COVID-19 UPDATE: The Perecman Firm is open! Our team is working remotely and offering confidential consultations via phone, e-mail, and video conferencing. Read more from Founding Attorney, David Perecman.

Result: $1.85M Settlement Over Pothole Wheelchair Accident

$1.85M settlement reached for victim who claimed parking lot pothole caused wheelchair accident, serious injuries.

David H. Perecman and The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. secured a $1.85 million settlement on behalf of a woman who claimed her wheelchair accident at a Brooklyn apartment complex was caused by a pothole on the building’s parking lot. The settlement was reached after a jury issued a liability verdict in favor of the victim.

The firm’s client, a 42-year-old woman at the time of the incident, had muscular dystrophy which prevented her from working and required her to use a wheelchair and the services of an assistant.

As noted in the lawsuit, filed in Kings County, the woman had been visiting an apartment building located on Shore Parkway in Brooklyn. During her visit, she was being traversed through the building’s snow-covered parking lot with the help of an assistant when the wheelchair became lodged in a 3-inch-deep pothole. As a result, the wheelchair tipped forward and ejected her onto the ground.

Injuries & Treatment

The fall caused the victim to sustain several serious injuries, including:

  • Fracture of the left femur;
  • Fracture of the left patella (knee); and
  • Aggravation of pre-existing condition.

Due to the severity of her injuries and her pre-existing medical condition, she underwent surgical repair (via open reduction and internal fixation) of both fractures, and was confined to a bed for approximately one year while she was recuperating, the suit claimed.

Additionally, the victim claimed the injuries and resulting recovery exacerbated her muscular dystrophy, and rendered her permanently bound to a wheelchair. Her treating orthopedist supported the claims, and further noted that she requires the assistance of in-home assistance from an aide.

Claims

The lawsuit was filed against the New York City Housing Authority, which owned the apartment building and parking lot where the accident occurred. It alleged the pothole was a dangerous condition, and that NYCHA was negligent in maintaining the parking lot.

A building tenant testified the pothole had formed in the parking lot six years before the victim’s accident, giving rise to claims that NYCHA was aware of the pothole’s presence, but failed to take any reasonable steps to repair it or address the dangers it posed.

In response to the claims, NYCHA commenced a third-party action against the assistant who had been pushing the woman’s wheelchair, arguing that they were negligent in operating the wheelchair. It additionally contended that the accident could not have happened in the manner alleged by the victim, and was the result of the assistant failing to properly push the wheelchair.

Liability Verdict & Settlement

The case resulted in a trial over liability, where the jury handed down a verdict that the NYC Housing Authority was liable for the woman’s fall. It held that the assistant pushing her wheelchair was not negligent. During the presentation of the victim’s damages, an out-of-court settlement was reached for $1.85 million.

David H. Perecman is the Founding Partner of The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., a personal injury law firm with a record of success in civil injury cases involving premises liability, slip and fall accidents, construction accidents, and other matters of preventable injury. The firm is equipped with the resources and experience to help clients fight for positive recoveries in and out of the courtroom.

  • Best Lawyers in America©, 2008-2020
  • U.S. News' Best Law Firms in America, 2011-2020
  • Super Lawyers Top 100
  • Super Lawyers®, 2007-2019
  • New York Magazine' s Leaders in the Law
  • New York Law Journal's
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum®
  • The National Trial Lawyers
  • 10 Best Law Firms
  • Avvo 10.0 Rating
  • Lawyers of Distinction
  • National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys Top 10
/

When You Call Us

YOU CAN BE CONFIDENT KNOWING:
  • We have over 40+ years of proven legal experience under our belts.
  • We make you our top priority.
  • We are highly respected in the legal community.
  • We are premier trial lawyers and smart litigators.
  • We have a stellar record of success in accident cases.

No Fees 

UNLESS WE WIN YOUR CASE
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.