Is Hi-Lo a forklift or a trial lawyer’s defense

December 3, 2012 Charles F. Otey, ESQ Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Since many attorneys don’t try cases they would be surprised–along with lay folk– to learn that even though a Kings County jury recently awarded a plaintiff just $8,740 she still walked away with over $ 1 million dollars. That’s right–ONE MILLION DOLLARS!

How was this possible? The answer is known to all trial attorneys as a High-Low deal. First the facts (some of them) in the case of Suzette Jamerson v 2025 Regent Realty, tried here by Justice Arthur Schack. This case is reported in “Survey of Verdicts and Settlements in Kings Supreme,” edited by Justice Donald Scott Kurtz and attorney Michael Treybich in the latest edition of the Brooklyn Barrister, the official publication of the Brooklyn Bar Association.

The plaintiff was injured when a ” falling fragment” of her ceiling struck her, causing injuries to her neck, back and shoulder.
Though she was taken by ambulance to hospital, she received little treatment–a fact that the defendant claims people were very much aware of.  She had three separate surgeries but defendant disputed whether these were connected with her accident.  

Also raising red flags for the defendant’s carrier were the following:
1. She returned to work four days after the accident 
2. Her three surgeries did not begin until a full two years after she ceased outpatient therapy 
3. She’d sustained similar injuries in an earlier accident. 
4. The plaintiff’s medical records showed that prior to this accident she suffered “chest pain that radiated to her neck and shoulder.”

**Charles Otey’s column appears each Monday in the print edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle


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