A Queens jury returned a verdict of over $5.3 million for a cable installer who fell when the ladder he was on slid out from under him. His employer had provided his co-employee with the top half of an extension ladder that had been taken apart from the bottom half. Unfortunately, the top half lacked rubber footings to prevent slippage. When the worker, unknowingly used the unsafe ladder, he fell and fractured his leg. His injuries required multiple surgeries and will require more in the future. A judge ruled that he was entitled to a decision in his favor based on the uncontested fact that the ladder lacked rubber footings and the case proceeded to a jury trial only for them to determine the amount of damages.
Despite efforts to negotiate the workers comp case, the insurance company, Hartford refused to offer more than 1 Million Dollars. David Perecman of New York, the workers personal injury lawyer, who had just received his notice of induction to the 2010 Super Lawyers, thereby selecting him as among the best 5% of lawyers in the area, refused the offer but was able to convince them to avoid an appeal for his client, by making what is called a high-low deal with a bottom of $1 Million and a cap of $4.5 Million.
“The potential reduction of the jury award by the appeals court which is known to regularly and often drastically reduce such awards, particularly in the area of pain and suffering” was not a risk I thought my client should take”, says Perecman. It turned out we were right. The jury award for future pain and suffering was $1.5 million, which the insurance company would have argued would not withstand appeal. “I think it worked out perfectly for my client”, says New York personal injury lawyer Perecman.