Just outside the West Point gates in the Town of Highland a 21-year-old ignored the stop sign and entered the intersection. He told the police he thought the van he crashed into had a stop sign and he just entered the intersection without even slowing. He was ticketed for failing to yield the right of way. The van was being driven by our 35-year-old client, who was a driver for Occupations, Inc. The force of the crash caused his head to snap forward and back, resulting in damage to his neck. Eventually, our client needed a surgery to repair a damaged disc in his neck. At trial, the insurance company's lawyer originally claimed the neck injury was not from the crash. Senior Trial Partner George Levy proved otherwise. Our client's treating doctor, a life care planner and an economist were called as expert witnesses. The case was settled just as closing arguments were about to be made to an Orange County Jury. Managing Attorney Melody Gregory assisted throughout the trial.
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.*
The general contractor hired to replace a roof at a Church in Poughkeepsie failed to provide the necessary fall protection to the roofers. While removing slate tiles, our client slipped off the roof and fell 15 feet to the ground. Had there been the appropriate scaffolding or a tie off the injury never would have occurred. We brought a lawsuit claiming the general contractor violated labor law Section 240 that protects all construction workers working at a height. Our client broke his heel and needed surgery. At trial the injured construction worker was awarded monies for his pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical bills. The total awarded was $3,768,087. The case was handled by Managing Partner Andrew Finkelstein and Managing Attorney Melody Gregory.
A retired NYC policeman and now a volunteer fireman was riding his motorcycle on a beautiful summer day when an approaching car in the opposite lane turned left directly into his path. The driver of the car failed to put a signal on and our client tried to brake to avoid crashing his bike into the car but he did not have enough time. In the crash, our client broke his ankle in two places and had to undergo surgery to rebuild the joint. Unfortunately, the car only had $25,000 of available insurance. Our office filed a claim with both the car insurance and our client's own motorcycle insurance. Fortunately, our client bought $300,000 worth of Underinsurance when he purchased his motorcycle insurance. We filed for an underinsurance arbitration and just before the hearing we were able to settle the claim for an additional $250,000. The case was handled by trial partner Ken Fromson.
Commercial property owners must make sure all workers on their property are protected from falling objects during construction or demolition. During demolition of a warehouse in Fishkill, in Dutchess County, the warehouse owner did not require the appropriate safety device be used when removing steel beams weighing 600 pounds. As a result, one of the beams fell off a forklift and struck our client in the knee. Our 54-year-old client was a laborer and the beam broke his leg. He required two surgeries. Partner Elyssa Fried De-Rosa conducted an immediate investigation and was able to secure critical evidence to support the claim. Senior Trial Partner George Levy aggressively presented the case which was ultimately settled at a mediation for $1,150,000.
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.
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
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.