$1,500,000 Settlement During Mediation in Personal Injury Lawsuit for Client Hurt in Elevator Malfunction

Our client was working in a parking garage when the elevator he was riding malfunctioned, coming to a sudden stop and causing him to be injured. It was determined that the accident was caused by defective elevator parts, and that the Defendants were already aware the elevator needed repairs. We sued for negligence, and the case settled at mediation for $1,500,000.

Court and County
Supreme, Kings

Plaintiff Description
Our client is originally from Haiti, lives in Jamaica, Queens and was working as a parking garage attendant and part-time pastor at the time of his accident.

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Description of Case
Our client was working at a parking garage in Park Slope, Brooklyn when he was injured after the elevator in which he was a passenger malfunctioned by jerking and coming to a sudden stop. This caused our client to fall into the vehicle he was standing next to, and then down to the elevator car's floor. The elevator doors wouldn't open, and our client was stuck inside the elevator for almost an hour. This was not the first time our client had issues with this elevator, something his employer was aware of.

Through discovery and in consultation with an elevator expert, we identified the cause of the accident as involving defective parts which an elevator repair company had identified months prior to the accident - damaged parts which remained unaddressed up to the time of the accident.

We sued the building owner and elevator repair company, arguing that they were negligent for failing to take the elevator out of service and repair it in a timely fashion and prior to this incident. The Defendants argued that the malfunction was a recurring one that was actually caused by the manner in which Plaintiff and his co-workers were driving vehicles onto the elevator too quickly - something they had repeated been warned to avoid doing. Defendants made a motion to dismiss the case, which we opposed, and which was still pending at the time of settlement.

Injuries
Plaintiff was 60 years old at the time of the accident and had a pre-accident history of lower back and left knee problems, including a prior car accident in which he had injured his back and left knee and ultimately underwent surgeries to both body parts.

Plaintiff then claimed to have recovered and returned to work in the years leading up to the subject elevator accident. Following this elevator accident, Plaintiff suffered new low back and left knee injuries. After being diagnosed with lumbar herniated discs and after attempting physical therapy and multiple epidural injections, Plaintiff underwent a 2-level lumbar fusion surgery. Plaintiff also underwent an arthroscopic surgery to his left knee.

Plaintiff claimed to be totally disabled from employment as a result of these injuries. We claimed damages for our client's pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses (past and future) and lost earnings (past and future). The defense, through its medical experts, contended that all of Plaintiff's injuries were pre-existing and degenerative in nature and thus argued that Plaintiff's claimed injuries were not a result of this accident.

Settlement Amount
During a mediation, the parties agreed to a settlement of $1,500,000.

Handling Attorneys
This case was handled by Firm Partners Stephen J. Murphy and David L. Scher.

Personal Injury Lawsuits Settled During Mediation

The attorneys at Block O'Toole & Murphy fight for every dollar that our clients are legally entitled to. We work hard to deliver the best results for clients harmed in work accidents, car crashes, premises liability, and other personal injury cases. In total, we recovered well over $1 billion for clients. In 2016 alone, we attained 4 of the 5 highest settlements in New York State, and in 2017, our law firm achieved the highest mediated settlement in the state.

Select Block O'Toole & Murphy cases that settled during mediation include:

  • $12,000,000 settlement in a Manhattan construction accident case for a worker with serious injuries after an on-the-job fall
  • $7,300,000 settlement for a worker who sustained an arm amputation after a demolition accident at a Brooklyn construction site
  • $7,000,000 settlement for a carpenter who was hurt in a scaffold-related accident in Astoria, Queens
  • $4,600,000 settlement for a client who was hurt in a car accident after the other driver ran a stop sign in Long Island, New York
  • $3,500,000 settlement for a driver who was sideswiped by another vehicle in Queens, New York
  • $3,450,000 settlement in a Supreme Queens case for a pedestrian who suffered multiple fractures after he was hit by a bus
  • $3,175,000 settlement for a truck driver who was hit by a forklift while he was making a delivery in Jamaica, Queens

To learn more about our results, please visit the Verdicts and Settlements portion of our website. For a free legal consultation, please call 212-736-5300. We serve New York and New Jersey.