A Sample of Premises Liability and Landlord Negligence Cases That We Have Handled
We have handled many premises liability and landlord negligence cases. Here is a sample of recent cases:
$1 Million Settlement for Emotional Distress Due to Harassment from a Manhattan Landlord
A tenant organizer and his girlfriend lived in an Upper West Side Manhattan building. The landlord hired men to monitor and harass the plaintiffs. Plaintiffs suffered from stress disorders because of the constant surveillance and verbal altercations. During closing arguments, the defendants agreed to a settlement for a total of $1 million, $500,000 for each plaintiff.
Trial Verdict of $560,000 for Landlord Negligence in the Bronx
A Bronx landlord failed to fix a broken step in his apartment building despite complaints by tenants. A young girl tripped and fell on that step, fracturing her leg and foot. The landlord refused to make a responsible settlement offer, so we took this case to trial. The jury deliberated for one hour before returning a verdict holding the landlord responsible for the young woman’s injury and awarding her a $560,000.
$425,000 Settlement for Woman Hurt by Collapsing Kitchen Cabinet in Brooklyn
In the winter of 2004, a couple living near Prospect Park complained on multiple occasions to their landlord of a ceiling leak in their kitchen. The leak arose from a combination of snow build-up on the roof and faulty design and maintenance of the building structure. The landlord ignored the couple’s complaints. During the next large snow storm, the leak returned and a kitchen cabinet collapsed on the woman fracturing her ankle so badly that it required surgery and left her with permanent damage. Attorney Carol Schlitt assembled extensive engineering and architectural evidence and a team of experts to prove the landlord’s liability as well as medical records and experts to document the plaintiff’s injuries. Due to the thoroughness of the investigation and the aggressive handling of the case, Ms. Schlitt negotiated a settlement. The landlord paid a settlement of $425,000.
A $350,000 Settlement in Bronx Stairway Trip and Fall Case
A Bronx woman walked down the stairs in her apartment building, she slipped, tripped and fell on some construction debris left on the stairs. The incident left the woman with a broken ankle that required surgery. The woman asked our firm to represent her in an effort to collect compensation for her injuries. We settled the case for $350,000. The settlement enabled the woman to relocate her family to Florida.
Landlord Negligence Case in Manhattan Apartment Lobby Settles
A Manhattan landlord covered a hole in a lobby floor with a carpet. When a tenant walked along the carpet, her foot got caught in the hole and she fell injuring her wrist. We investigated the incident to prove the landlord’s negligence. The insurance company resisted settling the case because the woman used alternative medical providers. Through research and due diligence, we overcame their objections and settled this premises liability case.
$70,000 Settlement for Ankle Injury Resulting from Poor Maintenance by Bronx Landlord
A woman repeatedly complained about a leak in her bathroom, yet the landlord refused to fix the problem. While cleaning her shower, the woman stepped from the tub and her foot fell through a water damaged floor that resulted from the landlord’s negligence. As a result of this accident, the woman tore a ligament in her ankle and required outpatient surgery. The defendants agreed to settle the case before going to trial for $70,000.
Brooklyn Rat Bite Leads to $20,000 Settlement
Not every case has a large dollar value, but every case is important. This case began on a Sunday morning in April 2005 when a Brooklyn man lay in bed relishing some extra rest. His peace did not last as a rat scrambled into his bed and bit him on the nose. The man immediately sought care at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center’s Emergency Room where he received immediate medical treatment and referrals for follow up care. Attorney Schlitt worked with her client to document the complaints about vermin made to the building’s landlord and the failure of the landlord to address those complaints. Faced with a mountain of documentation and the promise of expert witnesses, the landlord settled the case before trial for $20,000.
$40,000 Settlement for Utility Worker Injured Reading Meters in the Bronx
A Con Ed utility worker entered a property in the Bronx to read the electric meter. While walking down a set of outdoor steps, squirrels leaped out of a hole in the wall, knocking the man down. He fell to the bottom of the steps and tore his leg on the handrail, which had a jagged edge. The lacerations from the defective handrail caused a hematoma on his thigh that required debriding and the man missed a month of work. While Worker’s Compensation shielded his employer from paying additional damages, Ms. Schlitt pursued a case against the property owner on two counts: failing to rid the location of the squirrel infestation (the squirrels had built a nest in a hole in the wall) and failing to maintain the handrail. Ms. Schlitt assembled a team that included a civil engineer with expertise on stairway design and building codes and an exterminator with expertise on animal removal. Seeing the witness list and understanding the strength of the Ms. Schlitt’s case, the defense settled on the eve of trial paying $40,000.
Truck Driver Hurt Due to Uncovered Drain Settles Cases
This incident occurred in the loading dock area of a large retail operation in Westchester, New York. There was a trench in the parking lot approximately one foot wide and several feet long. A metal grate normally covered this trench to protect pedestrians from injuring themselves. Part of the metal grate had broken off and vanished leaving a hole. Our client stepped into the trench and injured his ankle and leg. We investigated the case and negotiated a rapid settlement for the man.
$135,000 for Trip and Fall over Uneven Bricks in Brooklyn
A Brooklyn woman tripped over some uneven bricks along the property line of two houses. She suffered significant injuries, including some broken bones in her face. The two property owners attempted to blame each other, with neither accepting responsibility for the incident. Attorney Carol L. Schlitt used expert testimony at trial to demonstrate that the brick work had created a trap, “an accident waiting to happen,” is how Ms. Schlitt explained it to the jury. The defendants opted to settle for $135,000 before the jury ruled on the case.
Trip and Fall on Theater Steps in Manhattan Leads to Rapid Settlement
A Long Island woman travelled to Manhattan with her husband to see a Broadway show. She expected to come home with some pleasant memories; instead, she came home with a broken finger. There was good news all around on this case: the woman’s finger healed quickly, fully and without complications and we were able to resolve the case and get the woman a settlement in four months.
Slip and Fall at a New York City Office Building
A woman working entered the woman’s washroom on the floor near her office. She slipped and fell on a puddle formed by water leaking from the sink. An ambulance took her to Bellevue Hospital where she was diagnosed with a severe sprained ankle. She asked our firm to represent her. After conducting an investigation into the matter and building the case, we negotiated a settlement that exceeded the woman’s expectations and made her very happy.
Settlement in a Brooklyn Slip and Fall Case
On a warm September morning, a Brooklyn mother went to work as a home health aide. At one point, she left her client’s apartment to go to the pharmacy. She slipped on a gooey substance in the lobby of her client’s building and injured her knee. She retained a Bronx law firm – Krieger and Wilansky – to represent her. When they could not settle the case, they retained our firm to try the case. On the eve of trial, we settled the case for an amount that pleased the client.
Slip and Fall on a Bronx Stairway Settles
A mother went to pick her daughter up from a charter school in the Bronx. While walking down an interior stairway, she slipped on a small puddle of water, fell down several steps and injured her ankle. A trip to the emergency room at Lincoln Hospital revealed she suffered a fractured ankle (lateral malleolus). The woman asked our firm to represent her in an effort to collect compensation for her injuries. After conducting an investigation of her case and negotiating with the insurance company for the charter school, we reached a settlement in just over four months from the date the woman retained us.
Settlement for Soft Tissue Injuries Resulting from Fall on Stairs Caused by Uneven Steps
A 32 year-old woman attending an opera audition was directed to take a particular stairwell. While walking down those stairs, she fell on the third step from the bottom, as the steps were uneven and in poor condition. She tumbled the remaining three steps and crashed onto the landing. She hurt her wrists, back and legs and suffered soft tissue injuries. By working with an expert in stairway design, Attorney Carol L. Schlitt proved that the stairs were not compliant with New York City building code and posed a hazard. As the case neared trial, the defense settled for $19,000.
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