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Verdicts & Settlements

Settlement for Victim of Car Accident- $4,000,000.00

Sullivan Brill recently obtained a $4,000,000 award for a 26 year old from New York that was seriously injured in a car accident in Puerto Rico. The client had purchased a used car from a dealership in Canovans, PR. After a couple of weeks, he began hearing and feeling unusual sounds and motions from the front end of the car. He brought it to a service station in Monacillos to have it evaluated. The service station quickly looked at the vehicle, took it for a ride and told the client that there was nothing wrong with it. Twenty minutes after he left the station, one of the car’s front end parts that had been worn and deteriorated failed, causing the vehicle to careen off the road into another vehicle. In the ensuring crash, the client sustained a seriously fractured pelvis that required immediate surgery at the Puerto Rico Medical Center. Two years later, after continued pain and problems with his hip, he had to undergo a total hip replacement at age 24. Since a hip implant only lasts 15 to 20 years, the client will likely have to undergo several additional hip replacement surgeries in his lifetime.

Sullivan Brill brought suit against both the dealership and the service station, asserting products liability and negligence claims against the dealership and negligence claims against the service station for failing to conduct a proper inspection of the vehicle and failing to warn the client of the dangers in driving the car in the condition it was in. Half way through the litigation, the dealership withdrew from the litigation and a default was entered against it. A settlement was reached with the service station and a damages trial was conducted before a federal judge in the Federal District Court in Puerto Rico. After hearing the evidence, the judge assessed the client’s damages at $4,000,000, including $1,000,000 for medical expenses, $500,000 for lost earnings and lost earning capacity, $1,500,000 for past and future pain and suffering and $1,000,000 for emotional damages.

Settlement for Wrongful Death Victim- $3,000,000.00

Sullivan Brill recently secured a $3,000,000 settlement for a 44-year-old-man killed in a head on collision. The accident occurred when a young man, who was under the influence of cocaine while towing construction equipment for a local construction company, hit Sullivan Brill’s client’s father after swerving to avoid hitting another car. The young man’s truck hit the other vehicle and crossed over into oncoming traffic, which is when he struck Sullivan Brill’s clients’ father’s car.

The award was recovered by the father’s children and represented 100% of the insurance policy limits of the responsible driver and employer. The case was a culmination of eight videotaped depositions and an expert witness testimony – this allowed Sullivan Brill to build the best possible case on behalf of the client’s father. Although the settlement awarded will not take away or lessen the family's grief, it will grant them the financial stability they need in order to move forward in life. Devastated by the loss of their father, the family sought representation from Sullivan Brill after a referral from their attorney in Puerto Rico, which is where the client’s father was living at the time of the accident. Throughout the course of this case, Sullivan Brill aimed to provide sound and intelligent legal advice to the victim’s family – Attorney Sullivan personally handled the case with the utmost professionalism and efficiency.

In the aftermath of unexpectedly losing a loved one, sorting out legal matters can be extremely difficult without the proper guidance. You may have the right to pursue justice in the form of compensation with a dedicated attorney from Sullivan & Brill, LLP on your side. We are proud to stand alongside our clients and offer them the compassion they need while vigorously protecting their rights and interests.

Settlement for Medical Malpractice Victim- $750,000.00

Sullivan & Brill, LLP and co-counsel recently obtained a $750,000 settlement on behalf of a client whose radial nerve had been severed by a surgeon attempting to remove two tumors in her right arm. The client presented to the surgeon with neurofibromatosis, a condition that causes tumors to grow on nerve tissue. The doctor that committed the medical malpractice evaluated the client and assured her that the small tumor could be removed without any damage to the radial nerve. However, prior to the surgery, he did not perform the proper tests to ensure that the tumor could be safely removed without damaging the radial nerve, and during the surgery, he severed it, leaving the client with a significant loss of use of her right hand.

Surgical errors are not uncommon and may not be readily apparent. If you or someone you care about thinks they may have been a victim of this type of medical malpractice, call (646) 741-3884 for a free consultation or complete the form at the left and an experienced medical malpractice lawyer will call you to discuss your case.

Settlement for Slip and Fall Victim- $600,000.00

Sullivan Brill recently recovered $600,000 on behalf of a 60 year old women that fell down the steps at a historic Bed and Breakfast she was visiting on a vacation from out of state. The accident happened soon after the client checked into the inn. She went up a flight of steps that had a triangular step at the top as depicted in this photograph.
Slip and Fall at the steps

After placing her belongings down, she walked over to a window in the stair landing to close it and stepped off the triangular step, toppling down the steps to her right and landing on her shoulder.

One of the challenges in the case was that the insurance company immediately hired an engineer that conducted an inspection and came to the conclusion that because the building was built in the late 1700s, it was grandfathered into existing building codes and that the design of the stairs was consistent with customary construction techniques that prevailed at the time. Through discovery and investigation, Sullivan Brill discovered that the use of the building had been changed from a single family residence to a commercial use after the enactment of the building code and that substantial renovations had been done to the building and the staircase at issue. Sullivan Brill then hired a construction engineer to inspect the stair case and evaluate whether it was constructed in accordance with the applicable commercial building codes and generally accepted engineering principals. That analysis revealed several building code violations, which Sullivan Brill argued contributed to causing the accident. Essentially, modern building codes prohibit the triangular stair depicted above in commercial buildings because staircase users will be less familiar with the staircase and are far more likely to have a misstep on them, than a homeowner would be.

After two years of litigation, as jury selection began, the insurance company finally came around to see that its insured had a significant risk of being found liable by a jury. Rather than have the jury decide the case, the insurance company agreed to pay what we viewed as the fair value of the case given the likelihood that a jury would find in favor of the client, our acknowledgment that the client bore some responsibility for failing to see the step and the injuries she sustained in the accident.

The client had sustained a very serious break to the head of the humerus, the bone that goes between the elbow and shoulder.

Fracture in elbow and shoulderAfter being evaluated in a hospital in New York, she returned to her home state, where her orthopedic surgeon performed a shoulder replacement. Unfortunately, she developed complications after the surgery, including heterotopic ossification, a condition where bone grows in the muscle. Ultimately, this caused her rotator cuff to fail and after two years, she had to have the shoulder implant removed and a reverse shoulder replacement implanted. Fortunately, after this second surgery, she made an excellent recover and was able to return her full attention to her business and family.

Settlement for Victim of Sexual Assault- $500,000.00

New York personal injury lawyer Joseph Sullivan recently obtained a $500,000 settlement, with the assistance of a Florida law firm, for a client who was the victim of a sexual assault by an employee of a major cruise line. The incident occurred while the ship was in port in a foreign country. The cruise line immediately began taking statements from the victims and employees involved and attempted to thwart any attempt to have the incident investigated by the foreign authorities. Immediate intervention by Sullivan & Brill, involving the FBI, local Florida police and authorities from the foreign country, resulted in a police investigation that was critical to the success of the case. Ultimately, the employee involved was tracked down and deposed in Costa Rica. His testimony was integral to the settlement of the case.

Cruise ships are far more dangerous than the industry would like the public to believe. Injuries caused by sexual assaults and slip and fall accidents are not uncommon. Many people don't realize that terms and conditions on the back of the cruise ticket require that they formally notify the cruise line of the details of the accident in a very short period of time, often 30 days, and that it limits the time within which they must file suit. If you are injured on a cruise ship, you must act quickly. The cruise ship accident lawyers at Sullivan & Brill can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Slip and Fall Settlement- $430,000.00

Sullivan & Brill, LLP recently recovered $430,000 on behalf of a man that slipped on the step shown in the photograph below while vacationing at a Caribbean resort. The lawsuit claimed that the resort improperly designed, constructed, and maintained the steps. Both the current owners of the resort and the construction companies that designed and built the resort were parties to the lawsuit. Over several years of litigation, tens of thousands of pages of documents were produced and depositions were taken of 13 individuals that either witnessed the accident or were involved in the design, construction, and maintenance of the staircase. Through that discovery, Sullivan & Brill established that certain decisions were made during the design and construction phases of the project that rendered it nearly impossible for the owner to keep sand from accumulating on the steps. Compounding that problem, the discovery also established that the finish material used on the steps had a lower co-efficient of friction than the materials specified in the construction specifications and that a safer finish could have been used, but wasn’t because it was less aesthetically pleasing.

The Defense contended that the steps were safe as constructed and that the accident was caused by Sullivan Brill’s client’s intoxication and misstep while going down the steps. Sullivan Brill undermined this defense by obtaining the resort’s bar tabs which established that the client had only had one or two drinks prior to the accident. In addition, the testimony of eye witnesses confirmed there was a thin layer of sand on the steps at the time of the accident. The testimony of several maintenance personal established that the accumulation of sand on the steps was a reoccurring problem that could not be eliminated because of the design of the pathways leading to the steps.

As a result of the fall, Sullivan Brill’s client sustained a significant fracture of the tibia and fibular, the bone leading from the knee to the ankle. The client was transported from the resort to a nearby hospital and was then flown to Florida by private jet for surgery. After a year and a half, the client had to have a second surgery because the bones in his leg had not formed a complete union. Fortunately, the client was able to continue his office work and the accident did not affect his ability to earning capacity.

Verdict for Victim of Bicycle Accident- $425,000.00

In February 2017, a Westchester County jury returned two verdicts in favor of a Sullivan & Brill client that was hit by a car while riding his bicycle. Read more in our blog post.

Settlement for Delayed Diagnosis of Ankle Fracture- $375,000.00

After twisting her ankle late one evening, a Sullivan Brill client went to a Nassau County podiatrist complaining of pain. He took x-rays and told her it was a bad sprain. After three months of continued pain, she went to an orthopedist, who took additional x-rays and diagnosed her with a fractured lateral malleolus. Sullivan Brill filed suit against the podiatrist, claiming that the delayed diagnosis made the fracture worse, requiring surgery that would not otherwise have been necessary. The podiatrist claimed that he did diagnose the fracture and his records so indicated. The turning point in the case came when medical malpractice attorney Joseph Sullivan locked the podiatrist into this testimony and then secured insurance claim forms and a handwriting expert to demonstrated that the podiatrist's testimony was false and that he changed his records to cover up his mistake. The podiatrist and his insurance company continued to argue that even if the fracture had been immediately diagnosed, the course of treatment would have been the same, so the client had not sustained any injury from the missed diagnosis. The podiatrist and his insurance company finally acceded to Sullivan Brill's demand as the jury was being impaneled.

The delayed diagnosis of injuries and disease leads to thousands of more serious injuries and deaths every year. If you or a loved one has been injured by this type of medical malpractice, Sullivan Brill can help you. For a free consultation, call (646) 741-3884 or fill out the form to the left and an experienced medical malpractice lawyer will call you.

Settlement for Child that Broke Arm Falling from City Play Structure- $350,000.00

Premise Liability lawyer Joseph Sullivan recently obtained a $350,000 settlement just prior to trial from the City of New York for a 14 year old boy who fell from the monkey bars in the Lindower Park in Brooklyn, New York. The boy fell from the monkey bars onto a surface that was supposed to be cushioned. However, the surface under the monkey bars was deteriorated and the rubber material on top was missing. The boy landed on his elbow and sustained a fractured humerus, which had to be repaired with surgery. Fortunately, the boy made a complete recovery from his injuries.

We attribute our success in the case to an aggressive discovery strategy. While the City of New York initially took the position that it was unaware of any problems with the defective surface area under the play structure, depositions of numerous City witnesses and multiple requests for court sanctions ultimately uncovered inspection reports and photographs showing that the City was aware of the condition of the area for at least four months before the accident. The City also took the position that the child would have broken his arm regardless of the condition of the ground. To refute this argument, an expert was retained to conduct testing on the actual site of the accident. The testing revealed that the surface did not comply with government regulations and industry standards and that had the surface been properly maintained, our client would not have been seriously injured.

Settlement for Failure to Diagnosis Skin Cancer- $350,000.00

A settlement of $350,000 was recently obtained by medical malpractice lawyer Joseph Sullivan for a woman whose Brooklyn dermatologist gave her the incorrect results of a biopsy of a mole on her forehead. She was told by the office staff that the biopsy was normal, when in fact it showed she had a basal cell carcinoma. When the mole began to rapidly grow, she saw another dermatologist, who made the correct diagnosis. Thankfully, the cancer had not spread and she was able to have it completely removed with Mohs surgery by a Manhattan surgeon. Today, she is cancer free. However, the surgery left scars on her forehead, which Sullivan & Brill successfully argued she would not have been left with had the cancer been immediately diagnosed and removed.

The failure to diagnose cancer leads to thousands of serious injuries and deaths every year. If you or a loved one has been injured by this type of medical malpractice, Sullivan & Brill can help you. For a free consultation, call (646) 741-3884 or fill out the form to the left and an experienced medical malpractice lawyer will call you.

Jury Awards $320,000 to Woman With Fractured Ankle- $320,000.00

New York injury lawyer Joseph Sullivan recently obtained a $320,000 jury verdict for a Manhattan woman that was hit by a bicyclist while crossing Columbus Avenue in New York City. She was hit by a young man who was riding his bicycle in the wrong direction on Columbus Avenue. Investigation by Sullivan & Brill uncovered a homeowner's insurance policy that covered the bicyclist. The client sustained a fracture of the medial malleolus that was treated with a cast and physical therapy. The insurance company refused to offer more than $75,000 so the case was presented to a jury. The jury returned a verdict finding the bicyclist 100% at fault for the accident, and awarded the client $320,000 for pain and suffering, all of which was covered by the insurance policy.

Burns From Uninsulated Steam Pipe- $250,000.00

Sullivan Brill recently obtained a $250,000 settlement out of a $300,000 insurance policy after just eight months of litigation for a Bronx woman that sustained third degree burns on her check, neck and scalp after she fainted in the bathroom and leaned up against an uninsulated hot steam pipe. The case presented a very challenging legal landscape because there are many cases in New York that have been dismissed on very similar facts. The courts have dismissed the cases on a variety of grounds, including that the landlord had no duty to insulate the pipe because of the age of the building, that the landlord was not aware of the uninsulated pipe, that the pipe needed to be uninsulated to provide heat to the bathroom, that the temperature did not exceed the temperature allowed by the building code or that it was unforeseeable that a person would come into contact with the pipe for a long enough period of time to get significant burns. It seems as though no matter what the fact pattern, the courts have found a reason to dismiss the case. At the onset of the litigation, the firm hired a highly respected expert in mechanical engineering with extensive experience with the New York City building code to test the heating system of apartment and document the dangerous condition of the pipe. We were then able to convince the insurance company that this case fell within a very narrow range of cases that required the landlord to remedy the dangerous condition in our client's apartment, and that therefore, it should compensate her for the injuries she sustained.

Settlement Obtained for Victim of False Arrest- $250,000.00

Sullivan & Brill, LLP, with the assistance of co-counsel, recently obtained a $250,000 settlement on behalf of a middle-eastern man falsely accused of scalping tickets in front of a well-known Manhattan theater. The man was online at the theater when he saw people he know from his community. He walked forward to say hello, when a private security guard approached him and accused him of scalping tickets. He denied the accusations and refused to leave the theater. The New York City Police were called. When he refused to leave, his arm was twisted behind his back, he was thrown on the ground and arrested. The police would only agree to release him from the precinct if he signed something saying he was not injured. He refused so he was booked on charges of trespassing and scalping. The criminal charges were eventually dismissed. A federal civil rights lawsuit was brought against the New York City Police Department and the theater claiming that the client's civil rights were violated as a result of the false arrest, false imprisonment and police brutality. During the pre-trial phase of the case, the New York false arrest lawyers uncovered the existence of a video tape of the incident that had mysteriously disappeared. This fact opened the door to the $250,000 settlement for the false arrest and one night of false imprisonment suffered by the client.

If you or someone you car about has been the victim of a false arrest, false imprisonment or police brutality, you should immediately seek advice from a civil rights lawyer that is experienced in handling civil rights cases. For a free consultation with such an attorney, complete the form to the right or call (646) 741-3884. Based in New York City, Sullivan & Brill, LLP represents clients throughout the United States, as well as in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Westchester County and other upstate New York counties.

Settlement for Construction Worker Who Sustained Burn Injuries in Brooklyn Accident- $240,000.00

Sullivan Brill recently finalized a $240,000 settlement for a construction worker who was injured when fumes from floor lacquer he was applying to a wood floor unexpectedly ignited. As a result, he suffered second degree burns to his thighs, torso, arm and hand. Investigation revealed that the fumes ignited from an electrical arc. A lawsuit was brought against the owner of the building and manufacture of the lacquer. The owner was sued under New York Labor Law §241(6). It was claimed that the owner failed to provide a safe work site and that it violated safety regulations including in the New York Industrial Code requiring an owner to protect workers from accidental fire or explosion where the construction workers are working with materials that create flammable fumes. By failing to turn off the electricity to the work area, the building owner violated this regulation and was thus liable for the burn injuries sustained by the workers. A products liability lawsuit was also brought against the manufacture of the lacquer alleging that the product was unreasonably dangerous and that the manufacture did not provide adequate warnings of the flammable nature of the product. As a result of his burn injuries, the client was unable to work for several months. He filed a workers compensation claim and had his lost wages covered during the time he recovered from his injuries. Workers compensation also covered his medical expenses related to the accident. However, under New York law, two thirds of these expenses had to be repaid out of the proceeds of the settlement for the construction workers burn injuries. Fortunately, the client was able to return to work and his burns healed with almost no residual injury. He did have some scaring from the burns and therefore part of his settlement included compensation for the pain and suffering he experienced immediately after the accident as well as compensation for the future suffering he will be expected to experience.

Sullivan Brill brought suit against both the dealership and the service station, asserting products liability and negligence claims against the dealership and negligence claims against the service station for failing to conduct a proper inspection of the vehicle and failing to warn the client of the dangers in driving the car in the condition it was in. Half way through the litigation, the dealership withdrew from the litigation and a default was entered against it. A settlement was reached with the service station and a damages trial was conducted before a federal judge in the Federal District Court in Puerto Rico. After hearing the evidence, the judge assessed the client's damages at $4,000,000, including $1,000,000 for medical expenses, $500,000 for lost earnings and lost earning capacity, $1,500,000 for past and future pain and suffering and $1,000,000 for emotional damages.

Settlement Obtained for Family of Man that Committed Suicide- $200,000.00

$200,000 settlement obtained by the Puerto Rico medical malpractice attorneys at Sullivan & Brill, LLP for the family of a man that checked himself into a psychiatric hospital and committed suicide immediately upon being released.

Settlement for Man with Herniated Disc- $180,000.00

Personal injury lawyer Joseph Sullivan recently negotiated a $180,000 settlement for a pedestrian knocked down by a car backing up to pull into a parking space. As a result of the fall, the man sustained a herniated disc in his lumbar spine (lower back), for which he received physical therapy, epidural steroid injections and trigger point injections. The insurance company claimed that the accident was the client's fault because he was crossing the street between blocks and that the man was not seriously injured in the accident, but rather any injuries he had were the result of a work place accident he had years before the pedestrian knock down accident.

Settlement Obtained for Child that Sustained Hernia- $175,000.00

The car accident attorneys at Sullivan & Brill recently obtained a $175,000 settlement on behalf of a child that was injured when his uncle lost control of a rented car while traveling through North Carolina. The car spun off the road and the seatbelt the child was wearing dug into his abdomen causing a serious hernia which had to be surgically repaired. Later, it was also discovered that he had sustained a fracture in his pelvis. The defendant claimed that the brakes on the vehicle had locked up. Sullivan & Brill took immediate action to preserve the vehicle and then had it inspected by an automotive engineer who determine that breaks had not locked up prior to the defendant losing control of the vehicle. Sullivan & Brill was also able to secure the vehicle's "black box" which demonstrated, contrary to the defendant's testimony, that he was traveling over 80 mph.

Settlement for Injury from Fall in Store- $135,000.00

A man that tripped in the Staten Island store of a national electronics chain sustaining a torn meniscus was awarded a $135,000 settlement in Federal District Court, Southern District of New York after the slip and fall lawyers at Sullivan & Brill successfully defeated the defendant's motion to dismiss the case. The client tripped over a chain channeling customers to the cash register. The store claimed that there was nothing dangerous about the chain, that it was open and obvious and the man should have seen it.

Settlement for Women that Tripped on Sidewalk and Fractured Wrist- $130,000.00

The personal injury attorneys at Sullivan & Brill, LLP obtained a $130,000 settlement for a 70 year old women who tripped on hole in the sidewalk in front of a laundry mat in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn. The client fractured her wrist, but did not require surgery. The insurance company for the building owners that were responsible for the sidewalk claimed that the hole on which the client tripped was minor and that she should have been paying closer attention to where she was walking. After beginning the trial, the insurance companies were persuaded that the jury was likely to find the landowners liable for failing to properly maintain the sidewalk and that they should settled the case.

Slip on Ice Causing Knee Injury Results in $95,000 Settlement- $95,000.00

A man who slipped on ice in the parking lot of his office building and fractured his knee was awarded a $95,000 settlement. The landlord claimed that the parking lot was properly maintained and that it had no notice of any icy condition. Agreeing with its argument, a Supreme Court judge in Suffolk County, New York dismissed his case. Fighting on, the appeals lawyers at Sullivan & Brill appealed the decision to the Appellate Division. After receiving Sullivan & Brill's appellate brief, the insurance company acceded to Sullivan & Brill's settlement demand.

Settlement for Women with Herniated Disc- $90,000.00

A women who was hit by a car while walking across the street, causing a herniated disc in her lower back was awarded a $90,000 settlement as jury selection began. The insurance company and defendant claimed that the women was crossing in the middle of the block and walked into the side of his car.

Settlement obtained for man who injured wrist in car accident- $88,000.00

An $88,000 settlement was obtained by the car accident attorneys at Sullivan & Brill for a man who tore a ligament in his wrist when another car hit the side of his car and caused him to jam his wrist into the stick shift.

Settlement for women with carpal tunnel syndrome- $80,000.00

A women who fell on her wrist after being hit by a tow truck while crossing the street developed carpal tunnel syndrome for which her doctor recommended surgery. However, the insurance company refused to pay for it. After filing a lawsuit against the tow truck company and driver and beginning trial, the personal injury lawyers at Sullivan & Brill, LLP persuaded the insurance company to settle the case for $80,000.

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