While riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle on a beautiful fall day in Rome, NY, our client had to slow for traffic ahead of him. A distracted driver behind him didn’t slow at all and hit the motorcycle in the rear, ejecting our client. The crash was so hard that it caused over $13,000 of damage to the bike. Our client, a NYS Corrections Officer was badly hurt. He broke a bone in his low back and had a concussion. The car’s insurance was only $100,000 which we collected. We then pursued the balance from our client's own insurance company because he purchased underinsurance allowing him to pursue additional monies from his own insurance company if a car hit him and carried less insurance than his. After hearing testimony from our client and argument from Trial Partner Victoria Lightcap, an arbitrator issued a verdict of $275,000.
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.*
Two days before Christmas a driver of a Dodge pick-up truck was rushing to find a parking spot at a Hannaford supermarket in Lloyd, Ulster County, to get some last minute groceries for the holidays. It’s dark and raining. The driver is looking left and not paying attention to the car in front of him when suddenly the brake lights come on. The pick-up truck driver swerves to the right to go around the car in front. As he does, he doesn’t see the woman walking towards the supermarket. The right side view mirror of the pick-up truck strikes the head of our client, a 60-year-old woman, knocking her unconscious. The pick-up truck driver drives off leaving her on the ground in the rain. After visiting his wife in the hospital, our client’s husband called Finkelstein & Partners because he knew whoever did this to his wife needed to be held responsible. Our law-firm immediately obtained the video surveillance from the supermarket as well as the police report. After identifying the pick-up truck driver we started a lawsuit. Due to the crash our client suffered a mild traumatic brain injury that resulted in her losing her sense of smell and partial loss of sense of taste. The insurance company for the pick p driver initially didn’t believe our client and offered only $100,000. That all changed once we sent the reports from our experts that clearly showed the mTBI caused a confirmed lack of smell and taste. Rather than proceed to trial in Ulster County the insurance company agreed to settle the case for $1,150,000. The case was handled by partners Andrew Finkelstein, Kenneth Fromson and David Gross.
Entering a rest stop off a highway must be done with care. As soon as a driver leaves the highway they must immediately reduce their speed. The Palisades Parkway has a visitor center near the Stony Point exit in Rockland County. A 16-year-old driver entered the visitor center but was driving too fast and crashed into the car that had also just exited. The driver of the car that was struck had no warnings a crash was about to happen. Suddenly, the Con Ed Operating Mechanic’s back was in severe pain. The injury was so significant he needed surgery to his low back. Trial Attorney Chris Camastro was able to get the insurance company to offer the full amount of the available coverage and the case settled for $100,000.
The call every parent dreads…"Your daughter was in a serious car crash with a truck”. After visiting the hospital and unsure of what to do next, the parents of the injured 15-year-old passenger called the lawyer that handled their house closing. Their daughter suffered a mild traumatic brain injury and broke her wrist. After two years, the parents realized the house closing lawyer was out of his league. The trucking company had high powered lawyers and their lawyer was outmatched. That’s when the parents contacted Finkelstein & Partners. Their daughter was now a high school senior. She had always been at the top of her class but had lingering effects from her brain injury. The Neurolaw Trial Group went to work. The case was handled by Managing Partner Andrew Finkelstein and Trial Partner Kenneth Fromson. Even though the injured woman was able to successfully finish high school and graduate NYU, she still had residual effects from her mTBI. The case settled at mediation for $894,000.
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.
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 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.