Segal McCambridge Successfully Obtains Reduced Verdict in a New York Construction Accident Case
On April 17, 2014, New York Shareholder Christian Gannon and New York Associate Simon Lee successfully obtained a reduced verdict in a damages-only jury trial in the Bronx County Supreme Court for firm clients The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Tishman Construction Corporation. Plaintiff’s counsel requested nearly $18 million during closing arguments. However, despite the plaintiff requiring an eight (8) level spinal fusion surgery, the jury only awarded a total of $2.34 million, which only encompassed $250,000 for past pain and suffering and $0 for future pain and suffering.
The suit, Bernard Verdon and Mary Verdon v. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, et al. (Bronx County Index No. 309654/09), involved a union carpenter who was working at the World Trade Center Tower One construction site on August 11, 2009 when he fell 10 to 15 feet off a trailing platform. He sustained a closed head injury, a torn rotator cuff, thoracic spine fractures (requiring an eight (8) level spinal fusion), herniations of the cervical and lumbar spine, and post-traumatic kyphosis. After several surgeries, the plaintiff and his counsel maintained that he was unable to work, and sought $18 million in damages for future medical expenses, lost income, and past and future pain and suffering. Plaintiff-wife had a claim for loss of consortium.
Mr. Gannon and Mr. Lee defended their clients through expert testimony that showed Mr. Verdon’s thoracic spine fractures had healed well and that his pain was well managed with medication. They were also able to demonstrate that the herniations, the kyphosis and rotator cuff tear were the result of pre-existing degenerative conditions.