Attorney Joseph Ginarte announced a series of settlements totaling the sum of 15 million dollars on various matters venued in both New York and New Jersey. Among the cases settled were the following:
$3,000,000: A New York labor law case against a general contractor and owner of a construction project. The Ginarte law firm represented Jose Crespo. Mr. Crespo’s arm was injured when a heavy pipe fell due to improper installation, causing the client to sustain severe, permanent, injuries and rendering him totally disabled.
$1,475,000.00: In a products liability action against the manufacturer of a machine, the firm represented Mr. Mauro Lopez. Mr. Lopez’s arm became trapped inside the machine due to a defect, and he suffered severe, permanent injuries that rendered him permanently and totally disabled.
$1,500,000.00: In this medical negligence case, the firm represented Melba Soto against the hospital and doctor for negligence during child birth, which caused her infant to be born with cerebral palsy. As a result of this negligence, will never be able to live a normal life.
$3,900,000.00: The firm represented Mr. Antonio Campo in a New York State Labor Law action for a work related accident, where Mr. Campo sustained permanent injuries while working on a construction site.
$1,375,000.00: In the matter of H. Hemed, the firm represented an injured worker in a case involving permanent injuries from severe burns that were sustained in a chemical explosion factory accident.
$1,500,000.00: The firm represented infant, Albert Smith and his guardian, in an action against The State of New Jersey and DYFS for severe burn injuries sustained by child, while he was under the care of a foster parent due to lack of supervision and negligence.
Joseph Ginarte stated, “we are very pleased with the results, and even more pleased that we were able to help Mrs. Campos and her young daughter. This was a very difficult case, and we were able to establish that this accident could have been prevented, if the defendants had taken necessary steps to provide proper fall protection and other safety measures” Furthermore, Mr. Ginarte added, “we are especially pleased with the results since several other law firms had told the Campos family that there was nothing that could be done for them.”
Ginarte Law Firm obtained a $6,500,00.00 settlement on behalf of Elba Galeno in Galeno v. NJ Tranist.
Miss Galeno was struck by a New Jersey Transit bus, while she was crossing the street at the intersection of Market and Main Streets in Paterson, NJ. As a result of the horrific accident, she sustained severely comminuted open fractures and crushing injuries to both legs. Ms. Galeno ultimately underwent an amputation of her right leg below the knee.
“A minor who lost part of his arm in a meat grinder in a Paterson store where he worked was paid a portion of his $5.5 million settlement Jan 18 in his suit, Ucelo v. Mi Esquina Corp.
In September 2012, Fredy Ucelo, then 17, was working at El Nuevo Bodegon, using a table mounted meat-grinding machine. His right, dominant hand got caught in the machine’s metal teeth, and he ultimately lost his arm to just below the elbow, according to his lawyer, an attorney of Ginarte, Gallardo, Gonzalez Winograd in Newark.
The suit, filed in Essex County, initially names as a defendant the machine’s manufacturer, which did business in that county. But the manufacturer later was dismissed, Ginarte Law Firm said.
The suit alleged that the machine was missing a guard for its opening, and claimed the task Ucelo was performing was prohibited for minors by federal and state statute as a potentially hazardous task.
Mi Esquina Corp. is the owner of El Nuevo Bodegon.
Ucelo underwent surgery and had a claim for psychological harm. He had trouble with the weight of a mechanical prosthesis, and rejected an alternative one, Ginarte Law Firm said, noting that he argued it’s common for young men to have trouble adjusting to a prosthesis.
The defense claimed comparative negligence disputed liability and contended that Ucelo’s situation was made worse because he refused a prosthesis, according to Ginarte Law Firm.
Superior Court Judge Christine Farrington, ruling on summary judgement motions last year, held that Ucelo, though an undocumented immigrant, could pursue a lost-wage claim because he was minor when the injury occurred and because the employer was alleged to have caused the injury, Ginarte Law Firm said.
In lodging the suit, Ucelo surrendered any right to further workers’ compensation payments, but had no cap on his recovery, as per the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act….”
– By David Gialanella
In addition, attorney, Ginarte Law Firm, added, “this accident could have been prevented if the manufacturer had taken proper steps to ensure the proper design of this machine.”
Ginarte Law Firm stated, “this is a tremendous victory for Mr. Silva and his family since we were able to establish that Viera’s Bakery did not comply with safety guidelines required by law.” The Ginarte law firm was able to establish that Viera’s Bakery was negligent in failing to properly supervise this construction project. There were numerous safety violations at the subject construction site, which contributed to the cause of this accident. Attorneys, Joseph Ginarte and Ginarte Law Firm, stated, “we are delighted to achieve this significant settlement on behalf of Mr. Silva and his family, and we are especially pleased because this was a very difficult case, and we were able to achieve a terrific outcome for our client.”
“The truck driver, U.S. Food Service Corp. employee John Gardner, was tick-eted for careless driving and driving a truck in the car-only lane, and pleaded guilty to unsafe driving,” Ginarte attorney, Michael Gallardo says.
“Oberg underwent a lumbar fusion and surgery for a torn knee meniscus and bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, Gallardo says. Now, 56 years of age, she takes medi-cations for pain, numbness, swelling, and inflammation, and has not returned to her job as a laboratory assistant at a pharma-ceutical company,” he adds.
Partner, Richard Winograd, achieved a $2,000,000 settlement on July 12, 2012 in New York County Supreme Court for 67 year old Wilbur Rocco, a truck driver who injured his back, while working at a construction site in Lower Manhattan on December 14, 2007. Mr. Rocco’s injuries occurred when he was seated inside the cab of his stationary tractor, while several tons of steel studs, which were being hoisted in a sling by a crane, fell on the truck and cab. The sling that was holding the studs ripped apart during the hoisting process, when the studs were approximately 14 stories above the ground, causing the studs to come crashing down to the ground and the truck which, in turn, caused Mr. Rocco to fall to the floor of the cab.
Mr. Rocco sued several entities for negligence in their respective roles in allowing for the use of the sling, which tore apart and caused the accident. The injuries to Mr. Rocco’s back rendered him totally and permanently disabled, requiring extensive medical treatment that ultimately led to severe complications despite multiple surgeries, which included discectomies, laminectomies, and fusions.
The Defendants contended that Mr. Rocco was contributorily negligent, because he should not have been in the “pick zone” during the hoisting of his load, and that any injuries he claimed to his back were not related to this accident. Mr. Winograd successfully overcame these defenses, and Mr. Rocco received substantial compensation for his injuries.
The product-liability suit, venued in Hudson County, named the machine’s manufacturer, Sender Ornamental Iron Works Inc., of Pennsylvania. Ginarte Law Firm says the award, offset by a workers’ compensation lien of $310,000, was paid on July 29. Sender Ornamental’s carrier, the Continental Insurance Co., retained Lee Eckell, of Princeton’s Post & Schell. He refused to confirm the settlement.
New York State Labor Law provides a remedy of reinstatement and back pay for Whistleblowers such as our client who suffers from retaliation. However this strangely requires, before suing they must first report this to in- department authorities, which in this case was the Commissioner who committed the wrongdoing. City attorneys first had the case dismissed for not complying. An appeal to the Appellate Division overturned that dismissal, ruling the client’s good faith attempt to furnish notice , conformed to the laws notice requirement and ordered a damage trial. The trial judge the awarded only $175,000. for back pay, despite proof that more than $388,000. in pay was lost and interest of almost $275,000.had accumulated, denying both interest and reinstatement. On a second appeal the Appellate Division again overturned the lower court and ruled that the client entitled to the proven lost pay, with interest and reinstatement. The City they appealed both intermediate appellate rulings to the State’s highest court, New York Court of Appeals in Albany. Argument, which may be seen on the Courts website, was heard on September 16.The Court issued its decision on October 22, affirming the earlier rulings, providing our client with a complete victory. This is estimated to cost the City about 1.4 million dollars for back pay, interest and attorney’s fees and requiring that he be reinstated.
The jury found that Sea-Land was 100% negligent in the case, Ginarte said. The attorney representing Sea-Land could not be reached for comment. Ginarte said Sea-Land took the position that because Fanoli was in his 60s; the case was not worth as much as it would for a younger couple. “Fanoli walks with a cane, and most likely will have to undergo a second hip replacement operation,” his attorney said.
“Money cannot replace his health, but it will help him. They will be able to at least have the monetary means to enjoy their golden years together,” said Ginarte, who tried the case with his partner, Richard Winograd.
On June 22, 2007, Carol Radzikowski was walking from her apartment at the Hillside Village Apartments in Hillside to the parking lot, when she tripped and fell on an exterior stairway.
Her attorney, Michael Gallardo, of Ginarte Gallardo Gonzalez Winograd L.L.P., in Newark, blamed improperly placed guardrails that diminished the width of the steps, poor lighting, and shrubbery that grew over the steps.
Radzikowski, who suffered a bimal-leolar ankle fracture that required open reduction surgery, sued the apartment complex for negligence.
Defense attorney, Richard Tango, of McDermott & McGee in Millburn did not return a call, but Michael Gallardo says, “the complex denied negligence and argued that it was not on notice of a dangerous condition.” He adds, “the defense noted that Radzikowski had been up and down the steps hours before the accident, was carrying two bags at the time, and had made a good recovery. The defense asked that the jury consider her negligence as the cause of her fall.”
On Jan. 31, the jury awarded $778,500 and apportioned comparative liability of 50 percent to each party, so the recovery was molded to $389,250.
Superior Court Judge, Honorable Menelaos Toskos presided at trial.
— By Jon Steiger
The difficulty with this case was that the general contractor alleged that the construction at the site had concluded when the accident had occurred. Thus, it was argued that the general contractor did not have a duty to provide plaintiff with a safe work environment since plaintiff was no longer working for the general contractor.
All parties agreed that while the construction was going on, plaintiff’s duty at the site was to plant shrubs. All parties also agreed that plaintiff was performing the “warranty” portion of his work when the accident occurred. In other words, plaintiff’s employer had provided a warranty to defendant and the defendant property owner that the shrubs planted would survive for at least one year.
Defendants also argued that plaintiff was responsible for the accident. It was alleged that plaintiff used a ladder he should have known was broken.
Mr. Villani was able to secure evidence suggesting that the defendants knew of the unsafe ladder and the use of that ladder at the construction site before the accident had occurred. Mr. Villani argued that OSHA regulations required the removal of the ladder from the work site. Mr. Villani also secured evidence that the defendant was aware of the plaintiff’s presence on the site on the date of the accident.
Mr. Villani argued that even if the defendants’ property was “up-to-code”, the property should have been safer given the nature of the defendants’ business. Additionally, Mr. Villani was able to put forth evidence that the defendants’ procedure for admitting patrons into their place of business caused patrons to descend down stairs in a dangerous manner. The stair case at issue had only one hand railing. The hand-railing was on the right side of the stair case. However, because of the way defendants’ security guards were positioned, patrons were forced to descend down the stairs on the left. Thus, nullifying any safety benefits of a hand-railing.
The matter was arbitrated at the Superior Court of New Jersey. Mr. Villani rejected the arbitration award and moved to proceed to trial. However, prior to trial, Mr. Villani was able to recover $130,000.00 on behalf of the plaintiff. This amount was greater than the Superior Court arbitration award.
$115,000 PRESUIT RECOVERY, INCLUDING $70,000 FROM COMMERCIAL PIZZERIA TENANT AND $45,000 FROM SNOW REMOVAL CONTRACTOR
Slip and fall on ice several days after precipitation – Plaintiff contends no salt applied and melting/refreezing occurs, causing sheet of ice on which plaintiff slipped and fell – Fracture of dominant ulna – Surgery – No income claims
Bergen County, NJ
The plaintiff, 47 at the time, contended that he slipped and fell on a sheet of ice on the sidewalk abutting a pizzeria The plaintiff also named the snow removal contractor.
The defendants maintained that the snow and ice was properly removed after the last storm and denied notice.
The plaintiff countered that the contractor failed to apply salt or other chemicals, resulting in thawing and refreezing.
The plaintiff suffered a fracture to the ulna on the dominant side. The plaintiff maintained that he will suffer pain and limitations permanently despite an open reduction and internal fixation.
The plaintiff made no income claims.
The case settled prior to the institution for $115,000, including $70,000 from the commercial tenant and $45,000 from the snow removal contractor. The case settled before the plaintiff obtained a liability expert.
by Brian Kessler at Jury Verdict Review
Branco vs. D&R Original Pizza, et als., 03-00-15.