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As we begin the 4th quarter, I am pleased to report our last quarter results.  The firm secured over $7,000,000.00 for 48 clients in various matters. What makes this especially important is that below is JUST SOME of the matters we resolved in the last three months alone.  

  • $1.9 million for a woman in a car accident in Federal Court with a back injury
  • $1.15 million for a woman who tripped on a mis-leveled elevator and sustained back and shoulder injuries 
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Associate, Edward A. Averbuch took a verdict in Supreme Court, New York County in late August 2019 in a case where Leav & Steinberg represented plaintiff, a 43 year old male, who suffered injuries in an automobile accident that took place in early 2014.

It was plaintiff’s position at trial that his injuries raised to the level of “serious injuries”, as that term is defined by the Insurance Law, because he suffered tears to the tendons of the shoulder, including the rotator cuff, as well as derangement and impingement syndromes to the shoulder–all of which required surgical intervention to repair in August 2015. The surgeon opined as to the following intra operative findings: detached tear of the labrum, grade I chondromalacia of the central portion of the glenoid and partial thickness tearing of the rotator cuff on the bursal side of the joint. In addition, plaintiff also sustained a herniated disc in the lumbar spine and two herniated discs in the thoracic spine. The injuries to the spine were withdrawn prior to trial as plaintiff suffered similar injuries in a prior accident.

The trial commenced on the issue of damages only. Earlier in the litigation, plaintiff filed a motion seeking summary judgment on the issue of liability, which was granted as against the defendant in October 2018.

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Undergoing surgery only to find the results are incorrect, flawed, or even harmful can be devastating. In these cases, many patients may qualify to file a medical malpractice suit.

What Qualifies as Medical Malpractice?Two medical professionals working on a patient

Although malpractice is any negligent or illegal activity in medical treatment, not all mistakes qualify for medical malpractice suits. In general, mistakes are only considered malpractice when they cause harm or additional injury to a patient. These injuries may be the result of errors or negligence in diagnosis, treatment, or aftercare, but only the following are generally considered to be surgical malpractice.

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The joys of childbirth are among the highest highs a person can experience in this life. But, with the human condition being what it is, even these wonderful moments are tinged with anxiety at the thought of bringing something so precious and delicate into the world. Too often parents are forced to deal with the agony of an infant’s health issues, whether permanent or temporary. While many of these health issues cannot be blamed on anyone, there are some cases where a neonatal condition is caused directly or indirectly by medical practitioners failing to conform to a reasonable standard of care. Erb’s palsy is one such condition that may justify medical malpractice claim.

What Is Erb’s Palsy?

Chubby baby arm

Erb’s palsy is a condition that affects one to two newborns out of every 1,000 born in the United States, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The condition is also known as shoulder dystocia or brachial plexus palsy, and it occurs as the result of injury to the arm’s major nerves. When these nerves are damaged, the arm loses sensation and motor function.

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If a claimant doesn’t file their case within the specified time limit, they will not be able to seek compensation for their damages in court. Understanding how the statute of limitations works and how long it lasts for different claims can determine what relief is available to an injured party.

General Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury

Monthly planning calendar laying open on a table
Personal injury is a type of tort law, which imposes liability on actors who breach a duty of care owed to the injured party. Most personal injury cases get to court under a claim that someone breached their duty of care by acting negligently and that the negligent act was the cause of someone else’s injury. The general statute of limitations for negligence claims in New York is three years, meaning an injured party has three years to file their claim, starting from the day of the accident. This three-year period applies to slip-and-fall cases, products liability, and most other negligence claims.

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In New York City, crossing the street as a pedestrian can be a bit scary. According to the New York Times, the number of pedestrian fatalities increased from 107 in 2017 to 114 in 2018, with many more injured annually. While the city has implemented a number of safety improvements in an effort to reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities, it’s up to pedestrians to know their rights on the road.

Pedestrian Rights at a CrosswalkPeople crossing the street within a crosswalk in New York City

Fortunately, many intersections have crosswalks to help avoid pedestrian accidents. The New York Vehicle and Traffic Law requires pedestrians to obey traffic control signals by waiting for the “WALK” sign or person symbol to appear before crossing. Pedestrians maintain the right of way at intersections without signals. However, drivers always have the right of way on roads without a crosswalk.

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New York City is well known for its dense population and the verticality of its buildings. From the skyscrapers that make up the iconic Manhattan skyline to the gleaming residential towers popping up in the other four boroughs, the city makes the most of its surface area by building ever upwards. All those stories make the city’s 71,000 elevators an essential part of daily life, and that places an important duty on building owners and managing agents to ensure the elevators are maintained in a safe working condition. Here are a few of the maintenance requirements required by law.

Regular InspectionPhoto of an empty elevator shaft

The New York City building codes mandate inspection twice every year for all elevators operating in the five boroughs. These inspections are performed by a third-party licensed by the city’s Department of Buildings. The building owners are generally not given notice of the inspection but are required to give the inspectors access to the elevator when the inspector shows up. Failing an inspection can lead to hefty fines.

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When a defendant acts negligently or causes intentional harm resulting in death, you may have cause to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. Typically, an immediate family member as appointed by the Surrogate’s Court is the only person who may file a claim, or an administrator of an estate or executor of a will may do so, as well.

What Are the Basics?The Scales of Justice sitting unevenly in a court room

If a fatality occurs as the result of full or partial negligence or the intentional behavior of another person or entity, you may have a wrongful death case against that party.

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Depending on the nature of the crime and the circumstances of the arrest, it’s not uncommon for police officers to use some amount of force during the process. However, there are stringent laws concerning the amount of force officers may use, and the use of excessive force may be grounds for legal action.

Use of Force SpectrumPolice car flashing its lights while parked on the street in a busy area

The U.S. Supreme Court recognizes that police have the right to use “some degree of physical coercion or threat” during arrests or investigative stops. However, police can only use an amount of force that is in proportion to the threat that is present. Police officers are meant to abide by the use of force spectrum, with level one being officer presence, level two being verbal commands, and level three being empty-handed control. If the threat is escalated, police officers may use level four, which is pepper spray, batons, or Tasers. Only the highest of threats should be addressed with lethal force like firearms.

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On Tuesday, May 21, 2019 Partner Edward Steinberg attended the New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYSTLA) Civil Justice Lobby Day in Albany, New York. As President-Elect of NYSTLA, Mr. Steinberg had the opportunity to meet with several New York Senators and Assemblymen to express NYSTLA’s support for five bills that are currently on the 2019-2020 legislative agenda. These bills include The Grieving Families Act, The Fair Claims Resolution Act, a bill updating mandatory insurance coverage limits, a bill fighting forced arbitration, The “Scaffold Safety Sunshine Law,” and The Patient Safety & Patient Privacy Protection Act.

The Grieving Families Act

The Grieving Families Act seeks to provide additional damages to the families of wrongful death victims. Wrongful death lawsuits are claims for money from someone whose negligence caused another’s death.