Christian, a 4-year-old boy, was brought to the hospital for a routine droopy eyelid repair. The hospital, in a cost cutting measure, had contracted out its operating room anesthesia services to a third-party corporation who employed mostly nurse anesthetists instead of trained doctors to administer anesthesia. The nurse designated to anesthetize Christian was not certified. Minutes after the child was wheeled in, his heart stopped from an overdose of Halothane gas, and he was without oxygen for fifteen minutes. He was removed to another hospital where he had to be retrained to talk and walk again. At the time of trial eight years later, Christian was learning at a first-grade level. He couldn’t tie his shoes or ride a bike. The hospital doctors claimed that he either had an allergic reaction to the gas or was that way before the incident. Ultimately, the defendants agreed to settle at the end of a five-week trial before the jury deliberated.
A 35-year-old New York City Police officer was a passenger in a police car going to an emergency call. As the police car went through a red light at a Bronx intersection with lights and sirens on, all traffic stopped except for a Chevy suburban owned by the New York City Transit Authority that struck the passenger side of the police car. Ms. A. was rendered unconscious and was admitted to Jacobi Hospital for two days with headaches, dizziness and vomiting. She saw many doctors, had constant physical therapy, multiple epidural injections and three arthroscopic knee surgeries. She suffered traumatic brain damage with migraine headaches, vertigo, nausea and memory loss, along with permanent nerve damage to her neck, back and both knees. The Police Department found her totally disabled and she retired from the force. Dansker & Aspromonte Associates got the case shortly before the trial and gathered the evidence to prove brain damage. Although the Plaintiff was able to walk into the courtroom, the testimony and records demonstrated to the jury that the Plaintiff was in pain and suffered the consequences of the accident every day of her life.
This accident occurred in the Bronx when Rafael C. was working on a sanitation truck. The driver lost control while making a turn. Rafael was ejected and the truck ran over his leg. He was taken to a local hospital where he was seen by a trauma surgeon who determined that his leg was bleeding internally. A vascular surgeon who was supposed to be at the hospital within 30 minutes was called to perform the necessary surgery, but he did not come for over 2 hours. Despite having surgery to repair a torn artery behind his knee, Rafael died from an abdominal compartment syndrome when his abdomen filled with so much fluid that his organs stopped functioning. The case involved both a negligence claim from the sanitation truck accident and claims of malpractice. He was survived by his common law wife and two daughters, ages 6 and 1. A portion of the recovery was placed in a structured annuity which protects and pays interest on the settlement funds and is tax free. It provides lump sums of money at various junctures like college and milestone birthdays and monthly checks for expenses.
A 22-year-old theater intern was walking across the intersection of 42nd Street and Ninth Avenue in Manhattan when she was struck by the rear door of a passing truck which had flown open because it had been improperly secured by the driver. Initially, she was treated for minor dental injuries and a concussion, but her problems progressed, and she felt increasingly ill and unsteady. After several months, a neurologist diagnosed her with traumatic epilepsy. Although at the time of trial she showed no visible signs of obvious injury or impairment and appeared to be completely recovered, the testimony of medical experts proved that not only was the epilepsy caused by the accident, but it was permanent and progressive.
Dansker & Aspromonte represented 60 tenants in the infamous Schomburg Plaza fire. A fire started in a jammed compactor chute on the 20th floor of the high-rise apartment building. The sprinkler system was not operational, and because of defective materials and workmanship, the fire and smoke escaped through the walls into the apartments. When the fire department arrived, they went into the basement where they put out a small fire, but they did not realize that a much bigger fire was raging on the 20th floor until it was too late to prevent injury to many residents, adults and children.
This case involved a 6-year-old girl who was in a minivan that was struck by an ambulance in a multi-car collision on the Northern State Parkway in Long Island, New York. As a result of the accident, Michelle sustained a fractured hip and fractured heel bone which required multiple surgeries. The ambulance denied fault and disputed the damages. At trial, the jury found the ambulance to be at fault and awarded a multi-million dollar verdict.
This female accountant was walking after work in Battery Park on the pedestrian promenade when she was suddenly struck by a speeding police motor scooter. Angela was knocked over thirty feet in the air and sustained multiple skull fractures with resultant bleeding and swelling of the brain. In addition to losing IQ and memory, she lost her executive functioning ability, that part of the brain that is able to multi-task and organize things. The most debilitating injury is permanent vertigo which prevents her from lying down without getting dizzy and nauseous. The verdict of $6.3 million was appealed twice by the City. Their appeals were denied and, because of the delay, we collected an additional $1.5 million in interest.
A 26-year-old bicycle deliveryman was struck by a speeding Dollar Rent-A-Car van on a busy intersection, causing multiple fractures in his neck, back, arm and leg, as well as mild brain damage. Although he remembered little of the accident, the jury rendered a verdict in his favor.
In one of the most tragic cases this office has seen, two mothers and their four teenagers were driving to a high school swimming meet on the New York State Thruway in a van. When the driver suspected a flat tire, instead of pulling over onto the shoulder, the mother of two of the children inexplicably stopped the van in the right moving lane of traffic. Within a very short time, the driver of a tanker truck traveling at a steady 65 miles an hour who claimed not to see the stopped van, struck it at full speed, literally cutting the van in half. There were two survivors with grave injuries and four fatalities. We secured the maximum insurance that was available to cover these claims.
$5 Million AWARD TO FAMILY
A 49-year-old man fell down an elevator shaft when the doors to the elevator opened but the elevator cab was on a floor above. Mr. C. suffered severe a head injury and was rendered comatose. He survived several years and then died without ever regaining consciousness.
Despite the fact that this case was referred to Dansker & Aspromonte Associates by another attorney 17 years after the accident took place, a stunning verdict was won through painstaking investigation and tireless preparation. Connie C. was a cabaret singer driving home in a heavy rainstorm on the Grand Central Parkway after a performance on Long Island. Her car suddenly drove into a pond of water on the roadway which caused her car to slide across multiple lanes of traffic and over an embankment. She suffered serious physical and psychological injuries. At trial, it was shown that, despite the passage of so much time, the City had failed to adequately clean the storm sewers, which caused the ponding and made driving in that area extremely dangerous.
A 20-year-old busboy was struck by a car on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn. He suffered brain damage and multiple fractures of his back, legs, arms, hip and knees. He became comatose and has not regained consciousness. The defense claimed that he was intoxicated and walked into the street in front of the oncoming car. This office argued that Rene should have been seen by the driver and the accident avoided because Rene walked across five of the six roadway lanes as the car approached and, while not conceding intoxication, that under these circumstances intoxication would not have contributed to the cause of the accident. The case was settled at a Mediation before trial.
$4.2 Million - AWARD TO SPOUSE
Mr. S. was a married NYC Parks Department employee. On a snowy night in Staten Island, he was preparing his truck to spread salt on the roadways. He drove the spreader truck to the salt storage yard. As he waited alongside his truck, the operator of a front loader truck used to place the salt in the spreader lost control of the loading bucket. Sadly, John was struck by the bucket, suffered massive injuries and died in the hospital several hours later.
A 42-year-old firefighter, who had previously run over 30 marathons, cut his leg while fighting a fire. He went to the Fire Department Medical Clinic and then to Bellevue Hospital for treatment. He was given antibiotics, stitched and released. Ordinarily, this should have been the end to the story. However, due to a failure by the Fire Department Medical Clinic to inform Owen S. or the Bellevue staff that several years earlier they discovered that he had a heart murmur, his minor wound became life threatening. Because Owen had an open wound, he had to be given antibiotics to prevent infection in and around his heart. Since this was not done, he sustained subacute endocarditis, which caused bacteria to grow inside his aorta, ultimately causing him to be completely disabled from the fire department and unable to perform any strenuous activity. Thirteen doctors and experts, some Fire Department staff, testified in this case over four weeks but the jury needed little more than an hour to decide in Owen’s favor.
Mrs. Y-H was a passenger on a subway train that derailed. At the moment of impact, she was thrown across the subway car and into a pole. She was knocked unconscious. Shortly after the accident, her family noticed that she was not acting normally. Her doctors confirmed that she had sustained permanent brain damage. The TA contended that she did not sustain brain damage or if she did, that it was not permanent. At the trial, qualified experts in the areas of brain injury and cognitive dysfunction were retained and testified. The jury heard persuasive testimony and saw medical documentation that left no doubt that Ms. Y-H suffered the injuries. The case was settled at the end of the trial prior to the jury deliberating.
$3.5 Million AWARD TO PARENTS
A 21-year-old developmentally disabled Chinese boy was walking with some friends after school when he stepped out into the crosswalk against the light and a City bus which was turning a little too close to the corner struck him. The young man had crippling injuries which prevented him from leaving the hospital where he died several months later. Despite the fact that eyewitnesses said the boy stepped into the street against the light, the law reduces an injured person’s share of liability in accordance with their mental capacity. At trial, it was proven through a guidance counselor from his school that he was intellectually comparable to a seven-year-old. Thereafter, the jury determined that this young man was not legally responsible for his actions and awarded 100% in his favor on the liability portion of the trial
An undocumented Mexican immigrant working on scaffolding at a construction site fell 30 feet onto cement. He fractured his skull and vertebrae in his neck and back. It was shown at trial that the company he worked for failed to provide him with a safety line, which would have prevented his fall.
In this case, a woman and her boyfriend approached the 65th Street transverse across Central Park on the morning before the NYC Marathon. They saw a uniformed City worker putting up barricades to close off the roadway. They asked the man if it was okay if they go through and he said, “Sure, go ahead.” What he did not warn them about was that the roadway was being closed to fix large holes caused by water damage. Consequently, Rhonda and her boyfriend rode into an unguarded excavation site in an area that was pitch-black underneath an overpass. Rhonda’s bike fell into a pit and her face was smashed into the roadway. She suffered facial fractures, lacerations and dental injuries, requiring multiple surgical procedures leaving her with permanent facial scarring. At trial, the City refused to admit that it was to blame. The jury disagreed and awarded judgment in favor of Rhonda.
A 30-year-old carpenter who was working at a jobsite in a retail store fell from a ladder onto both feet. He suffered bilateral calcaneus fractures requiring multiple surgeries.
A young Chinese first time mother was injured due to the medical malpractice of the doctors and staff at what was then Beekman Downtown Hospital. While at the hospital due to contractions, the fetus was not properly monitored and went into fetal distress. The baby was lost, and during the emergency surgery the mother sustained a painful 3rd degree laceration which caused future problems. The hospital refused to settle. When the trial started, the mother sobbed uncontrollably during the opening statements. Immediately thereafter, the case settled.
A 39-year-old secretary was struck by a private school bus in the Bronx. Initially, Ms. M. suffered a contusion that caused a large hematoma of her right thigh. She was placed in an ambulance and transported to Lincoln Medical Center where she underwent minor treatment. During the week that followed the accident, she returned to the hospital, because her right thigh had become increasingly painful and swollen. She underwent surgical evacuation of her hematoma. Thereafter, she underwent four surgeries that involved debridement of nonviable tissue. Her hospitalization lasted about eight weeks. During the ensuing three years, she required daily outpatient treatment that included dressing of her right thigh’s wound. She remains with a permanent disfiguring scar of her right thigh. The bus company was found to be 100% responsible for the happening of the accident but they refused to agree to an amount of damages until they settled on the third day of trial for $3 Million.
Maria, a housekeeper, was walking across Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn in the crosswalk when she was struck by a school bus and thrown over 25 feet. She sustained severe injuries, including multiple fractures. The bus driver claimed that he had a green light and was travelling at a safe speed. Unfortunately, Mrs. S. could not recall any of the facts of the accident. Our investigator combed the area for witnesses. He found a woman who lived on the sixth floor of an adjacent apartment building. Although she didn’t see the accident, she happened to look out her window and saw Maria’s body lying in the roadway down the street. Using this testimony, our accident reconstruction expert was able to prove that the bus had to be speeding to knock Maria that far from the crosswalk. The case was settled immediately after that testimony.
Eric Q. was an innocent bystander who was shot in the leg while he was walking on the sidewalk. He was treated at a NYC hospital initially and for follow-up. During subsequent visits, the ER staff at the hospital failed to diagnose compartment syndrome, a condition which causes intense swelling and pain due to fluid buildup. If not properly treated, the surrounding muscles and tissue will die. This occurred and Eric ultimately lost his lower leg.
A 31-year-old maintenance worker struck an improperly maintained NYC traffic control pressure sensor embedded in the roadway while riding his bicycle. He suffered fractures of his left arm requiring surgery. The City denied responsibility for the maintenance of the roadway and the cover and argued that the area was not dangerous, until the case proceeded to trial when they settled.
This 34-year-old chef and restaurant owner was rollerblading in Greenwich Village when she was struck by a vehicle backing into a parking space. Her case was complicated by the fact that she had several years prior undergone surgery to remove a disc in her lower spine and thereafter had a spinal cord stimulator implanted to help reduce pain in that area. She testified that she was pain free for the three years immediately preceding this accident. Medical proof at trial showed that this accident aggravated the previous injury, that she required the surgical replacement of the prior stimulator and had to have a morphine pump implanted because of the constant severe pain. The defendants agreed to settle even though they claimed that Ms. S.’s injuries were not due to this accident.
This case involved a 47-year-old Chinese home health aide who was attacked and robbed while she was going to visit her patient in a NYCHA building in lower Manhattan. The assailant had been preying on Asian women in the area and entered the building through an unlocked and broken security door. As a result of the attack, Ms. H. sustained multiple facial fractures and post-traumatic stress disorder. NYCHA denied responsibility, claiming that the tenants used the doorway and failed to report that it was broken. This office argued that the NYCHA knew of this constant problem and should have installed an effective locking system or employed a guard and should have deployed security cameras. The case settled just prior to trial.
A 46-year-old carpenter was working on a straight ladder which had been leaned against the wall on a jobsite. He fell when the ladder slipped away from the wall. As a result, he suffered facial injuries and a fractured knee that required surgery. The property owner and general contractor were found to be responsible because Jian S. should have been provided with a more suitable A-frame ladder or scaffolding.
A 36-year-old woman met a man at PJ Clarke’s Tavern in Manhattan. After being served drinks at the bar for over five hours, they got into his Alfa Romeo Spider and within minutes he proceeded to run a red light on Park Avenue, and they were struck by a speeding taxicab. Initially, Joan S. had amnesia about the events and was unable to identify the man she met at the bar. Through investigation, we were able to gather the facts of the events, obtain the police report and determine the identity of the driver of the Alfa Romeo. It was proven through a toxicology expert at trial that the amount of alcohol consumed from the size of the drink glasses served for five hours would have been far over the legal blood alcohol limit in the driver’s system when he left the bar with Joan S. The bar was found to be responsible because the employees of the tavern either knew or should have known by their own observations that the man was drunk while they continued to serve alcohol to him.
Mrs. R. was a 46-year-old worker who cleaned offices at night. Unbeknownst to her, the building was being fumigated with a very concentrated and powerful chemical agent. It was so toxic that the men doing the work were wearing Hazmat gear. Neither her company nor the exterminating company notified her of what was going on. When she opened up her supply closet, she was consumed by a cloud of heavy fumes, and she became violently ill. She was found to have developed Lupus. With the use of a chemical exposure expert and medical documentation, we were able to show conclusively that the Lupus was caused by the chemical exposure. Thereafter, the case settled.
A 53-year-old car service driver, got out of his car to retrieve money dropped by another driver in the drive-thru lane of a Burger King. As he stepped out of his vehicle, he fell through a broken sewer grate into a 4-foot-deep opening. He was treated for back, wrist and hip injuries. Approximately 5 weeks later when he had trouble breathing, he presented to the hospital with a massive lung infection and a collapsed lung. By that time, he had lost 50% of his lung capacity, which we claimed was a result of the fall. The Defendants contended that the fall had nothing to do with the lung condition. At the trial, we showed with the use of medical experts in pulmonology that Luis R’s lungs were injured, and the infection was caused by the trauma he sustained to his chest in the fall into the driveway catch basin, and the jury unanimously agreed.
A 43-year-old home-care attendant was struck by van in the Bronx. She suffered a fractured ankle with surgery.
Taylor’s mother had gained over 50 pounds during the pregnancy, was past due, and had a prolonged first stage and second stage of delivery. These are warning signs of an overly large baby. Baby Taylor was 9 lbs. 13 oz. Instead of delivery by C-section, which was clearly indicated, the attending physician elected a natural birth. When the baby was stuck in the pelvic area, excessive force was used to pull her out, injuring the nerves in her neck and causing a partial paralysis of her left arm. The condition is known as Erbs Palsy. The case settled during trial. Fortunately, Baby Taylor’s injury improved over time.
Baby S was born with a congenital hip dislocation which was not anyone’s fault. However, malpractice occurred when the doctors and hospital did not recognize the condition after she was born. Their failure to diagnose and properly treat the condition resulted in a slight but permanent deformity.
A 56-year-old home health attendant tripped over an exposed wire that was extending from a telephone box on the subway platform. The wire had been left there by electricians during a renovation of the station. Cordelia required a knee replacement.
50-year-old construction worker fell through a hole in the scaffold where he was working and sustained small fractures of the spinous process and mild cognitive deficits. The owner of the property and the general contractor were held responsible.
A 16-year-old boy was pinned against a wall by a slowly backing box truck. Ernest R. sustained a lacerated spleen which had to be removed. The driver was found to be 100% negligent and the jury awarded $1.2 Million of its award because the internist produced at trial explained that the spleen was critical to the body’s immune system and the loss of the spleen made this young man more susceptible to infectious diseases.
Frank N. was a security guard who slipped on ice at a building owned by Metropolitan Life. Heating coils installed in the ramp to prevent the ramp from becoming icy were not operational and building management did not take any steps to clear the ice or warn of the condition. He sustained a fractured knee in the fall.
A young girl slid down a sliding pond in the playground of a NYC school. The slide was not installed properly and there was a gap between the metal on the side of the slide. As Ayisha slid down, her ring finger went into the gap and the top of it was cut off. The City argued that since it was just the tip of her finger it was not worth much money. At trial, it was proved that Ayisha had a devastating emotional reaction which affected every aspect of her life and self-esteem. The jury agreed.
A 45-year-old construction worker was working at a jobsite when a wood beam fell from a dumpster and struck his right lower leg, resulting in a degloving injury and fractures requiring surgery.
Julio, 16, was an outpatient at the Manhattan Children’s Psychiatric Hospital where he attended school and got psychiatric counseling and supportive therapy every day. The NYC Board of Ed operated the school. One day after school, Julio ran after his bus, which was leaving without him. He slipped and was run over by the back wheels, sustaining severe injuries, including bilateral hip fractures and a shearing injury to his buttocks. Board of Ed rules required that Julio was to be escorted to the bus. The NYCTA denied liability, claiming they weren’t negligent because Julio ran after the bus. The City denied liability because they claimed the school day was over. At trial, both the Board of Ed who had knowledge of Julio’s poor impulse control and were required to put him safely on the bus, and the NYCTA whose bus driver saw Julio running and made no effort to slow or stop the bus, were found to be responsible.
Meusette, a 19-year-old university student, was a passenger in the back seat of a car that lost control and struck a barrier in Washington Heights. As a result of the accident, she suffered a fractured pelvis.
Jovita, an elderly office worker, was struck by a van moments after she left her office at the close of business. She was knocked unconscious and removed to the hospital by ambulance. All subsequent testing was negative, but her children claimed that she was slower, more absent-minded, easily distracted, and at times sometimes confused after the accident. The defendants claimed she had no serious injuries from this accident. At trial, our expert neurologist said that despite the lack of objective proof, if the family members who observe her daily say she is consistently different, slower and more confused with impaired memory, then it is obvious that she sustained a type of brain damage. A short time later, the jury returned a verdict for $1 million.
60 year old woman sustained head injury after tripping on rain mat.