Suffolk County Jury's Verdict for Pain & Suffering of $475,000 Found Inadequate-Increased to $3.5 Million

Last month the Appellate Court said that a Suffolk County jury had unfairly found that a 33 year old construction worker was 25% to blame for his accident and inadequately compensated him with only $475,000 for past and future pain and suffering. The plaintiff had fallen from an unsecured ladder attributable to uneven and unsettled dirt on the ground. The Appellate Court found that the owner of the property had violated Labor Law 240 (1) in failing to provide plaintiff with scaffolding and/or an aerial lift as he requested, instead of the ladder, due to the uneven dirt on the ground. Therefore, it found that any comparative negligence of the plaintiff could not be used to diminish his recovery.

The plaintiff suffered serious injuries to his dominant hand, wrist and lower back requiring: a surgery to repair the comminuted fracture of his wrist leaving reduced range of motion; two lumbar spinal fusion surgeries which included a laminectomy and foraminotomy. The Court observed that the plaintiff will require pain medications for the rest of his life, can never return to work nor resume sports with his daughter and thus increased the jury award for past pain and suffering from $100,000 to $1 million and increased the jury award of $375,000 for future pain and suffering to $2.5 million.

Noteworthy, was the approval of the Trial Judge's decision to prohibit the insurance company's defense attorney's attempt to inform the jury that the plaintiff was "an undocumented immigrant who failed to pay taxes and had used a co-worker's name to obtain health insurance immediately following the accident...." The Appellate Court stated that these facts did "not present an issue relating to the plaintiff's credibility as to any material fact." Cano v Mid-Valley Oil Company

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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