Mr. Molina was caused to slip and fall as a re-sult of a plastic bag that had blown onto the steps from a street opening. As a result of the fall, Mr. Molina suffered a herniated disc and a tear of his right shoulder’s rotator cuff. The injury caused Mr. Molina to stop working and have multiple corrective surger-ies. The jury found that the New York City Transit Authority was liable for the acci-dent.The jury awarded $60,000 for past and future medical costs, $100,000 for past lost earnings, $550,000 for future lost earnings, $600,000 for past pain and suffering, and $1.3 million for future pain and suffering.

$2,253,714 verdict for trip and fall - Mary Colon v. New York Eye Surgery

A Bronx jury awarded Ms. Colon $2.25 million for a trip and fall accident. Ms. Colon was caused to fall when she moved to the right to allow another pedestrian to pass, and her foot rolled to the outside due to the sidewalk being unlevel with the adjoining grass. Ms. Colon fractured her right ankle with resulting reflex sympathetic dystrophy, a permanent condition causing hypersensitivity to the slightest touch. The jury found the defendant liable and awarded Ms. Colon $2,253,714.00 for her pain and suffering.

$1.9 million verdict for negligent maintenance in apartment - Arvella Floyd v. 1710 Realty

A Brooklyn jury awarded Arvella Floyd $1.9 million for a fractured wrist which required multiple surgeries, including an open-reduction internal fixation and a carpal tunnel release. Ms. Floyd was injured when the hot water knob of the shower fell off after numerous complaints to the superintendent, and scalding water spewed towards her, causing her to fall and break her wrist.

$1.83 million verdict for slip and fall - Anthony Waring v. Sunrise Yonkers SL, LLC

Mr. Waring slipped on an outdoor ramp while working at an assisted-living facility in Yonkers. The ramp was too steep and lacked handrails, which violated several codes. As a result of the fall, Mr. Waring sustained injuries to his back and neck. Mr. Waring sustained herniations of several discs, bulges of multiple discs, and developed radiculopathy that stemmed from his spine levels. The jury found that Sunrise Yonkers was liable for the accident. The jury awarded $750,000 for past and future medical costs, $80,000 for past lost earnings, $400,000 for future lost earnings, $100,000 for past pain and suffering, and $500,000 for future pain and suffering.

$1,350,000 verdict for excessive force - Juanita Young v. City of New York

A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff Juanita Young $1,350,000 for injuries caused by the use of excessive force during an arrest. Ms. Young was arrested and later acquitted for trespassing in her own apartment. During the arrest, Ms. Young, who is legally blind, was handcuffed from behind, with her children watching, and taken to the top of the stairs to exit the building. While Ms. Young was descending the stairs, the police officer shoved Ms. Young in the back, causing her to fall down the stairs. While she was on the ground, the police officer pulled Ms. Young up from the ground by the handcuffs and again pushed her down the stairs, causing Ms. Young to fall for the second time. Ms. Young was eventually taken to the hospital by ambulance. Ms. Young suffered a tear of a muscle in the right wrist that required surgical intervention. The jury awarded $600,000 for past pain and suffering, $500,000 for future pain and suffering, and $250,000 for excessive imprisonment.

$1.32 million verdict for trip and fall - Faye Roimesher v. 770 Lexington Associates Inc.

Ms. Roimesher was caused to trip and fall due to an uneven area of asphalt that surrounded a grate which was embedded in the sidewalk. As a result of the fall, she sustained injuries to her right foot and heel. Ms. Roimesher sustained a rupture of her right heel’s Achilles tendon and an avulsion fracture of her right foot’s calcaneus, which is the heel bone. The injuries caused Ms. Roimesher to miss work for six months and suffer per-manent pain in her right foot. A jury awarded $48,000 for past medical costs, $24,000 for past lost earnings, $70,000 for past pain and suffering, and $1.178 million for future pain and suffering.

$1 million verdict for trip and fall - Anthony Suarez v. New York City Transit Authority

Mr. Suarez was walking when he tripped on a broken area of the sidewalk, immediately alongside a ventilation grate that was set in the sidewalk. Mr. Suarez sustained injuries to his back, a knee, and a wrist. He sustained a simple fracture of his left wrist’s triquetrum, a tear of his left knee’s meniscus, and trauma produced a bulging intervertebral disc. Mr. Suarez underwent physical therapy for his bulging disc and wrist injury, and addressed his knee injury via arthroscopic surgery. The jury awarded $500,000 for past pain and suffering, and $500,000 for future pain and suffering.

$675,000 verdict for motor vehicle accident - Roy Hardy v. Seniorcare Emergency Medical Services, Inc

A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff Roy Hardy $675,000 for injuries sus-tained in a motor vehicle accident. Mr. Hardy’s vehicle was struck when an ambulette attempted to turn left, crossed over the double yellow line, and into Mr. Hardy’s lane of travel. The front of Mr. Hardy’s vehicle collided with the ambulette’s front right passenger side. As a result of the collision, Mr. Hardy sustained injuries to his knee, shoulder, and foot. The jury awarded $425,000 for past pain and suffering, and $250,000 in future pain and suffering damages.

$670,000 verdict for dangerous condition - Cathy Flaherty v. 97 Realty NY, LLC

Ms. Flaherty slipped in the bathroom of her residence in Brooklyn. Ms. Flaherty’s bathroom had drainage and lighting problems that the building did not address. As a result of the fall, Ms. Flaherty sustained an injury to one of her hips. The hip that was injured was prosthetic and re-quired surgical revision of the prosthesis. The jury awarded Ms. Flaherty $670,000 for her injuries.

$570,000 verdict for dangerous condition - Nancy Cruz v. Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center

Ms. Cruz tripped on a basketball court owned by Bronx Lebanon Hos-pital Center. Ms. Cruz was caused to trip and fall as a result of a hole in the court’s rubber surface. As a result of the fall, Ms. Cruz sustained a right elbow injury. Ms. Cruz sustained a chip fracture and dislocation of her right elbow. The jury awarded $300,000 for past pain and suffering, and $270,000 for future pain and suffering.

$450,000 Bronx injury settlement - Sonia Calderon v. Macombs Village Associates

Ms. Calderon, a wheelchair-bound disabled woman was struck by a defective door in her apartment building, causing injury to her left leg. The injury caused an infection and eventual below-the-knee amputation of Ms. Calderon’s left leg. The case was settled with defendants for a $450,000.00 injury settlement in the Bronx.

Construction Accidents

$3,823,000 verdict for construction accident - Michael Brennan v. New Water Street Corp.

Mr.Brennan fell from approximately 25 feet while working on a construction project. He suffered a shattered bone in his right leg requiring surgery and hardware placement. Mr. Brennan also suffered two fractures in his facial bones, and a dislocated finger requiring surgical repair. Mr. Brennan spent 34 days in the hospital, and as a result of the accident walks with a limp and requires the use of a cane. The jury rendered a verdict of $3,823,000, and the case was settled for $3,000,000.

$12,561,772 verdict for construction accident - John Doe v. Clinton Green South, LLC and Bovis Lend Lease, LMB

A Bronx jury awarded John Doe over $12 million for an accident on a construction site. John Doe was working when a piece of scaffold weighing 35 pounds fell, striking John Doe in the lower back. John Doe suffered a herniated disc requiring surgical removal of a portion of the disc and permanent nerve damage. John Doe is unable to return to work and is in constant pain. The jury found defendants liable for John Doe’s pain and suffering as well as his lost wages and benefits in the amount of $12,561,772.

Wrongful Death

$10,500,000 verdict for wrongful death - Malcolm Ferguson v. City of New York

A Bronx jury awarded $10.5 million to the mother of Malcolm Ferguson, who was wrongfully shot and killed by the New York City Police Department. Malcolm Ferguson, who was unarmed, was shot point blank in the left temple of his head. The police officer, Louis Rivera, also a defendant in the case, was found to have used excessive force in violation of Malcolm Ferguson’s civil rights as protected under the United States Constitution. The jury awarded a $3,000,000 for pain and suffering, $7,000,000 for punitive damages and $500,000 for loss of support.

$4,000,000 with future value of $24,802,897 settlement for wrongful death

The firm represented the mother-decedent and her infant son. The mother-decedent came under the care of the defendant-hospital in connection certain medical, anesthesiological, and obstetrical care, treatment, and/or surgery to be rendered to the plaintiff by the defendants, its agents, servants and/or employees. During the decedent’s admission to the defendant-hospital, the defendant dispensed anesthesia during an epidural to the decedent in an inadequate manner. The mother-decedent suffered personal injuries and wrongful death due to the defendant’s failure to properly administer epidural anesthesia. The defendant was also found to be careless and negligent in the care, treatment, delivery, and management of the infant and his mother, prenatally, perinatally and postnatally, which caused brain damage to the infant. The case settled for $1,000,000 for wrongful death of mother and $3,000,000 for personal injuries of the infant due to the residue of the birth trauma sustained by infant.

Medical Malpractice

$1,677,835 verdict for adult home negligence - Gerber v. Harry and Luisa Howard d/b/a Woodstock Manor Home for Senior Citizens v. Charnow Associates

The firm’s client, a 63-year-old mentally incompetent man, slipped and fell in his own urine while attempting to walk to the bathroom at the defendant’s senior citizen home. The client fractured his hip and as a result is confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. The client had a long history of incontinence of which the staff at the adult home where he lived was aware. The client claimed that the staff of the home failed to properly care for him, and the jury awarded $1,677,835.

$2,750,000 with a future value of $10,526,337 settlement - John Doe v. Brooklyn Hospital

The firm’s client was a child with cerebral palsy who was injured as a result of medical malpractice. The firm’s clients claimed improper management of pregnancy, labor, and delivery resulting in brain damage and received a Brooklyn personal injury settlement.

$425,000 settlement - Allister Legister v. NYCHHC

NYCHHC failed to perform a timely fasciotomy causing the plaintiff, Allister Legister, to suffer from compartment syndrome following the surgery to repair a gun shot wound in his left thigh. The case settled.

$350,000 settlement - Jane Doe v. N.Y.C.H.H.C.

The firm filed a lawsuit in NYC implicating medical malpractice. This case involved failure to timely treat a bowel obstruction. The negligent doctor improperly placed a stent during a colonoscopy procedure. A settlement was reached.

$250,000 settlement - Jane Doe v. NYC Health & Hospitals Corp.

The firm filed a lawsuit in Kings county court. The plaintiff was a 5-year old child that suffered burns and scarring to her left foot that resulted from an infiltrated intravenous catheter. The family received a settlement..