Every once in a while, we are asked by counsel already assisting an injured client, to come in and provide further legal assistance and support. Such was the case this past week when the firm resolved a case for a man who was 64 years old working at a building inspector the NYC Housing Preservation Department. On January 16th, 2014 he was inspecting apartments in a Brooklyn walk up. He spent time going over the apartment conditions with a particular tenant. As he left the apartment and began to descend the staircase he caught his foot at the top landing on a defective edge of the step landing as well as missing landing tile.
He fell down the flight of stairs and was immediately helped by the same tenant who called 911. Sadly he suffered from a very serious shoulder surgery which resulted in him undergoing a reverse hemiarthroplasty which is a procedure where the normal ball and socket replacement is reversed and the ball is screwed into the humerus and the socket is drilled into the shoulder joint. This leaves extensive limited range of motion.
The client and his wife retained a lawyer in their neighborhood who practiced in several area. She did an excellent job working on the case in the beginning few months. The lawyer and the client then realized this matter would require more legal expertise in the field as well as a firm ready willing and able to take this matter to trial if needed.
Edward Steinberg worked up the matter and spoke with the tenant who advised that she had previous written letters to the landlord explaining the dangers in the building including the stairs. We also retained an engineer to go out to the scene immediately and document the conditions. We recovered this letter and also provided the defense with the engineer to confirm the stairway defects violated the building code.
After all discovery was complete we placed the case on the trial calendar in Kings County. The matter was set for trial this June. At a mediation last month the defendant extended an offer of $300,000.00. We rejected this offer and advised that we would be ready to proceed at the trial in June. The defendant made follow up calls and via the mediator the matter resolved last week for $875,000 which represented nearly all of the available insurance on the subject building. Furthermore, the family can now have the resources to cover their needs for their future.
Equally rewarding was the email I received from the original attorney thanking us for handling the matter:
“Thank YOU! I wish I could refer you more cases…You are the best and the first in my mind when I hear about a good case…but as you well know people not always following our recommendations. ! It is really a pleasure working with you and getting thank you personally just for recommending you!!!
Have a nice day!
All of us at Leav & Steinberg, LLP are pleased with the outcome and look forward to providing our services to the community in the future.