$6.8 Million Jury Award – Truck Crash

On February 27, 2019, a Dutchess County Jury issued a verdict against the Portland Stoneware Company and their driver, Christopher Pelletier, for a July 11, 2016 crash on Interstate 84.  Pelletier was tail-gaiting and caused a 4 car pile-up in a construction zone.  Traveling over 50 MPH, the Portland Stoneware truck driver first hit a car driven by Dennis Richmond of Keene, New Hampshire, causing Richmond to enter the median.  The truck then struck an SUV driven by Sally DeWinkeleer of North Carolina.  The DeWinkeleer vehicle was pushed forward into the rear of the tractor-trailer.   The crash caused DeWinkeleer to break her leg, back and sternum.  DeWinkeleer required four surgeries, spent nearly 40 days in the hospital and many months rehabilitating.

After a three week trial in Dutchess Supreme Court in front of Justice Rosa, a jury found Portland Stoneware Company fully responsible for the crash and awarded a total verdict of $6,872,00 to Mrs. DeWinkeleer’s for her past and future medical bills as well as for her significant pain and suffering.  After the verdict, her lawyer, Michael Feldman of Finkelstein and Partners in Wappingers Falls said, “We asked the jury to hold the trucking company accountable for all the damage they caused to Sally.  While we are grateful for the verdict permitting Sally to get the future surgeries her doctors said she will need, we are especially thankful this jury chose to hold the defendant accountable and ignored their efforts to avoid responsibility.” This case was handled by Managing Partner Andrew Finkelstein, Trial Partner Michael Feldman, and Managing Attorney Elyssa Fried-DeRosa. 

Dear Friends and Clients,

In furtherance of our firm’s culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can.

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP