Sidewalk Trip & Fall Plaintiff Upholds $1.7M of a $2.9M Jury Award For Pain & Suffering - Despite No Surgery

On November 23, 2022, the Appellate Division, Second Department reduced a Kings County jury verdict of $2.9M for past pain and suffering to $1.7M. The verdict was awarded to a 54 year old woman who tripped and fell on a sidewalk maintained by the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA). The trial concluded in December 2018 and the appellate process took another 4 years, presumably due to Covid. The jury found that the plaintiff was not at fault for failing to see and avoid the sidewalk defect and held the NYCTA 100% responsible. The jury implicitly agreed that the NYCTA had violated the New York City Administrative Code Section 19-152 (a) (4), which defines a substantial defect as follows: "a tripping hazard, where the vertical grade differential between adjacent sidewalk flags is greater than or equal to one half inch OR where a sidewalk flag contains one or more surface defects of one inch or greater in all horizontal directions and is one half inch or more in depth." The plaintiff proved her case solely based on her credible testimony and photographs of the hazardous defect.

The plaintiff suffered injuries to both knees and her her spine requiring chiropractic treatment, physical therapy, multiple epidural steroid injections and pain management services provided over the following 6 years prior to the trial. The defendant argued that the spinal condition (herniated lumbar and cervical discs) had been present for years and were simply degenerative in nature. (This is the typical defense that fails to appreciate you don't get a free pass from your carelessness just because of the normal aging process.) As of the date of trial the plaintiff had not undergone surgery but her doctor testified that she will need bilateral knee replacements at a cost of $160,000 some time in the future. Accordingly, the jury awarded plaintiff $160,000 in future medical expenses in addition to the awards for past ($1M) and future ($700,000) pain and suffering. The total amount of the jury verdict sustained by the appellate court was $1,860,000. Ormond v New York City Transit Authority, 2022 WL 17171209

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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