A former elevator accident client explains how he was treated like family by the attorneys of Block O’Toole & Murphy.
The following transcript is from an excerpt of the video (10:50 to 15:58), where the interviewer speaks with Partner Jeffrey Block and his client, a victim of an elevator accident.
Interviewer: It gives me great pleasure to introduce one of the other partners of the firm, Jeff Block, and his client, Oscar. Welcome to the show, Oscar.
Client: Thank you.
Interviewer: And welcome to the show, Jeff.
Jeffrey Block: Thanks, Steve.
Interviewer: Now, you represented him in an unfortunate accident that he had. He was a delivery man in an elevator that crashed, and you got a major verdict – $5.5 million dollars. Tell us a little bit about what happened here.
Jeffrey Block: The history with Oscar is pretty interesting. Oscar grew up in Puerto Rico, came to the United States to be a long-term truck driver so that he can support his family. [He] left behind his wife and his young son Victor, who happens to be the most important person in Oscar’s life. Over time, Oscar stepped up a job and got a better job as a furniture delivery man. He was working in 2003 delivering furniture in New York City over at 42nd Street. While in the course of making deliveries, he had entered into a freight elevator that was being operated manually. The operator hit a button and drew down a cage, striking Oscar in the back of the head [and] neck, driving him into the ground. The whole matter was caught on videotape.
Interviewer: Now, tell us a little about this cage…it hit you, didn’t it?
Interviewer: And what was your immediate reaction – fell to the floor, or what?
Client: Well, as soon as it hit me, I fell down. I sat down in one of the corners of the elevator. I felt a little bit dizzy. Then, the elevator [operator] guy…he just took me up and down the building.
Interviewer: He just continued operating the elevator with you injured?
Jeffrey Block: Amazingly…laying on the floor of the elevator.
Interviewer: Laying on the floor? He didn’t help you up or anything? Nothing?
Client: No, nothing.
Jeffrey Block: Oscar, to his credit – big strong man, as you can see…he was probably around 260 pounds at the time [and] 33 years of age – sat in the truck for the rest of the delivery schedule, went home, and the following day had a 5am delivery out in New Jersey. So, he had no one to report to as this action happened late in the afternoon the day before. Oscar actually went to work the next day before seeking any medical care or treatment.
That was one of the big issues that the defendants had on the case is that he could not really have been hurt since he didn’t go right to the emergency room or seek a doctor’s care immediately following the accident. He actually went to work the next day. Well, he did go to work at 5am. His partner picked him up, put him in the truck, and he sat in the truck while his partner made a delivery in New Jersey. He came back and then went to the emergency room, making complaints of head, neck, and back [pain]. Oscar went through years of treatment, years of therapy. [He] had his first surgical back procedure where they operated on two levels of his lower spine – one year post-accident in 2004…did not have any relief of pain.
[He] went back for a two-level fusion where they actually had to put titanium cages, screws, [and] rods in his back. That didn’t work for him, and he went back to get what they call a spinal cord stimulator. Unfortunately for Oscar, he had a terrible reaction to the spinal cord stimulator and couldn’t tolerate it. They had to remove that, and he’s left with what we call a failed lower back surgical syndrome. Oscar is presently 39 years of age, and he’s totally disabled.
Interviewer (to Oscar): Obviously, this law firm got you a great result. But when you look at other people that you know that have been injured on the job too, would you recommend them 100% for the full length that they went for?
Client: Yes, 100%. These people are the greatest. They don’t treat you like they’re your lawyers. This is family. As soon as you come in through the front door, you see Sharon with a big smile. Then, this guy [Jeffrey Block] comes out from his office. He gives you a big hug. We can sit down in this office for hours. When I have a problem and I need to talk to somebody, I call him. [He says,] “Come to my office.” And I sit down, and we stay… an hour, hour and a half… talking about personal issues.
Interviewer: Tell us the result of this case. How long did this take to settle/go to trial?
Jeffrey Block: This case had a very prolonged history because we made a certain dispositive motion. We won the liability during the pendency of the case. The defendants appealed it. So, we had a prolonged period of time because we went up to the appeal division, waited approximately two years, came back down and went to try the case. And the case settled during trial for – as you said – $5,500,000.
Interviewer: I’m very sorry about your accident. I’m glad you hired this law firm and got that result. And I want to thank you very much for being on this program.
Client: Thank you.
Jeffrey Block: Steve, thank you very much.
Handing Attorney on the Case
The Founding Partner of Block O’Toole & Murphy, Jeffrey Block attained well over 100 verdicts and settlements exceeding $1,000,000 each in work accident, premises liability, auto accident, and other personal injury cases. Mr. Block is especially skilled in litigating challenging cases, including one in which he settled for more than 30 times the insurance policy. His aggressive and dogged approach to each and every single one of his cases has earned him the respect of clients and the legal community.
Since 2014, Mr. Block was selected to the elite Best Lawyers® list, signifying that he is in the top 4% of lawyers in America for plaintiff-side personal injury law.
Strong Legal Advocacy and Results
The attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy understand how devastating a serious accident can have on your health, livelihood, finances, and enjoyment of life. That’s why our lawyers have dedicated their careers to representing injury victims harmed as a result of another party’s negligence. Time and time again, our law firm has achieved more case results exceeding $1,000,000 than any other law firm in New York State. To learn more, please visit our Verdicts and Settlements page.