Richmond County Jury Finds Rehab Center Failed to Prevent Fall From Wheelchair-Awards $6M - Reduced to $1M

On December 27, 2023, the Appellate Division, Second Department overruled a Staten Island trial judge who reduced a jury verdict of $6,000,000 to $500,000. The appeals court held that a $6,000,000 award for three years of past pain and suffering was excessive but that $500,000 was inadequate and allowed the plaintiff to recover $1,000,000. The plaintiff apparently died of an unrelated longstanding medical condition of Parkinson's disease and his widow became the representative of his estate. The jury accepted plaintiff's contention that while her husband was in the care of Clove Lakes Health Care & Rehabilitation Center, Inc they failed to prevent his fall from a wheelchair resulting in a displaced fracture to his left hip. As a result of the fracture the decedent required a hip replacement surgery.

Post surgery the plaintiff's husband returned to the defendant rehab center for physical therapy. Although his hip healed, the decedent complained that his legs were numb and within six months, he was no longer able to walk and developed dementia. The decedent remained at the rehab for three years until his death, complained of ongoing pain, an inability to walk and depended on a wheelchair for mobility. Romano v Clove Lakes Heath Care & Rehabilitation Ctr., Inc., 2023 N.Y. Slip Op. 0676

PS- For those unfamiliar with reduction of a jury verdict by a trial judge or appellate court, the plaintiff must always be given an option to accept or reject the reduction of a jury award within 30 days. If the plaintiff refuses to accept the reduction, the damages component of the case will be retried before a new jury, though plaintiff may appeal an unfair reduction as happened in the above case.

Ronald C. Burke, Esq

Trial Attorney with 30+ Years of Experience Attorney Ronald C. Burke, Esq. has more than 30 years of experience and has focused his career on representing clients in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and legal malpractice. He is a seasoned trial lawyer and has won many seven-figure settlements and verdicts for his clients over the years, including many case victories listed among the largest in the history of the New York State. He has been featured in the news and is a regular lecturer for the New York County Lawyers Association, as well as having lectured before the New York State Bar Association. Ron is also an attorney with Kelner & Kelner, a New York personal injury law firm. Awards and Accolades Mr. Burke's awards and accolades are many. Among them, he has been included in New York Super Lawyers® each year since 2010, and he has received the highest-possible AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. Verdict Search, a part of the New York Law Journal, frequently recognizes his notable successes after winning some of the highest settlements and verdicts in past years. He was also featured in their list of the "Top New York Verdicts " and "Top New York Settlements." He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as before the United States Supreme Court. When Attorney Burke is not handling legal malpractice cases, he is highly involved in the local community. He was a member of the Village of Rockville Centre Volunteer Fire Department, has served on the local school board and as Chairman of the local Zoning Board. Learn more about Attorney Burke and how he can skillfully handle your malpractice case by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke, Esq. right away to schedule your complimentary case evaluation. Our firm is here to help! Contact a New York Legal Malpractice Attorney Our firm provides each client's case with thorough preparation and aggressive representation, ensuring that you win the best possible results for your case whether it is settled or goes to trial. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. Burke can provide the strong and relentless representation you need to establish negligence in a legal malpractice case and to recover any damages you may have suffered. Our firm can recover compensation for pre-trial and trial malpractice, violations of fee arrangements, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more. Contact us today!


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