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On July 10th, 2018, Trial Attorney, Ricardo J. Martinez, obtained a $287,000 verdict on behalf of one of our clients who sustained minor injuries to his lower back as a result of an arrest gone wrong.  On June 25th, 2014, one of our clients was arrested for jumping a subway turnstile in Manhattan.  Undercover NYPD officers witnessed the infraction and arrested our client. They placed him in the back of a police van and violated a very basic safety rule, they failed to place a seat belt on our client.  During transport, the van come to a sudden stop causing our client to be thrown into a metal partition.  He was taking to a hospital where he complained of shoulder pain.  Several weeks later, his back started to hurt and he sought medical treatment.  He was diagnosed with a lower back disc bulge. He had minimal treatment before discontinuing physical therapy because he had to go back to work.  Several years later, he had 2 epidural injections in his lower back.

Prior to trial, the defendants, The City of New York, offered $35,000 to settle the case. We advised our client to reject the offer, which he did.  During trial, the defendants’ attorneys argued that our client was in fact seat belted and that even if he wasn’t, his injuries were minor and had resolved by the time the trial was held.  Mr. Martinez successfully convinced the jury that our client was not seat belted and that his injuries were indeed significant and he would live with them the rest of his life.  The jury compensated our client $287,000 for his pain and suffering, which was a direct result of the defendants’ negligence.

This case highlights the importance of hiring the right attorneys that aren’t scared to go to trial if the defendants’ are not willing to make a fair offer.

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Partner Edward Steinberg, presented the Legistlative Update at the Decisions seminar held in Westchester County.   Each year, the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, holds a conference where attorney’s in the field of negligence law speak on varying topics and recent updates.  Last month, Edward Steinberg of Leav & Steinberg was selected to speak on the legistlative changes in New York.  Many of these changes are critical to helping those victims injured as a result of the negligence of others.

Among the most important changes was the change in the law called Laverne’s Law.

Lavern’s Law was recently signed into law by Governor Cuomo on January 31st, 2018, after recent Senate (53-1) and Assembly (104-8) amendments were passed on Tuesday, January 30, 2018.

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Partner Edward Steinberg filed suit last week on a matter involving J.C. an infant who was boarding a Manhattan bound train when the doors closed on him. He was outside the train and the train operator began moving. He was dragged down the platform and then fell into the gap causing fractures to both of his legs.  The negligence of the New York City Transit Authority in allowing a passenger approaching the train to be stuck and dragged is simply unacceptable.  While  all passengers want to get to and from their location quickly, safety is paramount.  Edward Steinberg, discussed this matter with Andrea Grymes of CBS on Friday October 27th, 2018.

J.C. remained hospitalized for 3 weeks and underwent surgery to both femurs and had to learn how to walk again.  He has since had additional surgery and is currently dealing with the ongoing difficulty and limitations the accident has caused.

We hope with bringing this story to the public, the Transit Authority will take safety more seriously and put in place the necessary steps to prevent these type of train accidents this from happening again.

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One of the most important of many areas of discovery in a medical malpractice case is the examination before trial of the defendant doctor. As part of that discovery process is to make sure you obtain a complete certified copy of the doctor’s office records, if any, well before the deposition takes place. In addition you want to make sure that the defendant brings with them their original office chart, not just a certified copy. You want to have the opportunity to examine that original chart for a number of very important reasons. First a review may help support any claims that the doctor may have added  or changed his original records to help support his version of facts concerning treatment, conversations, etc. By having an opportunity to review the original chart you can determine, if it contains handwritten notations, whether the doctor used different color pens to generate the same contemporaneous note, especially if the suspected addition which supports his version of events is in a different color ink.

Phil Papa of our office, once had a case against a defendant podiatrist who was being sued for failing, at an office visit, to recommend emergency hospitalization to my client, a diabetic, for treatment of an infected diabetic foot ulcer. His office notes stated that he advised the patient to immediately proceed to the nearest emergency room for treatment. My client testified that he was never told to seek hospitalization. He ended up with a partial amputation of his foot. I requested a discovery and inspection of the original chart because the doctor had not produced it at his deposition. During a careful examination of the office notes which were handwritten on note paper. I picked up that the watermark on the note paper he generated the note in question established that the piece of paper was printed a year after the date of the visit in question. He obviously had decided to rewrite that note with changes but didn’t realize that the paper he used was manufactured after the fact! Needless to say the case immediately settled.

While many firms suggest that they specialize in handling medical malpractice cases, it is imperative that a client or the family of a loved one, consult and retain an firm that has the background and experience in handling the nuances that come with medical malpractice.  At Leav & Steinberg, LLP your case will be reviewed and if handled, no aspect of the case will be ignored.

 

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Dogs, some say they are man’s best friend. In New York City, this is more than just an expression. People here love to have their trusty companions by their side at all times. Dogs are brought along to Saturday brunches, trips to the book store, and even on the subway.

According to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, there are approximately 85,085 dogs with active licenses living in New York City. The Department also reports that only about 20% of dogs are actually registered with the department.  

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Leav & Steinberg, LLP attorney Edward Averbuch obtains $1,000,000 judgment for client at inquest.  On February 9, 2014, our client was walking along 45th Street in Brooklyn when he slipped and fell on ice on the sidewalk.  As a result of the slip and fall he seriously injured his right shoulder.  Shortly after the incident, our client began a course of physical therapy.  After several months of intensive therapy with little to no improvement, our client’s physicians recommended surgical intervention.  He underwent arthroscopic surgery which is a surgery performed through several small incisions at the surgery site.  Typically a tiny camera will be inserted through one incision and tiny tools will be inserted through two or more other incisions for the surgeon to perform the procedure.  Thereafter, our client began another course of physical therapy, again with little to no improvement.  At that point our client underwent manipulation under anesthesia, which is a procedure where the patient is anesthetized, and the doctor forces the shoulder to move in ways which cause the capsule and scar tissue to stretch or tear.  After a third round of physical therapy, still with little to no improvement, he was recommended to undergo an arthroplasty which is total replacement of the ball and socket of the shoulder.  Typically, the ball is replaced with a metal ball with a stem which pressed to fit into the inside of the humerus (upper arm bone) and the socket is resurfaced with a high-density polyethylene.  Our client underwent a 4th round of physical therapy until his doctors advised him that he reached maximum medial improvement.

Leav & Steinberg filed suit on behalf of our client and the defendants defaulted, which means they did not answer the lawsuit.  Thereafter an inquest hearing was held for the court to determine a reasonable award for the pain and suffering our client has gone through and will continue to go through as a result of his injuries.  At the hearing, Mr. Averbuch presented proof of our client’s injuries and our client testified about his injuries and how this incident has affected him.  At the conclusion of Mr. Averbuch’s presentation, the Honorable Lawrence Knipel entered an award of $1,000,000 on our client’s behalf.

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The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is a New York state public-benefit corporation, whose mission is to increase housing opportunities for low-and moderate-income New Yorkers, by providing more affordable housing options. More than 400,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA’s 328 housing developments located throughout New York City’s five boroughs. NYCHA, while often considered a success in comparison to other large public housing authorities throughout the country, are still rife with issues relating to the habitability of their buildings.

Each year NYCHA receives thousands of complaints about problems with their buildings. These complaints often include broken elevators, insufficient heat, mold, infestations, and broken locks. Many of these conditions go unchecked and cause injuries and harm to the tenants that live in these housing developments. As a result of these problematic living conditions NYCHA has faced mounting pressure both in and outside of the courtroom.

In February 2018, a lawsuit on behalf of the 400,000 plus NYCHA tenants was brought in state court. This lawsuit alleged that NYCHA had left their housing in a state of neglect, leading to tenants living in squalid conditions, including, but not limited to, toxic lead, broken and dangerous elevators, and broken and missing locks. The lawsuit demanded that the court appoint an independent monitor to oversee NYCHA because of the Authority’s multiple failings.

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Leav & Steinberg, LLP is committed to excellence and client satisfaction. One may ask how this is accomplished? Where does Leav & Steinberg win their cases? The answer is simple. We win our cases at intake. From the second our clients walk through our doors; our firm is dedicated to achieving the most favorable outcome.

A young man was injured on his motorcycle when the defendant was making an illegal U-turn and struck him causing him to be thrown off his motorcycle. He then retained Leav & Steinberg, LLP where one of our associates met him at the hospital at his request. Our client sustained serious personal injuries and required approximately five surgeries after breaking his left leg in two places.

The defendant contested liability in that he denied that his vehicle ever came into contact with our client.

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On the Afternoon of March 20, 2015, a young man in his early 20’s was returning home from his job in Manhattan to his home in the Bronx.  Unfortunately, due to a tragic automobile accident he never made it home.  While legally walking on the sidewalk of the Grand Concourse, a green cab which was speeding lost control and jumped the sidewalk killing this young man.  Also killed in this tragic accident was a very young girl who was with her mother.  A third individual was also struck and was rendered brain damaged and remains in a nursing home to this date.

Soon after this tragic accident the family of the young man tragically killed retained Leav & Steinberg, LLP to represent them.  As we always do, a senior attorney from our firm went to meet the family at their home and was retained by the family.  The other injured parties also retained attorneys.  Leav & Steinberg, LLP immediately commenced a compete investigation.  Though our investigation we were able to determine that the City of New York may also bear some responsibility for the happening of this accident for failure to manage the ongoing roadwork which was occurring at the time of the accident.  We were also able to identify the base where the green cab was operating from and put them on notice of this tragic accident.

Leav & Steinberg, LLP commenced a lawsuit naming the Green Cab driver/owner, The Green Cab’s base, The TLC and The City of New York.  It is important to note that the other injured parties only named the Green Cab Driver in their lawsuit.

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Leav & Steinberg, LLP is pleased to report the resolution of a recent case.  Our client, after being unhappy with her first attorney, retained us to represent her.  She was employed as a Visiting Nurse and would have to travel to patient’s homes for consultation and evaluation for home nursing services.  On the date of accident, she was inside a building in the Bronx with a translator and security guard.   As the elevator went up, it suddenly stopped, and according to the client, then dropped and suddenly stopped short.   While her body was jostled about, she admitted that she did not fall to the ground.

She reported the accident to the building who in turn claim they checked it along with an elevator service company and the elevator was found to be working in normal order.   Our client, began feeling severe pain in her knee and back.   She was unable to return to work for a period of time and ultimately underwent surgery for a torn meniscus in the knee.  Furthermore, to treat her spine injury which involved her discs, she underwent a radiofrequency nerve ablation.  This procedure entails having a needle placed below the skin and with heat, the nerve is burned at the point it is impinged by the disc.  While the nerve will regenerate, the hope is that it will regenerate just slightly off the disc and relieve some of the pressure on the nerve.

When first retained, it became clear that our office would need to prove a history of problems with the elevator.  As our client, did not live in the building and did not know anyone there, partner Daniela Henriques, took the lead and began conducting an exhaustive search of the DOB (Department of Buildings).  Through her research and subpeonas we discovered a history of problems with the subject elevator.  This was the first part of her effort to prove liability and lock the defendant in to being responsible.   Under NY Law a party must exchange all work records, maintenance records and repair records.  Here the building owner, claimed that due to a flood, all records were destroyed and then the building was sold so any attempt at searching records would not reveal anything.  While this may sound good, it is the plaintiff’s burden to prove the defendant knew about the dangers with the elevator and took insufficient steps to remedy.  The fear is always that at trial or just before, suddenly the defendant will reveal records showing that the elevator was working and a recent, prior to accident, inspection revealed no problems.    Daniela Henriques, as partner and in charge of our Motion/Appeal department, she moved for an Order precluding the defendant from ever offering any evidence or testifying to anything regarding their reasonable maintenance of the elevator.   This motion was granted and put us in a position of strength.