Attorneys refer their personal injury clients to Bloomenthal & Trow and they have litigated hundreds of such claims, obtaining substantial recoveries for their clients during his thirty years in the courtroom. Victims of accidents rarely have the resources that are available to the responsible party through an insurance company. Creativity, experience and persistence of the injured party’s legal team, levels the playing field, as demonstrated in the following case histories:
• On a rural road near Danbury, CT a husband and father (45) was killed when his motorcycle collided with a pickup truck. The police accident reconstruction investigation concluded that the motorcyclist was at fault for failing to yield the right of way at an intersection. The insurance company settled the case after an accident reconstruction expert was hired, who concluded that the truck had been speeding. Through questioning under oath it was also learned that the truck driver was a retired police officer who had come up through the ranks with the chief of the department that performed the investigation.
• A carpenter (50) at a prominent hospital in lower Fairfield County, who had significant cardiovascular disease, suffered a fatal heart attack at his desk a half hour after completing six hours of snow removal duty. The hospital claimed that his death was the result of the pre-existing condition and not his work activities, and refused to pay his widow survivor’s benefits under the worker’s compensation laws. The hospital hired two prominent cardiologists to support its denial of the widow’s claim and, using its vast financial, legal and medical resources, fought the widow’s claim for more than five years. After the trial, the commissioner found that the widow was entitled to benefits for the rest of her life, awarded interest on the benefits the hospital had withheld from her, and also ordered that the hospital pay her attorney’s fees in an unprecedented amount because of its egregious delay of the case.
• A grandmother (78) was visiting a sick friend at a hospital in lower Fairfield County. As she was entering the elevator to leave the hospital, the elevator doors struck her, causing bilateral rotator cuff tears that required surgery. The hospital hired an expert who claimed that she caused her own injuries by walking through the doors when they were already closing. It also claimed that the elevator’s spotty repair and maintenance records it had produced were the only documents available. The case settled on the eve of trial after a jury had been selected when the hospital suddenly located the missing records after the hospital’s CEO had been subpoenaed as the first witness at the trial. In addition, the court ordered unprecedented monetary sanctions against the hospital and its counsel for its delay in producing the records.
• A New York banking executive (55) broke his neck while returning from a business trip late at night when the limousine in which he was a passenger struck a disabled vehicle with no lights parked in the passing lane on I-95 in Connecticut. The limousine was then struck from behind by another vehicle, leaving the limousine a twisted mass of steel and plastic. The disabled vehicle had a minimal insurance policy, leaving the executive under-compensated for his disabling injuries. The limousine driver, his company, as well as the driver and owner of the second vehicle were sued, and a claim was brought against the executive’s own automobile insurance company under the underinsured provisions of its coverage. The executive’s insurance company paid the limits of its coverage and the case settled against the other parties on the eve of trial.
• A sixty-year old woman slipped and fell in the parking lot of a shopping center in Norwalk, Connecticut while returning to her vehicle, sustaining a severe fracture to one of her legs. It had been snowing during the hours before her fall, and the owner of the premises claimed that it had no responsibility under Connecticut law that allowed the owner to wait until after the storm has ended before commencing snow and ice control operations. A lawsuit was commenced and the shopping center hired a well-known television meteorologist to support its position that at the time of the fall it had no duty to attend to the parking lot because the storm was still in progress. The case settled after the meteorologist acknowledged during his deposition that his wife (no meteorological training) had done much of the climatological research on the case and that the snow might have stopped falling well before the accident.