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$2,750,000 Settlement for NYC Resident Injured in Landlord Negligence Case

Our client, a 69-year-old Queens resident, was sitting in the living room of his apartment when a portion of the ceiling suddenly fell onto him. As a result of the impact, he suffered injuries that ultimately required surgery. Represented by Partners Daniel O’Toole and Frederick Aranki, he received a $2,750,000 settlement.

Court and County

Supreme, Queens

Plaintiff Description

Our client was a 69-year-old Queens resident on the date of the accident. He is a loving husband, a father of six, and a grandfather of eight. He was employed full-time at a wholesale beverage distributor.

Description of Case

This matter arises out of a ceiling collapse accident on 43rd Street that occurred in March 2019. Plaintiff was sitting on his couch in the living room of his apartment when a large piece of the ceiling, made of heavy plaster, collapsed onto his left shoulder, neck, and back. The Plaintiff was 69 years old at the time of the accident and 73 at the time of settlement.

Plaintiff testified that the ceiling was hard as stone and fell in large, fist-sized rocks from the ceiling. Plaintiff fell forward off the couch and onto the floor after the ceiling collapsed. The portion of the living room ceiling that fell was cracked prior to the collapse. Plaintiff argued that the Defendant landlord had ample notice of issues in the ceiling of the Plaintiff’s apartment prior to the collapse.

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As a result of the accident, Plaintiff suffered injuries to his lumbar spine, cervical spine, and left shoulder.

An MRI of the lumbar spine conducted shortly after the accident revealed multiple disc bulges and herniations, including disc bulges at L1-2, L2-3, L3-4 and disc herniations with annular tears at L4-5 and L5-S1. As a result of the aforementioned injuries, the Plaintiff required several injections to his lumbar spine, including three rounds of trigger point injections and three rounds of epidural steroid injections. These injections and other conservative treatment ultimately failed to alleviate his lower back pain and he required a multilevel lumbar fusion surgery, performed in two parts, in January 2020.

An MRI of the cervical spine conducted post-accident revealed disc bulges at C2-3, C5-6, and C7-T1 and cervical disc bulges at C3-4 and C4-5. Plaintiff underwent conservative treatment, including physical therapy and an epidural steroid injection. He treated with a spine surgeon for these injuries as well.

Plaintiff underwent an MRI of his left shoulder due to continuing post-accident shoulder pain. The MRI revealed a superior labral tear and partial tearing of the rotator cuff. As a result of the aforementioned left shoulder injuries, the Plaintiff required a corticosteroid injection in the left shoulder subacromial space.

Plaintiff was examined by a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation who opined that he is expected to have progression of post-traumatic arthritis as a result of his injuries and also expected to have progression of adjacent level syndrome as result of his injuries. This doctor also opined that Plaintiff’s injuries are permanent and result from the subject accident. In addition to the results of his examination, he gave an opinion regarding the anticipated future medical needs of the Plaintiff and the costs associated with this treatment.

Further, at the time of the accident, Plaintiff had been employed at a wholesale beverage distributor and working full time, up to 50 hours per week. Plaintiff attempted to go back to work after the accident, but missed too much time from work due to doctor’s appointments and his employment was terminated due to excessive absences related to his injuries. A claim was made for his lost wages in this regard.

Settlement Amount

This matter settled prior to trial for $2,750,000.

Handling Attorneys

The case was handled by firm Partners Daniel O’Toole and Fred Aranki.

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