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Justin Blitz settles Products Liability case at trial for $8.5 Million

Justin Blitz settles Products Liability case at trial for $8.5 Million

From time to time, other law firms call on Justin Blitz, Esq. to handle trials for them. Justin has gained a reputation among his colleagues as a prolific trial attorney, and when other law firms, for one reason or another, are unable to try a case themselves, Justin has become their go-to trial counsel. This happened recently when Justin was asked by a prominent construction injury law firm, the Law Firm of Sacks and Sacks, to handle a complicated trial for them in Westchester County Supreme Court .

The client, a 29-year-old construction worker, was working at a jobsite in Rye, New York when he was stuck by an enormous piece of construction machinery known as a wheel loader.

As a result of being stuck by this 30,000 pound machine, our client fell 9 feet and landed on a concrete floor. Rye New York firefighters and the Port Chester-Rye-Rye Brook EMS worked together to remove Joe from the construction shaft who was then airlifted to Westchester County Medical Center.

His injuries were devastating, and resulted in 17 surgeries and many years confined to an in-patient rehabilitation facility.

The case was a complicated one, consisting of products liability claims against the manufacturer for the defective design and manufacturing of the wheel loader, as well as a “failure to warn” claim against H.O. Penn, the certified reseller of the wheel loader who had sold it to the plaintiff’s employer. In addition, claims for violations of New York’s Labor Law were brought against the owner of the property where the accident occurred and the general contractor on the job site. Our client’s employer was brought into the action as a third-party defendant, and litigation ensued over the course of many years.

When the case was ready for trial, Justin was asked by the attorneys of record for the plaintiff to come on board as lead trial counsel. Justin accepted the offer and got right to work. He had very little time to familiarize himself with the facts of the case, and read through thousands of pages of deposition transcripts, medical records, machine specs, and other documents. As a result of his meticulous preparation, Justin uncovered a “smoking gun” document which had previously been overlooked. Once Justin discovered this document, he developed a new theory of liability against the wheel loader manufacturer.

Justin then spent many days preparing our client and multiple expert witnesses for trial. He traveled to the Midwest, where our experts were located, and spend several days with them going through various design aspects of the wheel loader in excruciating detail.

Shortly before the trial was scheduled, the defendants’ attorneys served dozens of pre-trial motions (called “motions in limine”), seeking to exclude various evidence from the trial. Justin and his team fought each and every motion and received favorable rulings from the judge. Jury selection lasted three days, and the trial began in early May 2022.

Justin’s opening statement provided the jury with a roadmap of how he was going to prove that the defendants were negligent, and as a result of their negligence, our client was horribly injured. Following opening statements, Justin called various witnesses, including the plaintiff and our expert witnesses. In addition, Justin introduced dozens of documents into evidence, and used the documents and the trial testimony masterfully to show the jury why the defendants were negligent.

After Justin rested his case, the attorneys for the wheel loader manufacturer called their head engineer. Following the engineer’s direct testimony, Justin began his withering cross-examination, meticulously picking apart and deconstructing the defense’s arguments.

During a break in the testimony, the judge called the attorneys for all parties into his chambers to discuss the possibility of settlement. Sensing that things were quickly going south for them, the attorneys and insurance representatives for the defendants finally relented and were willing to engage in meaningful settlement discussions, something they had been avoiding doing for many years.

After several hours of intense settlement negotiations, Justin and his team were able to procure a settlement for all defendants in the amount of $8.5 million. These funds will fairly compensate our client for the consequences of the horrific injuries he will suffer for the rest of his life due to the defendant’s negligence.

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Trevor Noah sues NYC Hospital for Special Surgery, orthopedic surgeon for ‘negligence’

Trevor Noah sues NYC Hospital for Special Surgery, orthopedic surgeon for ‘negligence’

Trevor Noah has sued the Hospital for Special Surgery and an orthopedic surgeon following an alleged botched surgery last year.

The 37-year-old host of Comedy Central’s “Daily Show” filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court against the hospital and orthopedic surgeon Riley Williams III alleging they were negligent while he was in their care.

Noah was treated at the hospital between August 2020 and December 2020 for “various medical conditions and other related treatment, including surgery which was performed on November 23, 2020,” says the suit, filed Nov. 29.

The suit claims the hospital and Williams failed to properly diagnose Noah’s illness and condition, failed to refer him to specialists and medical personnel with proper skill and training, and negligently performed surgery, among a slew of other accusations.

Noah’s attorney, Justin Blitz, claims the comedian “sustained permanent, severe and grievous injuries.” The lawsuit does not seek a specific sum of money.

Read More: Daily News

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What the Hell Happened With That Fire at the Hamptons Goop Store?

What the Hell Happened With That Fire at the Hamptons Goop Store?

On June 25, two men caught fire in a Sag Harbor Goop store. On this, everyone involved — the brand, the men, witnesses, authorities — agrees. But in the intervening weeks, confusion and conflicting accounts have muddied what initially looked like a straightforward (if wild) explanation: According to the East Hampton police blotter, candles exploded after someone added rubbing alcohol into the mix, leaving the two men with serious burns.

Publicly, Goop has said little about the incident aside from taking pains to clarify that candles were in no way involved. In recent years, multiple customers have complained about Gwyneth Paltrow’s vagina candles combusting spectacularly inside their homes. However, Goop would like to make clear that sexy votives did not contribute to the blaze. “There was an accidental fire in connection with a s’mores station at the Goop store recently,” a company spokesperson said in a statement to the Cut. “We are wishing a speedy recovery to the two injured parties and are grateful there were no additional injuries. No candles were in use at the time of the accidental fire.”

The spokesperson declined to provide any more information about what may have caused the fire or whether rubbing alcohol was involved. But according to attorney Justin Blitz — whose firm, Blitz Law Group, handles personal-injury cases and who is representing the two injured men — that is how the whole thing started. According to Blitz, both men were servers at Little Gem, a New York–based catering company (which, for the record, is owned by Blitz’s wife; she confirmed the mens’ injuries). Blitz believes they were “bystanders and victims” of an explosion that occurred at a s’mores station set up as part of a Goop party, where customers were roasting marshmallows over a rectangular stone container emitting a row of flames. The Cut has reviewed footage of this device in action, and a quick spin around Amazon reveals a number of similar-looking products that specify isopropyl alcohol as the preferred fuel. This does not seem like a good or safe idea for a crowd, seeing as rubbing alcohol is highly flammable, but it may help explain the following events.

Read More: The Cut

 
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Justin Blitz Receives $4.2 Million Verdict in 3 Week Bronx Trial

Justin Blitz Receives $4.2 Million Verdict in 3 Week Bronx Trial

Following a six-day trial held in what an attorney described as an eerily quiet Bronx courthouse, a jury found for an on-duty Co-Op City peace officer who was riding a three-wheeled scooter when he says he was hit by a passing Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus.

The jury of four women and two men found the MTA 100% at fault for plaintiff Burt Burney’s injuries after a three-day liability trial, attorney Justin Blitz told the Law Journal. He said half of the jurors were in their 20s and the other half were in their 40s.

The case moved immediately to a damages trial and, after another three days, the jury awarded Burney $2.5 million for future pain and suffering, $1 million for past pain and suffering, $500,000 for future medical expenses and $200,000 for past medical expenses.

Blitz said the in-person trial, for which jury selection began on Oct. 13, was his first since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The jurors of the Bronx, they still use their logic, they still use their reason, they still listen to their evidence,” Blitz said. “Perhaps there’s a bit more empathy now that we’ve all been through such tragedy.”

Gregory Nelson of Morris Duffy Alonso & Faley appeared for the MTA, which declined to comment.

The trial for Burney’s case was held before Judge Adrian Armstrong, a New York Court of Claims judge sitting in the civil term for Bronx Supreme Court.

In Armstrong’s courtroom, jurors were masked and sat socially distant in the gallery. Throughout the courthouse at 859 Grand Concourse in the South Bronx, Blitz said, there was a stillness that wasn’t there during business hours in pre-pandemic times, when there could be as many as 20 trials being held simultaneously.

“There was … quite an eeriness to the courthouse. I’m used to all sorts of craziness, with lawyers running around,” he said. “I’ll be frank, by the end of the week there was a sense of calmness that I had about it that I started to rather enjoy.”

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Significant Settlement for Victim of Medical Malpractice Cosmetic Surgical Procedure

Significant Settlement for Victim of Medical Malpractice Cosmetic Surgical Procedure

When Justin Blitz was asked by a former law school classmate, and fellow attorney, to handle her medical malpractice case, everyone knew from the outset it was going to be an uphill battle. The potential defendant a well-known physician. Also, it was going to be difficult to prove that he committed medical malpractice. This is because the potential malpractice occurred while performing a non-emergent cosmetic procedure on our client.

Blitz investigated the case thoroughly. Despite many hurdles, Justin proceeded with the case. The case was vigorously litigated against the physician and his large team of attorneys. This is not uncommon in order to obtain a settlement for cosmetic medical malpractice.

The litigation included a marathon, multiple-day deposition of the defendant doctor. During the deposition of the defendant, Mr. Blitz relentlessly questioned the defendant physician. Ultimately, Mr. Blitz was able to get the physician to admit, under oath, that his negligence caused our client’s injury, and she was a victim of cosmetic medical malpractice.

Shortly after the deposition concluded the pandemic began. Despite the pandemic bringing many cases grinding to a halt, the parties agreed to hold a virtual mediation in an attempt to resolve the case and discuss a settlement.

After a full day of intense negotiations during the virtual mediation in an attempt to come to a settlement, Mr. Blitz and the attorneys and insurance company for the defendant physician were able to come to terms and settle the case for a significant amount. Although the terms of the settlement for cosmetic medical malpractice cannot be disclosed due to a confidentiality agreement, it is fair to say that our client was extremely pleased with the result.

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$298,000 for Woman Who Fell on Ice Created by Negligent Neighbor

$298,000 for Woman Who Fell on Ice Created by Negligent Neighbor

On December 18, 2019, our client, an executive at Sony Music, slipped and fell on ice. She fell as she was walking on the sidewalk next to her neighbor’s house in Queens, New York. The ice had formed as a result of water that her neighbor was negligently pumping out of his basement. The neighbor had been using a sump pump to remove the water from his basement onto his driveway. The water then flowed onto the sidewalk. The water froze overnight and turned the sidewalk into a sheet of ice.

When she slipped on the ice, our client fell to the ground, landing on her knee. An ambulance transported her to a nearby emergency room, where an x-ray confirmed that she had ruptured her patella (kneecap) and would require surgery.

The surgery consisted of an open reduction and internal fixation of our client’s comminuted patellar fracture. The surgery included the insertion of various metal plates and screws into our client’s knee.

Shortly after the lawsuit was commenced, Justin Blitz, Esq. was able to procure a settlement for $298,000 from the neighbor’s insurance company. The settlement provided compensation and justice for our client’s injury.

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Blitz Law Group Settles Case for Miracle Survivors of Helicopter Crash

Blitz Law Group Settles Case for Miracle Survivors of Helicopter Crash

In what was described by local media outlets as a “miracle,” two clients were passengers on a helicopter that crashed to the ground and lived to tell about it. On December 14, 2019, our clients (both of whom are college students from Brooklyn) were vacationing in San Antonio, Texas, and decided to take a scenic helicopter tour of the city. Within minutes of takeoff, the helicopter’s engine failed, causing it to descend rapidly. The helicopter struck multiple power lines before crashing onto a busy roadway.

After the helicopter crashed to the ground, our clients were transported by ambulances from the scene to a local emergency room.

As a result of the crash, one of our clients sustained injuries to her hand, neck and back. X-rays confirmed fractures to her fifth metacarpal head compatible with a “boxer’s fracture” and MRIs confirmed several disc bulges of her cervical and lumbar spines. Our other client also injured his back as a result of the crash, sustaining a disc herniation in his lumbar spine that required a series of epidural steroid injections.

Stephanie Mastrocola, Esq. was able to procure confidential settlements for our clients with the insurance company for the helicopter tour company prior to commencing a lawsuit, providing both of our clients with just compensation for their injuries.

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$1.4 million settlement for man whose foot was crushed by elevator door

$1.4 million settlement for man whose foot was crushed by elevator door

Many times, our colleagues ask us to assist them with their cases, either for the entire litigation or just for trial or settlement purposes. This was the case recently when our firm acted as “co-counsel” to another law firm and were able to successfully resolve our client’s case which involved a defective elevator door that closed on him causing severe injuries.

In this case, our client was working for a moving company when he was injured by a freight elevator that suddenly and unexpectedly closed on him, trapping his right foot in the elevator doors.

As a result of the incident, our client injured various parts of his body, and underwent arthroscopic surgery to his knee to repair a torn meniscus. He also required an extensive surgery to his ankle.

The ankle surgery was called a “Brostrom lateral ligament reconstruction” which is a type of surgery where the damaged ligaments are repaired utilizing graft augmentation, and the ligaments are shortened and repaired with suture fixation.

After many years of litigation, our firm was asked by a colleague to be co-counsel on behalf of the plaintiff as the case was proceeding to trial. While the Coronavirus pandemic was in its beginning stages, the parties agreed to attempt to resolve the case with a virtual mediation.

After many hours conducting a mediation via a Zoom call, Justin Blitz, along with our co-counsel, the defense attorney, and representatives of the defendants’ insurance companies were able to come to terms and settle the case in the amount of $1,400,000.

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Justin Blitz Verdict Top 2020 Verdict

Justin Blitz Verdict Top 2020 Verdict

We are proud that Justin Blitz’s 2019 jury verdict for $3,000,000 was recently a 2020 Featured Verdict of Verdict Search.

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$250,000 for Rear-end Car Crash

$250,000 for Rear-end Car Crash

Our client was driving to her job as a supervisor at the United States Postal Service when her vehicle was in a car crash as she was rear-ended by a car on the Long Island Expressway.  The driver of the car that struck our client’s vehicle told the police that he was unable to slow down in time to avoid the collision.  Our client was taken from the scene by ambulance to North Shore University Hospital with severe neck pain. MRIs showed herniations to her neck at the C5-C6 disc level. Despite undergoing multiple epidural steroid injections, our client did not have any relief from her pain. As such, she underwent surgery to her neck which consisted of an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion at the C5-C6 level. During the surgery, a plate and pins were inserted, and a bone graft was performed using bone harvested from another part of her body.

Blitz Law Group brought a lawsuit against the driver and owner of the car that rear-ended our client’s vehicle.  Following the completion of depositions, Stephanie Mastrocola, Esq. procured the total amount of insurance coverage available and settled our client’s case for $250,000, providing our client with much-deserved compensation.