The Biggest Personal Injury Settlements in New York State History

Personal Injury Lawsuit – What is it?

A personal injury lawsuit’s purpose is to collect compensation to cover past and future expenses incurred by an injured victim for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Automobile accidents, work-related injuries, negligence and malpractice, sports injuries and defective products are the most common personal injury lawsuits. If you are looking for a lawyer for dental negligence or for any other personal injury we can help.

The damage caused by injuries can be severe, impaling a person’s future with debilitating effects. Common injury areas resulting in personal injury lawsuits:

  • Head and brain (TBI – Traumatic Brain Injury being the most severe of the two)
  • Back and neck
  • Spinal cord
  • Paralysis
  • Knee
  • Dog bites/attacks
  • Exposure to toxic/harmful chemicals/materials – such as asbestos poisoning
  • Carpel Tunnel

In New York State’s personal injury lawsuits’ history, for years there has been a multitude of cases all mostly having their own unique ruling. For the purposes of this article, we will be looking at two New York City cases.

Shirley Miller Awarded $22M – Largest Personal Injury Verdict in NYS History

As of February 28, 2014, the NY Daily News reported Shirley Miller was awarded the largest personal injury settlement in New York State’s history; a whopping $22,000,000.00.

It was Shirley’s 32nd birthday in 2008, and she was crossing Ninth Ave. at 48th St. when struck by a Duane Reade Pharmacy truck, a subsidiary of the Walgreens Boots Alliance. Duane Reade’s defense was Shirley slipped on ice and fell underneath the rear wheel of the truck, but medical and eyewitnesses testimony helped prove this was impossible and did not happen. It was proven she was actually in the middle of the crosswalk and was struck by the front of the truck, not slipping on ice as the Duane Reade defense claimed.

Two trials took place, with the first ending in 2012, before jurors reached a verdict. Judge Arthur Schack, Supreme Court Justice assigned to the court case, “badmouthed” one of the Duane Reade lawyers, hung “Wanted” posters with a bullseye drawn on them and was force to recuse himself. In November 2013, more than a year after the first trial ended, the second trial got underway. As Miller’s legal team finished presenting evidence, Duane Reade agreed to settle.

“Thank God for the American Courts…” Yehuda Miller, the victim’s father “…who would not let Duane Reade get away with their cover-up.”

As it turned out, instead of calling 911 first the driver made calls to his bosses and union. According to NY Daily News, Mr. Miller stated,

“He ran her down in a crosswalk and left her to die alone in the street. Well, now, finally everyone knows the truth.”

Eric Berger, who represented the company, declined to comment to NY Daily News.

Tabitha Mullings Awarded $18M – 2nd Largest Personal Injury Verdict in NYS History

According to VerdictSearch, up until Shirley Miller’s case settlement, after a three-year long legal battle, the largest awarded settlement went to 32-year-old Tabitha Mullings for a medical malpractice suit.

After suddenly becoming ill in 2008, Tabitha made a visit to the Brooklyn Hospital Center Emergency Room where the attending doctor diagnosed her with a kidney stone and sent her home with a pain medication prescription. The next day Tabitha called 911 twice when she experienced unbearable pain and numbness. Even though she made two calls to 911 on this day, the FDNY medics did not take her to the hospital. On the following day Tabitha’s fiancé rushed her to Fort Greene Hospital; where she was diagnosed with sepsis. The infection had spread throughout her entire body and gangrene set in damaging all four limbs and her eyesight. On September 14, Tabitha lapsed into a coma, near death for two weeks. When she came to, she found she had lost both hands, both feet and was legally blind in one eye. Tabitha filed a lawsuit when still in recovery at the hospital.

What steps should you take if you are injured?

After you have received the immediate medical attention needed, begin to collect evidence from your accident.

  • If there were witnesses, get their contact information.
  • Take photos of the accident scene.
  • Gather all your medical records.
  • If injuries are work related, inform your employer immediately and fill out any required forms.
  • Talk to your insurance company and to an injury lawyer.

Although the legal battles are behind these two women, they face a lifetime struggle to live a normal life. Theirs and their family’s quality of life has forever changed. If it had not been for a New York City Personal Injury Lawyer in each case, they may not have received the financial compensation required to get future medical and life changing expenses covered.

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