In July 2011 a 54 year old worker from the Bronx fell on a defective and dangerous staircase. He immediately felt pain to his knee and shoulder. He was transported from the scene and left with a knee brace and told to follow up. Over the following few weeks, he felt pain in his lower back; pain that was becoming disabling.
The client retained Leav & Steinberg to represent him for the serious injuries. Immediately after being retained, L&S set up an inspection of the premises so that we could ensure that the staircase was inspected and we would be able to prove it was negligently maintained.
We commenced litigation and after a short time, the defendant and their insurance suggested we sit down at a mediation. The client had undergone a knee and shoulder arthroscopic surgery at this point. At the mediation, they extended an offer of $150,000.00 in full settlement. Partner Daniela Henriques advised the client that at this stage the settlement was less than adequate and moreover the medical course of treatment revealed that his lumbar spine was becoming worse. We suggested he reject the offer and we proceeded forward.
After about a year of litigation, the client was forced to undergo spinal surgery including a lumbar fusion to his L4-5 vertebrae and metal hardware was used to stabilize his spine. Immediately after this surgery, the defense again suggested a mediation. We attended and an offer of $1,000,000 was made and the mediator suggested to Partners Edward Steinberg and Ms. Henriques that the offer was very fair. We felt that as the surgery had not resolved his problems and he was still having issues with his entire body we should and did reject the offer.
The client began having pain which was later determined to be coming from the hardware that had been installed in his back. He was scheduled to have this removed but prior to that the defendant wished to settle. They extended an offer of $2.3 million dollars. We DID NOT accept this offer as we felt that the client should have the painful hardware removed and see how he feels. He had the second spinal surgery and this past December we were brought back to a mediation. This time, with the trial a few months away, the defendant extended an offer of $3.6 million dollars; a figure that would fully compensate the client for his injuries and loss of earnings.
The defendant has asked that the names of the parties remain confidential. Had the matter been not confidential, this would rank in the top 30 settlements in New York for 2016; the second time this year Leav & Steinberg has achieved such a result.
Through the dedication of the partners at Leav & Steinberg and our commitment to maximizing the recovery we were able to change this persons life forever.