Verdicts and Settlements:
$636,000 Verdict Awarded For Neck Injuries In Ceiling Collapse
Mr. Sitinas obtained a $636,000 jury verdict for a 43-year-old client who lived in the Bronx. The apartment building where she lived had a history of leaks, and the client had frequently complained to the building's superintendent about water that would leak into her apartment from the units above. In this particular instance, the client was injured when a large section of her bedroom ceiling collapsed, striking her in the head. While she felt immediate pain in her neck, the client did not wish to go to the emergency room and instead hoped her symptoms would resolve over time. Unfortunately, her condition did not improve and she eventually came under the care of a chiropractor and an orthopedist. She was sent for MRI tests, which revealed a herniated disc and a bulging disc in her neck. She underwent more than 200 chiropractic visits over the course of several years, but was too fearful to undergo the epidural steroid injections her orthopedist suggested.
Mr. Sitinas sued the owner of the apartment building and the management company. He was able to show that the building had a long-standing problem with leaks and took few, if any, steps to rectify the problem. Moreover, the superintendent admitted during the trial that one day prior to the plaintiff's accident, plumbing work had been performed in the apartment above. He also admitted that the drain pipe was never connected and any water from the sink went directly onto the floor and not down a drain pipe. Mr. Sitinas argued that this water eventually worked its way down into the plaintiff's apartment, causing the ceiling to collapse. He further argued that, since the plumbing work was performed by employees of the building's management company, they created the condition which led to the plaintiff's injuries; therefore they were liable for those injuries. The jury agreed, awarding $636,000 in damages for pain and suffering and medical expenses.