A tractor trailer company from Honesdale, PA was hired to transport pallets of salt from New Jersey to Massachusetts. The tractor trailer company never provided safety training to any of their drivers. The tractor trailer company did not provide lane awareness safety equipment in any of their trucks. While driving on Route 84 through Fishkill New York, the tractor trailer driver changed lanes without signaling. Our client was in the left lane and was forced off the road. There the truck pushed the car into the guardrail and drove away. The police eventually caught the truck driver 10 miles down the road. As a result of the crash our 45-year-old client required a surgery to his neck. Fortunately, he was able to return to work and his normal activities. Managing Attorney David Akerib helped Trial Attorney Brian Acard settle the case prior to trial for $295,000.
Having won hundreds of thousands of personal injury cases, our experience is proven. In the past fifty years Finkelstein & Partners has obtained verdicts or settlements with awards ranging from $500 thousand to $34 million. While we have established our reputation as the law firm to retain when seeking top-dollar verdicts or settlements from insurance companies, your satisfaction is our primary goal.
Now in our fifth decade of providing client representation and service, we remain dedicated as ever to fighting for and winning the money you deserve from insurance companies or other responsible parties, while preserving your dignity and privacy.
Please read on for a selection of recent cases of note.*
A large condominium association in Monroe, Orange County, NY agreed to pay $205,000 after we proved the sidewalk was broken up and dangerous for years. Rather than fix the sidewalk, the condominium association chose to leave the dangerous condition for all the families to be at risk. When our 63-year-old client was on her way to catch the bus she tripped and fell over the broken sidewalk, breaking her elbow. She knew the only way the condo association would repair the sidewalk was if she hired a lawyer to hold them accountable. Trial Attorney Brian Acard was able to settle the case prior to trial.
After significant abdominal surgery under general anesthesia, our client remained heavily sedated by medications. During a standard procedure a tube was inserted through his throat and attached to a breathing machine to maintain the airway. The tube is kept in place with a device that in essence is a balloon. While cleaning the airway the nurse over-inflated the balloon causing it to burst and our client to die due to suffocation. The case was handled by Partners Mary Ellen Wright and Kenneth Fromson.
When a martial arts trainer was asked to teach basic restraint moves to elementary school teachers, he chose our client to demonstrate a basic restraint move. Rather than slowly demonstrating the move, the instructor flipped the 40-year-old woman over his hip landing her on the ground without any warning and injuring her back. Ultimately our client's injuries required surgery. Martial arts instructors must know their limits; here he chose to go beyond those limits and we held him accountable. The case was handled by Managing Attorney David Akerib and Trial Partner Ron Rosenkranz.
After a distracted truck driver hit the rear of a school bus, the school bus driver never could return to work. The crash aggravated our client's shoulder and neck so much that he needed surgery on both his shoulder and neck. We were able to collect the full $500,000 of insurance from the truck driver. In addition, we filed a claim against the school district for Underinsurance benefits. At first, the school district claimed our client received full compensation so we pursued an arbitration. Just before the arbitration was going to be held, the school district agreed to pay an additional $410,000 making the total settlement $910,000. The case was handled by trial attorney Brian Acard and managing attorney David Akerib.
When a landlord elects to fix a support beam himself, he better do it right. As the cement garage floor settled in their New Windsor, NY house, the landlord saw the support column in the middle of the garage was no longer connected at the top. Rather than pay for a contractor to properly affix the column, the landlord simply tried to nail the column to the ceiling. The column was loose because the original contractor chose to use the wrong size support column and the original framer never properly affixed it at the floor or at the ceiling. The column was loose for years. After a fire in their own house, our clients needed to rent a home while the fire damage was being cleaned. They moved into the rental house and the landlord never warned them about the loose column in the garage. Within a few weeks of moving in, the 6-year-old son was walking through the garage with his three-year-old brother when, as expected, the six-year-old pretended the pole was a fire pole and swung around it. As he did, the pole gave way and landed on him, killing him. Our office immediately sent an expert to the house and properly documented the faulty work by the contractor and framer as well as the shoddy repair work by the landlord. Even though they tried to blame the boy for swinging on the pole, ultimately they were held accountable and agreed to settle the case for a total of $1,100,000. While the parents know no amount of money is going to bring their son back, they were happy the responsible parties were held accountable because they don’t want this to happen to anyone else. The case was handled by partners Elyssa Fried-De Rosa and Ron Rosenkranz.
When a property manager hires a contractor, he/she must ensure the working environment is safe – even when the property owner does not direct or supervise the work. A corporate property owner hired a contractor to demolish a building on a property in Hudson Falls, NY. As part of the demolition process, workers utilized ladders to reach elevated areas in the building to remove steel pipes and copper wiring. There was a snow storm overnight that resulted in ice on the floor of the owner’s building that was being demolished. And although the owner was aware of the weather, the owner chose to remove snow and ice from areas on the property other than the building where the workers were doing their job with ladders. The owner took no action to ensure that workers were furnished with devices to prevent ladders from slipping; this violated New York Labor Laws requiring that workers be afforded protection from falls. Predictably, our client’s ladder slipped because he had not been provided with devices to secure the ladder, and he fell to the ground suffering a broken back. Despite the owner’s contention that our client should be 100% responsible for his own actions in working in an unsafe area without availing himself of equipment to make his work area safe, a Warren County jury enforced the New York Labor Law with a verdict in our client’s favor. The trial was presented by Partner Kenneth Fromson.
Building owners and general contractors must provide safe places for sub-contractors to work – even when it is on a roof. A major corporation in Fishkill, NY hired a general contractor to do renovations to several of it’s buildings, including the flat roof. There was a snow and ice storm overnight and the flat roof was very slippery. Since the job was already shut down a few days earlier because of dangerous work conditions, the general contractor had to meet their deadline and chose to send workers on the roof without even salting or shoveling the roof. As our client walked across the roof he slipped on the ice and severely broke his wrist. After four surgeries, including a fusion to the wrist, our client was finally able to return to work. The case settled before a Columbia County jury heard the case for $1,250,000 by Trial Partner George Levy.
When our client from Stony Point in Rockland County was exiting the Seaford Oyster Expressway in Nassau County, Long Island, she brought her car to a stop. While waiting for traffic to open up, the car behind her was driving distracted and struck her in the rear. Being that she was so far from home, and because she did not have any broken bones, she chose not to get immediate medical attention. As too often happens, instead of the stiff neck and back getting better over time, both got worse. Eventually she had to have surgery on her lower back. Unfortunately the distracted driver only had the minimum insurance coverage, $25,000 which we collected. In addition, our client had purchased insurance from her own car insurance company that allowed her to make a claim when a car that causes a crash has less insurance than what she provided. This is called under-insurance. We immediately took action and filed her under-insurance and successfully collected an additional $75,000 for a total recovery of $100,000. The case was handled by Attorneys David Gross and Michael Feldman.
Two days after a snowstorm the parking lot was still a mess at an apartment complex in Beacon, New York. Plowing is not enough when there are large patches of ice where cars park. The apartment management company choose not to salt or sand the ice. Our 45 year old client was walking between two cars where untreated ice was under a thin coat of snow. When he stepped on the snow, the ice caused him to fall and break his arm. The break was so bad it required surgery and his bones are now supported by a metal rod. Fortunately our client was able to return to work after a few weeks, but he will be at risk of developing arthritis. We were able to settle the case at mediation for $210,000. The case was handled by Senior Trial Partner George M. Levy, Managing Attorney David Gross and Case Manager Lynn P.