Cases of Note

Holmes v. City of New York

Plaintiff verdict for $908,000.  Plaintiff, a 48-year-old school teacher, was injured when he slipped and fell on a puddle of milk while teaching soccer in the schoolyard.  In close proximity to where he was teaching, there was a dumpster into which the school janitor would throw garbage from the second floor window.  Plaintiff contended that milk containers, which were in the garbage bags, seeped out of the dumpster and into the playing area.  The janitor admitted that when he threw the bags from the second story, he knew that they would break in the dumpster.  The City of New York countered that plaintiff should have seen the milk in the schoolyard.  Plaintiff suffered a right quadriceps tendon injury which required drilling four holes into the kneecap.  Plaintiff walked with a limp for two years after the accident.

Villegas v. Penske Truck

The case settled before jury selection for $475,000.  Plaintiff, a 21-year-old woman, was injured as she was driving her car on a major thoroughfare.  Defendant truck driver was merging into plaintiff’s lane and sideswiped her car.  As a result, she needed to be extracted from the car by the “jaws of life.”�?Defendant admitted that he never saw plaintiff’s car prior to the accident.  As a result of the accident, plaintiff struck her head against the side window causing it to shatter, and she sustained severe Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ) requiring a bilateral surgery on her jaw.  As a result of the accident, plaintiff also needed arthroscopic surgery on her knee. Had the case gone trial, plaintiff would have testified that she still experienced pain in her jaw and knee.

Fowler v. Green Bus Lines

The case settled after jury selection for $242,500.  Plaintiff, who was wheelchair-bound with a prosthetic leg, was on a Green Lines bus in the handicapped wheelchair area of the bus.  As the bus was making a turn, plaintiff’s wheelchair tipped over causing her to fall into the stairwell and injure her lower back, requiring two operations.  Plaintiff successfully argued that defendant driver had a duty to properly secure her into the bus so that she would not tip over.  Defendant would have countered at trial that plaintiff’s back problems were due to a prior back condition.  Plaintiff would have testified that she was no longer able to use her prosthetic device due to the accident.

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