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Wilson Elser Trial Team Scores Noteworthy Damages Verdict

June 11, 2022

New York Partner Larry Lum obtained a damages-only verdict for a large healthcare provider totaling $341,293 on the heels of Plaintiff’s attorney asking the jury to award his client $28 million in his summation. Aviva Stein (Partner-New York) and Rachel Davis (Of Counsel-New York) played critical roles during the trial. Patrick Lawless (Partner-New York) and Jessica Zemsky (Of Counsel-New York) served as appellate counsel and provided trial assistance as well. The bifurcated case was tried in its entirety in June 2022 before Queens Supreme Court. A 100% liability finding rendered after phase one of the trial emboldened the plaintiff’s attorneys to raise their settlement demand from $7.5 million to $12.5 million; the final hard settlement demand just prior to the verdict stood at $9.5 million. Plaintiff was a 40-year-old valet parking manager employed by an independent contractor at a hospital. He was injured in January 2013 while performing his duties and slipped on black ice in the roadway leading to the main entrance where patients and visitors off-load and valet park. His initial injury was relatively minor (a torn meniscus in the left knee requiring arthroscopic surgery). His recovery was atypical and necessitated four additional operations to the injured knee, including a knee replacement and two additional procedures following that surgery. He also underwent a lumbar fusion and was in need of a knee replacement in his other leg allegedly due to his altered gait. The clients offered $4 million in settlement just before the verdict came in, which was rejected by the plaintiff’s attorneys.

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