Tag Archives: negligent repair

$2.75 Million Premises Liability — Woman Suffers Broken Neck, Brain Injury From Falling Object

New York – A woman was walking along when a piece of stone facade collapsed off the side of a Brooklyn building. The collapse debris hit her in the head and neck, leaving her with a spinal fracture in her neck and a traumatic brain injury with concussion. After being hospitalized for several weeks and undergoing fusion surgery of her neck, the woman sought the legal guidance of the experts at Morrison & Wagner to file a negligent repair negligence lawsuit. They settled the case with the defendants agreeing to pay the injury victim $2,750,000.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Credit: Bruce Monroe [License]

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Woman’s neck fractured by falling piece of building’s facade (VerdictSearch by Priya Idiculla)

Settlement: $2,750,000

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Court: Kings Supreme, Kings County, New York

Injury Type(s): brain damage; cognition, impairment; compression fracture; concussion; corpectomy; discectomy; effusion; finger; fracture, C4; fracture, neck; fracture, vertebra; fusion, cervical; hand; hardware implanted; head; memory impairment; physical therapy; pneumonia; shoulder; sutures; traumatic brain injury; trigger point injection; vertigo

Case Type: Premises Liability – Negligent Repair and/or Maintenance – Falling Object

Date: November 4, 2016

Plaintiff Attorney(s):
Eric H. Morrison; Morrison & Wagner; New York, NY

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Facts & Allegations:
On Sept. 22, 2014, the plaintiff, an unemployed woman, was struck by a limestone fragment that had fallen off of the fourth-story facade of a building located in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn. The woman sustained injuries of her head and neck.

The woman sued the premises’ owner and the premises’ manager. She alleged that the defendants were negligent in their maintenance of the premises. She further alleged that the defendants’ negligence caused the accident.

The plaintiff’s counsel contended that the accident was a result of prolonged neglect of the building’s exterior. He contended that photographs depicted chips, cracks and other irregularities of the facade.

Defense counsel contended that the accident may have been a result of erosion caused by power-washing of the building, but he ultimately conceded liability.

The injury victim’s head was struck and lacerated by the limestone fragment. She was placed in an ambulance, and she was transported to Lutheran Medical Center, in Brooklyn. Doctors determined that she sustained a concussion and a compression fracture of her C4 vertebra. Her scalp’s laceration was closed via application of sutures. After four days had passed, she underwent surgery that included a corpectomy, which involved excision of her C4 vertebra; a discectomy, which involved excision of the anterior portion of her C3-4 and C4-5 intervertebral discs; fusion of the anterior region of her spine’s C3-4 and C4-5 levels; and implantation of a stabilizing cage. During her convalescence, she developed pneumonia and pleural effusion. Her hospitalization lasted about two weeks. She subsequently underwent physical therapy and a pain-management regimen, which included administration of painkilling trigger-point injections.

The accident victim claimed that her head’s injury caused damage of her brain, with residual effects that included confusion, disorientation, vertigo, and impairment of her memory and other elements of her cognition. She also claimed that her neck remains painful, that the pain radiates to her shoulders, and that her fingers and hands experience occasional tingling sensations. She undergoes periodic physical therapy.

The plaintiff sought recovery of past medical expenses, future medical expenses, damages for past pain and suffering, and damages for future pain and suffering.

Defense counsel contended that the woman did not sustain an injury of the brain.

After selection of a jury, but prior to the scheduled start of the trial, the parties negotiated a settlement. The defendant’s primary insurer tendered its policy, which provided $1 Million of coverage, and the defendant’s excess insurer agreed to pay $1.75 Million. Thus, the settlement totaled $2.75 Million. Defense counsel claimed that, had a trial occurred, a discovery issue may have prevented the plaintiff’s counsel’s presentation of a safety expert who had been retained.

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Judge: Judge Donald Kurtz

Editor’s Note: This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s counsel and defense counsel. Additional information was gleaned from court documents.

$350,000 Settlement :: Woman Suffers Burns From Apartment Bath Tub

New York — This 63-year-old woman suffered severe burns when she was scalded by burning hot water in the bathtub of her Manhattan apartment. She was upset with the building’s manager and owner for keeping the water in the boiler so dangerously hot. After consulting with an personal injury lawyer expert at Morrison & Wagner, the woman decided to sue the building’s owner and manager for damages. They recovered $350,000 in a successful settlement.

Illustrative Photo Credit: Laurel Kate Sittig [License]

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Apartment’s tenant scalded in tub, claimed boiler was defective (VerdictSearch)

Settlement Amount: $350,000

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Court: New York Supreme, New York County, New York

Injury Type(s): leg; burns – third degree; surgeries/treatment – skin graft

Case Type: Premises Liability – Apartment, Tenant’s Injury, Negligent Repair and/or Maintenance

Date: January 24, 2011

Plaintiff Attorney(s):
Eric H. Morrison; Morrison & Wagner; New York, NY

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On Jan. 31, 2008, the plaintiff, a 63-year-old unemployed woman, was scalded while she was bathing in her residence, an apartment building that was located in the Hamilton Heights section of Manhattan.

The woman sued the building’s owner and the building’s manager. She alleged that the defendants were negligent in their maintenance of the premises.

The injured woman claimed that she entered her bathtub while the water was running at a comfortable temperature, but that the water’s temperature quickly reached a scalding level. The plaintiff’s counsel retained a boiler-safety expert, who examined the building’s water heater and claimed that its thermostat was set to 180 degrees Fahrenheit — 55 degrees greater than the temperature that had been recommended by the boiler’s manufacturer. The burn victim’s counsel also suggested that the thermostat may have been defective.

Defense counsel contended that the New York City Administrative Code specified that the thermostat’s setting had to exceed 120 degrees. She also contended that the building’s tenants had been told that they were not to bathe without first filling the tub and checking the water’s temperature. She claimed that the building’s staff had not received any written complaints of scalding water.


The plaintiff claimed that she sustained third-degree burns of her legs. She underwent the application of grafts of skin, and her treating surgeon opined that the legs have healed without any scars or residual effects.

The injury victim sought recovery of damages for her past pain and suffering.


Defense counsel moved for summary judgment. She contended that New York law specifies that an apartment building’s tenant retains a duty to temper hot water prior to use. In response, plaintiff’s counsel contended that a jury would have to consider the possibility that the boiler’s thermostat was defective. During pendency of the motion, the parties negotiated a settlement. The defendants’ insurer agreed to pay $350,000, from a policy that provided $1 million of coverage.

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Judge: Richard F. Braun

Editor’s Comment: This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s and defense counsel.