Jury awards $10,600,000 Million Dollars to Woman Injured in Ford Explorer Rollover- January 01, 2007
MIDDLESEX COUNTY: A Toms River woman who suffered a paralyzed right arm after her Ford Explorer rolled over was awarded a total of $10,668,799.89 in damages by a Superior Court jury in New Brunswick. Rebekah Zakrocki-Parks, 28, was injured in the morning of November 10, 2000, when the throttle on her 1997 Ford Explorer became stuck while she was on her way to work on the Garden State Parkway. When the gas pedal became unstuck, the vehicle surged forward and rolled over, causing her arm to become crushed and partially amputated when it was ejected through the sunroof during the rollover.
This case was tried by Barry Eichen with the assistance of Jack Sanders of the law firm Eichen, Levinson & Crutchlow in Edison. They claimed that there was a design defect in the throttle of the 1997 Ford Explorer that allowed sludging to accumulate on the throttle plate inside the throttle, which would cause the plate to stick closed while the vehicle was being driven. They sued Ford Motor Company and Freehold Ford, alleging that the automaker and its dealer knew from prior customer complaints that drivers were experiencing surging related to the throttles as early as 1996, and that accidents were occurring when drivers applied extra pressure to their gas pedals to overcome the accumulation of sludging, and that the throttle defect posed an even more significant danger in the Ford Explorer, because SUVs, which have a higher center of gravity than most passenger vehicles, are more prone to rollover in emergency situations.
After the accident, Rebekah was hospitalized at Jersey Shore Medical Center where reconstructive surgery was performed on her arm. In total, over 20 surgeries were performed on her arm and shoulder in order to reattach her arm.
The jury deliberated for two days following a four week trial in the courtroom of Superior Court Judge Jamie Happas before announcing its verdict.
$15,000,000 Verdict for Defective Vehicle/Motor Vehicle Accident- January 07, 2002
At the request of the parties involved and in the best interest of our client, the names, dates and facts surrounding this settlement are confidential.
$750K Settlement for RSD (2002)
$750,000 Settlement for RSD- January 07, 2002
This was a case where the passenger in the seat in first class in front of the plaintiff leaned back, striking the plaintiff in the knee causing RSD. This condition is a neurological condition whereby the extremities turned colors and the knee and leg becomes weakened and painful. The patient was treated for two years. This case settled the day of trial for $750,000.00, by attorney Barry Eichen.
$1,875,000 Settlement For Slip And Fall At Chiropractor's Office- January 05, 2009
Case involved a fall by a patient at a chiropractor's office, resulting in paralysis (At the request of the parties involved and in the best interest of our client, the names, dates and facts surrounding this settlement are confidential)
$640,000 awarded by Jury to Fall Victim- June 04, 2007
Kathy Pangborn, a 56-year-old disabled resident of an apartment complex in Middlesex County who fell on a child's tricycle left outside her door, was awarded $640,000, including interest, by a jury which deliberated for approximately one hour. The complex owners, Middlesex Builders, represented by Charles T. McCook Jr. of Bumgardner, Ellis, McCook & Kingsley of Clark, had permitted residents to keep toys in common areas. Pangborn required surgery and the implantation of screws and a plate in her wrist after her 2003 fall. She now has limited motion and use of her right hand. In the trial in Pangborn v. Yadau before Middlesex County Judge Lorraine Pullen, Pangborn was represented by John H. Sanders II of Eichen, Levinson & Crutchlow in Edison. Her neighbor, Bala Yadav, who owned the tricycle, was a co-defendant represented by Sean M. McDonough of Litvak & Trifiolis of Cedar Knolls.
Jury awards $975,000 to woman for sidewalk fall- October 01, 2005
Home News Tribune Online - 10/1/05
By LONNIE MACK - STAFF WRITER
MIDDLESEX COUNTY: An Edison woman who fell and fractured her ankle outside her place of employment has been awarded $975,000 by a Superior Court jury in New Brunswick. Jeanette Bruno, 44, the mother of two grown children, was injured on June 4, 2003, when she fell on a sidewalk outside the Medical Technology Solutions building, according to her attorney, Barry Eichen of the Edison law firm of Eichen Levinson. Eichen said Bruno was helping students who were enrolled in medical-billing classes enter the facility. He argued the woman slipped and fell because the sidewalk was in disrepair. Bruno filed suit against the owners of the building, Ice Inc. and Saddleback Management Co. of Hackensack, whose insurance company will be liable for the award. Bruno, who was a recreational runner, can no longer run and has limited motion in the ankle, Eichen said. He said the ankle had to be repaired by surgery. A plate and several screws were implanted into the ankle. The jury deliberated for about an hour following a two-day trial in the courtroom of Superior Court Judge Lorraine Pullen before announcing its verdict late Wednesday afternoon. Gary McDonald, the attorney for the defendants, could not be reached for comment.
$800,000 Jury Verdict for Closed Head Injury after a Fall on Ice- January 03, 2000
THE STAR LEDGER
A 73 year old Edison man accepted $800,000 yesterday to settle a lawsuit claiming he was severely injured when he slipped on ice and fell outside a bank.
Harold Osborne accepted the sum in state Superior Court in New Brunswick to settle his lawsuit against PNC Bank of Edison and Petty Construction Inc., a snow removal company from the Iselin section of Woodbridge.
Barry Eichen an Edison lawyer representing Osborne said his client suffered a severe neck injury when he fell January 16, 1996.
As a result, Osborne, a retired machine operator underwent surgery but continues to suffer pain and uses a cane to walk, the lawyer said. Eichen also said Osborne suffers from lost sensation in his right hand as a result of the injury.
Osborne, who had a part-time job with a florist, was delivering flowers to the bank then the Midlantic Bank on Thornall Street in Edison when he slipped on a ramp leading to the entrance, according to court records. The florist was not identified in court papers and was not named as a defendant.
The bank, which later became PNC Bank, and the snow removal companies were accused in the lawsuit of failing to properly remove ice and snow from the ramp, according to Eichen.
The bank agreed to pay 75 percent of the settlement, and the snow removal company will contribute the remainder under terms of the agreement reached before the case was to be tried before Superior Court Judge Amy Piro Chambers.
Michael Tuzzio, a Tinton Falls attorney representing the bank, declined to comment.
By: Jim O'Neill
$2.65 Million Jury Verdict in Wrongful Death Motor Vehicle Case where Decedent was Turning Left from a Stop Sign- May 01, 2010
Daryl L. Zaslow obtained a $2,650,000 verdict on behalf of the Estate of a 42 year old man who died in a motor vehicle accident when he was making a left turn at an intersection with a stop sign in his direction. The defendant's insurer offered only $200,000 to settle the case because the Plaintiff had the stop sign in his direction and was attempting to cross 3 lanes of traffic when the accident occurred, so Mr. Zaslow and his clients proceeded to trial.
Mr. Zaslow argued that the Defendant failed to appreciate he was driving his landscaping truck 14 miles over the speed limit and did not immediately slow down the truck when he first observed the Plaintiff's car in his in his path of travel. The speed limit in that area of the accident was 45 mph and Zaslow presented an expert accident reconstructionist who determined the Defendant was driving 59.6 mph before he jammed on the brakes of the truck. Additionally, although the State Laboratory results were negative for Diphenhydramine (aka Benadryl) in the defendant's blood, there was Diphenhydramine in the urinalysis and Zaslow presented expert testimony that the blood test results were unreliable since the blood specimen was taken nearly 5 hours after the accident. The expert toxicologist also testified that the defendant was likely suffering the adverse effects of Diphenhydramine/Benadryl at the time of the accident, which include drowsiness, fatigue and disturbed coordination and that these factors contributed to the accident.
The beneficiaries included a wife and three daughters. The jury awarded $2.2 million to the survivors for their future financial losses due to the death of the decedent, and $450,000 for past losses. It was also determined that the decedent died instantaneously. The $2.65 million award was to be reduced to $1,987,500 as the jury determined that the decedent bore 25% responsibility for the accident. Plaintiffs filed an offer of Judgment under R. 4:58 in the amount $1,000,000, and Plaintiffs were entitled to recover litigation costs, 8% interest and attorneys' fees in addition to the $1,987,500 net verdict.
$2,650,000 Settlement on Wrongful Death Truck Accident- January 03, 2006
$2.65M Settlement on Wrongful Death Truck Accident
Truck accident involving an interstate trucking company. Plaintiff's attorney, BARRY R. EICHEN, ESQ., alleged that negligent hiring of a truck driver who was under of narcotics while operating his tractor trailer, crossed the double yellow lines and struck plaintiff's vehicle head-on, causing his death. The accident occurred in late 2005 and was settled in early 2006.
$1,200,000 Settlement for Motor Vehicle Accident- January 03, 2005
An off duty Plainfield police officer was stopped at a stop sign on First Avenue in Plainfield, New Jersey, when the driver of a tractor-trailer struck his vehicle. The defendant truck driver alleged he was only traveling 5 mph and that the impact was minimal. The plaintiff had prior neck and back injuries which were aggravated, necessitating a spine surgery. The case was handled by Barry R. Eichen of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP and was settled for $1.2 million prior to trial.
$1,700,000 Settlement for Pedestrian Automobile Accident- January 05, 2004
A passenger struck by a car on the Garden State Parkway after the limousine he was riding in spun out of control accepted $1.475 million from the limo's insurer on July 25, 2003. Shore limousine of Manasquan picked up Plaintiff, an engineer from Toms River, at Newark Liberty International Airport on July 17, 2001. Once on the Garden State Parkway, the driver lost control of the limo and it came to rest against a center guardrail, partially encroaching on the fast lane. Doe tried to run across the highway but was struck by another car, breaking his legs and fracturing his shoulder, says his lawyer, Barry Eichen, of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP in Edison. State Farm Insurance Company the carrier for Anthony Scarangella, the other car's driver, tendered the full extent of his $100,000.00 policy. Shore Limousine's insurer, Proformance Insurance Co., in Freehold, offered $1.375 million of a $1.5 million policy.
$2,250,000 Settlement for Bus Accident- January 02, 2001
THE HOME NEWS TRIBUNE
A bus company agreed to pay more than $2 million to a Plainfield woman whose husband died for injuries he received when the bus' roof was sheered off as it traveled underneath a railroad bridge, an attorney said.
Coach USA settled the case yesterday for $2,250,000, said Barry Eichen of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP who represented the plaintiff.
Henry Bresticker, 87, suffered a badly fractured skull, lapsed into a coma about 2 hours after the crash, underwent surgery at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, and died at the hospital nine months later, said Eichen.
He said Bresticker and his wife, Lillian, 77, went to Atlantic City once a month, on average, and played golf three times a week.
On December 14, 1999, they took a trip to Atlantic City. A bus brought their group back to Middlesex Mall in South Plainfield, where a second bus then picked them up to bring them home.
But the bus driver deviated from his usual route, and around 8 p.m. on Clinton Avenue, near South Second Street in the city, he hit a railroad overpass that sheered off the top of the vehicle, said Eichen.
The trial had been scheduled to start Monday in Middlesex County. The attorney for the bus company could not be reached for comment.
By Michelle Sahn
$1,800,000 Structured Settlement for Motor Vehicle Accident- October 07, 1996
NEW JERSEY LAW JOURNAL
SUITS & DEALS - OCTOBER 7, 1996
Betcher v. Casole: The wife of a Union Beach man who was killed in a car accident with a commercial farm truck that failed to stop at an intersection agreed to a $1.8 million structured settlement last Monday with the truck driver and his mechanic.
Patricia Betcher, the wife of Paul Betcher, 44, who was killed in the accident in Union Beach on Oct. 18, 1994, agreed to settle her wrongful death suit against the driver, Anthony Casole, 38, of Marlboro, and Nitche Sunoco on Rts. 34 and 520 in Marlboro.
The gas station paid half the settlement, according to lawyers on both sides. The accident allegedly was caused when the brakes failed on Casole's truck and he ran a stop sign. It was later discovered the truck's brakes were in terrible shape, even though the Sunoco station had inspected the truck two weeks before the accident, and it passed, according to Casole's attorney, Norman Hobbie, a partner in Middletown's Giordano Halleran & Ciesla. "The brakes were in such bad shape, how could the truck have passed inspection?" Hobbie asks. "There was no wrongdoing on the part of my client. He did not have to pay any money for punitives or excess damages."
Betcher's attorney William Levinson, the Partner in Edison's Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP, says his client will receive $30,000 a year until she is 74.
Levinson filed suit on Patricia Betcher's behalf in December 1994. He says his client, who works as a department store check-out clerk, is set for life: "She'll be able to live without worrying. She's safe. The settlement doesn't need to be approved by a court. It's a done deal."
Marc Baldwin, a partner in Marlboro's Parker, Mckay & Criscuolo, who represents one of the insurers in the case, did not return three telephone calls last week.
By Lisa Brennan
Reprinted with permission from the New Jersey Law Journal, October 7, 1996 by American Lawyer Media, L.P.
$1,300,000 Jury Verdict for Roadway Maintenance- March 29, 1990
NEW JERSEY LAW JOURNAL
SUITS & DEALS - March 29, 1990
Cerreto v. Cook, et al: A 35 year-old Edison supermarket worker will receive more than $1.3 million in a settlement of an automobile negligence case against the Standard Paper Co. of Somerset.
In January 1987, Giacomo Cerreto was driving on Route 9 in Howell Township when a Standard Paper truck driven by its employee, Stanley Cook, hit the back of Cerreto's car, pushing it forward and into a garbage truck. Cerreto suffered compound fractures in both legs, which required attaching metal plates to the tibia bones. The plates caused the development of osteomyelitis, an infectious inflammatory bone disease. The disease, once contracted, can recur.
The March 20, settlement follows a ruling by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge James Kennedy granting summary judgment on the issue of liability. Cerreto will receive $260,000 in a lump sum and $850 a month for life under an annuity contract, with a 4 percent increase every year.
Barry Eichen, a solo practitioner in Edison, represented the plaintiff. Morristown's Colquhoun & Colquhoun, attorneys for PMA Insurance Services, represented defendants.
$51M Verdict Against a Pharmaceutical Company for Price Manipulation- December 07, 2010
This Practice Resulted in Overpayment by Those Two Agencies.
$27M Verdict Against a Pharmaceutical Company for Price Manipulation- September 07, 2010
This Practice Resulted in Overpayment by Those Two Agencies.
Zetia and Vytorin Ineffectiveness- August 06, 2009
Zetia and Vytorin class action suits were filed in several different states on behalf of patients and medical insurers who paid for the drug which apparently had no positive medical benefits. The lawsuits alleged that the drug makers pursued profits, without concern for whether the drug would have an impact on the health of users. The Zetia and Vytorin class action suits sought reimbursement for the cost of the prescription or for the difference between the cost of the prescription and what the generic would have cost. Barry Eichen, Esq. of Eichen, Crutchlow & McElroy sat on the Vytorin Steering Committee which assisted in the settlement of these cases for $41.5 Million.
Class action lawsuit on behalf of New Jersey consumers who purchased automobiles from DCH Auto Group- January 03, 2005
In January of 2005, Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP brought a class action lawsuit on behalf of New Jersey consumers who purchased automobiles from DCH Auto Group. In the class action lawsuit, the plaintiffs maintained that from the dates of April 17, 1997 to and including January 27, 2005, DCH Auto Group provided consumers with vehicle registration, certificate of title, and documentary services for which the group charged and/or allowed fees in excess of the standard amounts charged by the Division of Motor Vehicles without providing consumers with an itemized disclosure that indicated that said fees were in excess of those that would be charged by the Division of Motor Vehicles. A class action settlement was reached with the defendants, which provided members of the consumer class with the following relief.
- A full cash reimbursement of overcharges.
- A discount of ten percent off of the purchase of parts and accessories or a service visit.
- A discount coupon for $150 off the purchase or lease of a new or used vehicle.
- More detailed and itemized disclosures on the defendants' future transactions with consumers.
$16,000,000 in Settlement for Prescription Drug Litigation (Rezulin)- January 01, 2004
Details for this settlement are unpublished. (Rezulin Class Action)
Fen-Phen awarded National Settlement- January 11, 2002
In September 1997, Fen Phen was withdrawn from the market. The combination of fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine was leading to heart valve injuries that were affecting a high percentage of Fen Phen takers. American Home Products, the drug's manufacturer, was accused of withholding information that would have warned Fen Phen users of the risks involved so they could continue to sell the popular diet drug. The FDA issued thousands of warning letters informing patients and doctors of possible valvular heart disease in July of 1997, and in September 1997 is when the FDA requested a voluntary withdrawal of Fen Phen by the drug company. Following the initial medical warning reports that linked Fen Phen to serious forms of valvular heart disease, various class actions were filed against American Home Products. After Fen Phen was withdrawn from the market, a nationwide settlement began negotiations. As of January 11, 2002 the Fen Phen Settlement became final. Barry Eichen, Esq. of Eichen, Crutchlow & McElroy sat on the New Jersey Fen-Phen Steering Committee which assisted in the National Settlement for $3.75 Billion.
Estate of Norris v. DYFS: A Monmouth County judge on Nov. 29 approved a $1.25 million settlement of a suit claiming the Division of Youth and Family Services' mishandled response to reports of abuse led to a Jackson child's death.
Kedar Norris, then 5, died on March 29, 2004, as the result of blunt force trauma to his abdomen that ruptured his intestines, says his estate's lawyer, Daryl Zaslow, of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy in Edison.
The fatal blows were inflicted by his mother's boyfriend, Royce Berry, now her husband, who was convicted of reckless manslaughter and child endangerment and is still in prison. The mother, Natesha Smith, pleaded guilty to child endangerment but drew no jail term.
A Dec. 9, 2004, report by the state Office of Child Advocacy faulted DYFS for its handling of two reports it received about Berry physically abusing the boy, in November 2002 and May 2003. DYFS did not check child care records that would have disclosed an earlier concussion, failed to have Kedar interviewed by a sexual abuse expert after the 2003 report and created an in-home case plan that ignored Kedar's claims of excessive punishment by Berry, the report said.
Zaslow says he deposed the report's author, Dr. E. Susan Hodgson, and would have sought to use her testimony and the report at trial under the admission against interest exception to the hearsay rule, since she is a state employee.
The settlement was reached at a Sept. 13 conference with Superior Court Judge David Bauman and later approved by Judge Joseph Quinn. The money will be split 70-30 between Jeffrey and Kaleem Norris, the father and brother of Kedar.
Deputy Attorney General Paul Nieves defended DYFS. A spokesman for the Attorney General's Office, Lee Moore, confirms the settlement.
$2,000,000.00 Settlement For Fela/Toxic Exposure- January 05, 2009
Settlement with defendant railroad for exposure to materials which lead to mesothelioma. (At the request of the parties involved and in the best interest of our client, the names, dates and facts surrounding this settlement are confidential)
$1,200,000.00 Settlement For Ski Accident in the Northeast- January 05, 2009
Settlement with a ski resort for negligent supervision and maintenance. (At the request of the parties involved and in the best interest of our client, the names, dates and facts surrounding this settlement are confidential.)
$1,000,000 Settlement for Orthopedic Malpractice- January 07, 2008
Settlement with defendant orthopedic doctors as a result of a back surgery and improper placement of hardware. (At the request of the parties involved and in the best interest of our client, the names, dates and facts surrounding this settlement are confidential).
$1,100,000 Settlement for Failure to Provide Mall Security- January 07, 2008
Settlement with defendant shopping mall for failure to provide proper security resulting in the sexual assault and wrongful death of plaintiff. (At the request of the parties involved and in the best interest of our client, the names, dates and facts surrounding this settlement are confidential).
Federal Court awards $2.5 Million Dollars for Illegal Shooting by Newark Police Officer- June 01, 2007
NEWARK, NJ: A Newark man who suffered severe injuries after he was wrongfully shot in the stomach with a hollow point bullet by a Newark Police Officer was awarded a total of $2,589,327.38 in damages by a Federal Court in Newark.
Paul Godley, a lifelong Newark resident, was shot by the Newark Police Officer using his service revolver and Department issued hollow point bullet. The officer had claimed that he believed Mr. Godley was armed.
This case was tried by William Crutchlow and John H. Sanders II of the law firm Eichen, Levinson & Crutchlow in Edison. They claimed that the officer wrongfully shot Godley and that he was surrendering to the officer. Also that the damage caused by the bullet fragments caused Mr. Godley to suffer massive internal injuries and bleeding.
The emergency room doctor who performed lifesaving surgery to Mr. Godley testified that, by the time surgery could finally be performed, Godley had lost over 40% of his blood and had a blood pressure level that dropped to near terminal levels. Over 10 surgeries and several weeks of coma-like sedation were necessary to keep Godley alive. A neurologist, Dr. John Greenberg, testified that Godley suffered permanent damage to his nervous system and brain as a result of the extreme blood loss.
After an agreement was reached regarding during trial as to liability, the damages portion of the trial was tried for one week to Federal Court Judge Stanley Chesler, who announced the verdict.
Widow of New Jersey Transit worker awarded $19,100,000.00- November 15, 2005
HOME NEWS TRIBUNE
MIDDLESEX COUNTY: The wife of an New Jersey Transit employee who died in 2002 of a job-related lung disease was awarded $19.2 million yesterday by a Superior Court jury in New Brunswick.
Catherine Fuccilli of Freehold, the widow of Roger Fuccilli, will receive the compensation from New Jersey Transit, Central Railroad of New Jersey and Consolidated Rail Inc., according to William Levinson and Barry R. Eichen of the Edison law firm of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP.
Roger Fuccilli was a railroad car repairman for New Jersey Transit for 18 years. Before that, he was employed by Central Railroad of New Jersey for about 18 months.
In the course of his duties, his attorneys said, he engaged in welding, sanding, painting and repairing brakes using asbestos and silica products in addition to breathing metal dust and welding fumes exposing him to materials that caused him to be diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in June 2000.
Roger Fuccilli, the father of four grown children including a 23-year-old son who is autistic, died in 2002 of pulmonary fibrosis, which Levinson said has a strangulation effect.
During the last two years of his life, Roger Fuccilli had to be put on an oxygen supply and during his last six months he was in the hospital on a respirator, Eichen said.
The award followed a five-week trial in the courtroom of Ann McCormick and seven and a half hours of deliberations that started on Tuesday.
The jury, the attorneys said, awarded $4.1 million for the pain and suffering Roger Fuccilli endured before he died and another $15.1 million for his wrongful death.
The panel found New Jersey Transit responsible for 50 percent of the award, Central Railroad of New Jersey for 7 percent and Roger Fuccilli for 8 percent.
The jury found Consolidated Rail Inc. was 35 percent responsible, however, that company settled for an undisclosed amount before the trial, and will compensate Catherine Fuccilli based on that confidential settlement, according to Levinson and Eichen.
The attorneys for New Jersey Transit and Central Railroad of New Jersey were not available for comment.
Copyright (c) Home News Tribune. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Gannett Co., Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.
$891,000 Jury Verdict for Psychological Injuries to Bridgewater Man- July 31, 2002
Published in the Home News Tribune 7/31/02
By JONATHAN TAMARI - STAFF WRITER
A jury awarded a Bridgewater man $891,000 in connection with an accident in which a United Parcel Service truck crashed into his living room Craig Hodgkiss was unhurt in the accident, but his lawyer said he suffered from post-traumatic-stress disorder and has to take medicine daily to cope.
A Somerset County jury awarded Hodgkiss $750,000 in compensation, which, with interest added, will result in an $891,000 payout from UPS, said Hodgkiss' lawyer, Daniel Epstein of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP, an Edison trial law firm.
He expects UPS to appeal. Mario Colitti, an attorney who represented UPS in the case, did not return a phone call yesterday seeking comment.
The verdict was handed down Friday after a five-day trial before Superior Court Judge Frank Gasiorowski in Somerville, Epstein said.
The suit stemmed from an Oct. 19, 1998, incident in which a UPS truck jumped a curb near Hodgkiss' home and crashed into the living room of his condominium, Epstein said.
At the time, Hodgkiss' wife was holding the couple's 10-month-old baby in the rear of the unit and witnessed the accident. Hodgkiss, who did not see the crash but heard it, ushered them and a downstairs neighbor to safety, according to Epstein.
The incident, the lawyer said, caused his client permanent psychological damage.
"Many people devalue psychiatric injuries," Epstein said. "Under recent New Jersey case law, a psychiatric injury must cause significant sickness and be caused by a significant stimulus to be a viable claim. Both factors were present here."
Woman receives $800,000 settlement for injuries she suffered at work- January 08, 2001
MIDDLESEX COUNTY: A woman has received an $800,000 settlement for injuries she suffered at work when part of her scalp was ripped off because her hair got caught in the gears of a conveyor belt at a Cranbury Plant, her attorney said.
Nina Patel, 53, of North Brunswick settled her case against the installers of the belt and the electrician who installed the shut-off switch, said Barry Eichen of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP.
Patel packed teddy bears at Russ Berrie and Company Inc., he said. She put them on a gravity conveyor belt, then pushed them over to a motorized belt. But on August 23, 1999, the boxes started to pile up and her supervisor asked her to go under the conveyor belt and turn it of using a shut-off switch, said Eichen.
He said guards underneath the belt had been removed by maintenance workers and were never re-installed.
So, when she went underneath the belt, her hair got caught in the gears and part of her scalp was ripped off, said Eichen, adding that Patel had to have a skin graft because of her injuries.
Eichen also said Patel could have shut the belt off by pulling a line cord, instead of crawling under belt, but that line cord would have stopped the entire system, and her supervisor just wanted a portion of the belt turned off.
Eichen said he initially filed suit against Russ Berrie as well, but the court dismissed that portion, citing workman's compensation rules.
The settlement was reached on Tuesday just before jury selection began before Judge Bryan Garruto in state Superior Court, New Brunswick. Eichen said he planned to argue that the installer, W.S. Marshall Inc. in Cliffwood, and the electrician, Access Electric in Perth Amboy, should not have put the shut off button underneath the belt. But James D. Butler, the Jersey City based attorney who represented Access said his client, as well as W. S. Marshall, planned to argue that they were not responsible for the accident.
He said the decision to settle the case was a business decision.
"We maintained all along, and also maintained, at the time of the settlement, there was no culpability, but unfortunately the cost of litigation is so high that it was (an) economic (decision)," he said.
Access agreed to pay $75,000 of the settlement, while W.S. Marshall agreed to pay the rest.
By Michelle Sahn
$1,050,000 Settlement for Failure to Supervise Elderly- February 28, 2000
NEW JERSEY LAW JOURNAL
SUITS & DEALS
Borsai v. Somerset County Department of Transportation: The Somerset County Department of Transportation agreed to a $1.05 million settlement of a suit by an elderly man suffering from Alzheimer's disease who was left on a bus in sweltering heat for three hours.
On June 29, 1999, Michael Borsai, now 72, was one of a number of elderly residents being transported home from the All Day Care Center in Bedminster Township. The driver, James Wilson, did not see that Borsai was still seated in the rear of the bus when he drove to the department's parking lot at about 3 p.m. By that time, the outdoor temperature had exceeded 90 degrees and it was very humid.
Wilson left the bus, but Borsai, because of the advanced state of his Alzheimer's condition, was unable to leave the bus by himself, says his lawyer, Barry Eichen, a partner at Edison's Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP. Another Department employee spotted Borsai in the bus about three hours later.
Borsai was taken to St. Peter's University Hospital in New Brunswick where doctors discovered that his existing vascular problems had been exacerbated by the heat and that he had developed a blood clot in a thigh. He spent three weeks in the hospital.
Wilson was fired shortly thereafter. The settlement was reached on November 30, 2001. A trial had been scheduled to begin last Monday before Somerset County Superior Court Judge Helen Hoens.
The transportation department was represented by Scott Rodgers, a partner at Somerville's Miller Robertson and Rodgers. He did not return telephone calls seeking comment.
By: Michael Booth
$1,000,000 Recovery in Wrongful Death Drowning Case- January 01, 2000
Daryl L. Zaslow represented the Estate of a 43 year old man who drowned during a scuba diving lesson. The decedent was taking an open water scuba diving class to obtain his diving certification when he was separated from his partner and dive instructors. After the decedent was discovered and pulled from the water his diving equipment was subjected to extensive forensic investigation and testing and the results confirmed that the scuba equipment did not malfunction. An autopsy revealed only that the death was a result of drowning and there were no medical events such as a cardiac arrest or stroke that may have caused the tragedy. Although there were no witnesses to say exactly what happened to have caused the death, Mr. Zaslow retained a leading expert in scuba diving accidents who was critical of the diving instructors for losing sight of the decedent. The expert further opined that if the visibility was too poor to see all the diving students, it was incumbent on the diving instructors to cancel the lesson. Mr. Zaslow obtained the full insurance policy limits of $1,000,000 for the Estate.
$425,000.00 Settlement for Employment Discrimination- March 30, 1999
Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 9, 2002
Contact: Barry R. Eichen, Esq. 732-777-0100
Barry R. Eichen of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP on behalf of plaintiffs Greg Montano and David Orban agreed to a settlement of $425,000 with Defendants Handex Environmental. Mr. Montano of Union County and Mr. Orban of Essex County were the victims of age discrimination by their employer Handex Environmental located in Marlboro, New Jersey. Discrimination can not be tolerated in this day and age, no matter what form it takes, no matter against whom it is designed to hurt. Eichen said.
Their were 12 laborers performing an environmental clean-up with Handex. Montano and Orban were two of three workers over the age of 50 who were terminated as of March 30, 1999. The company alleged that the termination was a result of decreased profits/revenues.
Through a deposition of the CFO of Handex, it was discovered that the holding company's revenues increased from 1997 until 2001. Plaintiffs contended that the lack of revenues was a pre-textual explanation to disguise the age discrimination.
Plaintiffs' experts included a forensic accountant and a human resources expert. The case was settled after mediation with former Appellate Judge John E. Keefe.
About Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP
Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP is a full service trial law firm offering personal attention and aggressive advocacy in all cases. Their lawyers have recovered over 100 million dollars in settlements and jury verdicts for the benefit of their clients over the last ten years.
Judge Awards $9.3M for Diving Injuries in Mexico- March 02, 1998
THE NEW JERSEY LAW JOURNAL
SUITS & DEALS - March 1998
Marazo v. Hotel Oasis Cancun: A federal judge awarded a Somerville man $9.375 million on March 11 for injuries that left him paralyzed after diving into a hotel's pool in Cancun, according to the Judge's chambers.
U.S. District Chief Judge Anne Thompson in Trenton entered a default judgment ordering Hotel Oasis Cancun and its parent company, Hotel Oasis International, to pay Richard Marazo $9.375 million. Thompson found damages in the amount of $12.5 million, but decreased the award by 25 percent because Marazo also was negligent. "Considering that this is a hotel, we're very hopeful that we'll be able to collect the award," says Jeffrey Nichols, a partner with Manhattan's Brightner & Hoffman, who represents Marazo.
Marazo, who is 28, was vacationing in Mexico in April 1994 when the accident occurred. Marazo dove into the hotel's pool and struck his head on the concrete bottom. When he surfaced, he swam to the in-pool bar for help. The pool's bartender, who was not identified in the suit, saw Marazo was bleeding and pushed him away. Nichols says the bartender's actions contributed to his client's paralysis.
Marazo, who was a state corrections officer in Middlesex County before the injury, has undergone surgery and rehabilitation but will not fully recover from injuries. Barry Eichen of Eichen & Cahn, served as Marazo's local counsel.
The local counsel for the hotel, Lawrence Engrissei, an associate with Mount Laurel's Thomas Dempster, did not return a telephone call last week. By: Matt Ackerman