A construction contractor ordered a dumpster for industrial waste during renovations of a Newburgh commercial building, but the garbage company left the dumpster in the public street without cones or warning signs. There were no lights on the road and the dumpster didn’t have any reflectors or markings. The night the dumpster was delivered, our client was on his motorcycle on his way to work at the post office mail sorting plant. He was following a car when, without warning, the car swerved to avoid the dumpster. The motorcyclist also swerved to the left, but his right ankle clipped a metal piece sticking out of the base of the dumpster. Our client suffered a significant broken leg that required two surgeries to repair. Fortunately, he was ultimately able to return to his job at the post office. We sued the garbage company for leaving an unmarked dumpster on an unlit public road. The simple truth is this would never have happened if the dumpster was left on the private property next to the construction site. Ultimately the insurance company agreed to settle for $1,500,000. The case was handled by partners Andrew Finkelstein and Elyssa Fried.
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.*
After several combat tours of duty fighting in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom, our client returned home and began working as a Corrections Officer on Riker’s Island outside the inmate population. He was given a position checking cars for contraband at one of the entrances. While examining the rear of a van, another van lurched forward, momentarily pinning and injuring him. While the physical injuries were not too extensive, the surprise of the trauma triggered his then under control PTSD. Our client sought care with the VA Readjustment Counseling Services and ultimately was unable to return to work due to severe depression that developed. The VA psychologist related the triggering of the aggravation of the PTSD to the work-related event. The case was handled by George Levy and Andrew Finkelstein and was settled before trial for the $1,000,000 policy.
On a cool November afternoon, our client was walking her dog on the side of a road when a car left the roadway far enough for their side view mirror to strike her and knock her to the ground. The car drove off. Our client never saw it coming. While the dog was not hurt, our client was knocked out. When she came to, she was not sure what happened and crawled to a nearby house. An ambulance was called and she spent 14 days in the hospital. The reckless, distracted driver thought she may have hit something and after she arrived at her location, she noticed some damage to her rear view mirror. Fortunately, she called the police and confessed. Our 53-year-old client suffered a significant but to her head, broken bones in her back and a traumatic brain injury (TBI). After collecting the limited amount of available insurance from the car that hit her, we filed an underinsurance claim against our clients own insurance company. Fortunately, she had purchased the right to pursue compensation from her own car insurance if the car that caused her injury had less insurance than her. Partners Elyssa Fried-DeRosa and Ken Fromson handled the case and obtained a total settlement of $850,000
While waiting for his tractor-trailer to be loaded at a warehouse, our client who was a Fed Ex driver was doing paperwork 5 feet from the rear of his truck. The warehouse in Rockland County had a defective dock-plate and rather than get it fixed, the warehouse worker just stacked heavy boxes on the plate to hold it down. As the warehouse worker drove his forklift over the dock-plate, the boxes tipped over on to the back of our 62 year old clients leg. Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) are very painful conditions that are very difficult to treat. After trying a series of injections and various pain medications, our client opted to try a spinal cord stimulator. Unfortunately that did not work too well either and he is left to live in chronic pain. The case was settled at a mediation by Managing Partner Andrew Finkelstein and Trial Attorney Brian Acard.
In order to effectively tell our client’s story we often use case animations. These customized, lifelike depictions of the events that lead to our client’s injuries allow opposing council, and in some cases jury members/judges, to walk in our client’s shoes and gain a better understanding of how the ordeal unfolded.
After litigating a Bronx car crash case against Con Ed for three years and not getting any offers, a Manhattan personal injury firm asked Andrew Finkelstein to help at trial. The NYC lawyers were concerned because Con Ed conducted surveillance of the client, who had shoulder and spine surgery, showing her walking across the street and grocery shopping. Several focus groups were conducted and explained how the surveillance did not show the client was exaggerating her injuries at all. Our client's injuries happened when a Con Ed truck turned left in front of our client's car on East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx. Trial Partner Michael Feldman told Con Ed we were prepared for trial and the case settled just before jury selection for $2,000,000.
In the small Orange County hamlet Deer Park, the police hire part time officers. One of their part time officers also works full time as a corrections officer. The Deer Park police department had no rules or regulations limiting when their officers could work if they had a full time job. The part time police officer had just finished a 12 hour shift as a correction officer and immediately began a six hour shift for the Deer Park police department. The exhausted officer was driving in a Deer Park cruiser at 10:00 at night when he drifted off the road. Walking home from his job in Hugenot on the shoulder of the road was our client. He was unable to get out of the way of the police car. The Deer Park police officer claimed our client jumped in front of his vehicle in an effort to commit suicide because he was an Iraq war veteran who served two tours of duty. Fortunately, the State Police arrived and investigated the crash and found the Deer Park officer struck our client when our client was walking on the shoulder. Knocked unconscious from the impact, our client was air-lifted to Westchester County Medical Center where he was admitted for several days with a traumatic brain injury, a fractured skull and broken bones in his shoulder. Being the fighter that he is, our client worked hard and made a good recovery. The police department refused to accept any responsibility. The case was submitted to binding arbitration and the Judge found the Deer Park police department 100% at fault and awarded a total of $765,000. The case was handled by Managing Partner Andrew Finkelstein, Elyssa Fried and Trial Partner Ron Rosenkranz.
While standing 6 feet up on an 8 foot ladder at a construction site in Goshen, NY, a 52 year old carpenters ladder slipped out because the footings were removed and no tie off was given. The carpenter seriously injured his shoulder and has been unable to return to work. Initially, the injured worker filed for Workers’ Compensation through a lawyer in Middletown. Realizing there was a possible personal injury case, the Workers’ Compensation lawyer suggested the carpenter call our office. We filed suit claiming a violation of the Labor Law section 240, which requires property owners and general contractors to provide safety devices that protect workers, such as a tie off for the ladder to assure it remains steady and safe for the worker. Ultimately the Judge agreed with our theory and found that the property owner and general contractor violated Labor Law 240. The case was settled prior to trial by Senior Trial Partner George Levy.
Motorcycle riders have the same rights to the road as anyone else. Unfortunately, a pick-up driver didn’t think so and pulled out from a stop sign directly in front of our client, who was on his Harley Davidson enjoying a beautiful summer day in Binghamton in Broome County. Our client, who was retired, tried to avoid the crash by laying down his bike, but the truck kept going and ran him over. The police issued a ticket to the pick-up driver for failing to yield the right of way. Not surprisingly, our client had multiple broken bones and required several surgeries. Initially, the insurance company tried to blame our client for being on a motorcycle and only offered a small portion of the insurance policy. We let the insurance company know we would not stop until they offered the full amount of the balance of their $1,000,000 policy. After property damage payments, there was only $979,000 left, which was offered well before trial. The case was handled by Trial Partner Victoria Lightcap and Managing Partner Andrew Finkelstein.
Companies who have salespeople on our roads must take steps to ensure their employees don’t drive distracted. Following a sales call, a company employee was texting and driving the meeting results to her supervisor. While looking down at her phone she crashed into a car waiting to make a left-hand turn, causing that car to cross over and strike our client head-on. Our client suffered catastrophic injuries and will never be able to return to work. The case was ultimately settled prior to trial for $9,250,000 by Managing Partner Andrew Finkelstein and Trial Partner Kenneth Fromson.
It was a clear, sunny day when our client was waiting to turn into a gas station and was hit in the rear by a company van. Since our client was working, he initially hired his Workers’ Compensation lawyer to help him recover both Workers’ Compensation benefits and from the company that caused the crash. After a few months of nothing happening he contacted our office and we replaced the Workers’ Compensation lawyer. We immediately started a lawsuit since our client suffered an aggravation to a prior neck injury. The aggravation was so severe it required a fusion surgery to his spine. After depositions we were able to settle the case for $1,950,000. The case was handled by Managing Partner Andrew Finkelstein and Senior Trial Partner George Levy.