Recent Cases

Khan v. Kozlenko

Gordon & Gordon, P.C. represented plaintiff Fayaz Khan, who was acting individually and as the administrator of his late wife’s estate, in his suit against bus driver Igor Kozlenko; the bus’s operator, MTA Bus Co.; and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The lawsuit alleged Kozlenko showed negligence in his operation of the bus and, further, that the remaining defendants were vicariously liable for his actions. In the incident, the bus drifted into the median, which was both paved and clearly marked by yellow lines. An accident reconstruction expert who reviewed camera footage showed that Kozlenko was speeding at the time of the accident. Ms. Khan suffered a skull fracture, fractures of the ribs, a fracture of the left collarbone, puncture wounds and collapsed lungs, and lacerations of her heart, liver and spleen. Ms. Khan was the family’s sole earner in addition to being the main source of emotional support for their children. In the suit, Khan’s estate sought wrongful death damages including funeral costs, an unspecified amount for the past and future loss of Khan’s earnings, and damages for Khan’s loss of parental guidance. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority agreed to pay $8,500,000 to Khan’s estate.

Ehrhardt v. Mastromonaco

This lawsuit revolved around Charles and Leslie Ehrhardt, involved in a highway rear-end accident. The vehicle that struck the Ehrhardt’s was driven by J.D. Mastromonaco. After retaining the counsel of Gordon & Gordon, the Ehrhardt’s sued Mastromonaco for negligence in the operation of his vehicle, and liable for their collision and injuries. The jury determined Mastromonaco was fully liable for the collision determining Charles Ehrhardt should be awarded a total of $750,000 and Leslie Ehrhardt should be awarded $1,410,000.

Gatbonton v. Riggi

Gordon & Gordon, P.C. was able to help their client, Anna Kristina Gatbonton, win a $400,000 settlement after she was injured in a motor vehicle accident in Queens. Gatbonton was driving near the intersection of 157th Avenue and 90th Street when she was struck by another vehicle. This vehicle was operated by Krystle Riggi and owned by Maria Riggi. Having sustained injuries, Gatbonton filed a lawsuit against the Riggi’s for negligence and carelessness while operating a vehicle. She sought compensation for both pain and suffering and property damage. The jury awarded Gatbonton $125,000 for pain and suffering along with $275,000 for future pain and suffering for 53 years.

Demorin v. Rappaport

Gordon & Gordon, P.C. won a $385,000 settlement for their client after she was rear-ended by a car while stopped at a traffic light. The plaintiff, Elizabeth Demorin, was driving her car on New Hempstead Road. She stopped at a red light at the intersection of Little Tor Road in New City and was struck from behind by a vehicle operated by Neil Rappaport. Demorin claimed Rappaport was looking at his cell phone directly before the impact. The defendant conceded liability for negligent driving. After the accident, Demorin was taken to the hospital and received minor treatment for lower back pain. However, she claimed the accident exacerbated a pre-existing intervertebral herniation. Demorin started physical therapy, which continued for two years. She eventually had to undergo posterior fusion and laminectomy. Demorin lost approximately six months of work due to her injuries. She sought damages for past and future pain and suffering along with medical expenses. During the lawsuit, her orthopedic surgeon submitted a report that showed the success of Demorin’s surgery. However, the report also showed an ongoing problem with the range of motion in her lower back. The case was settled after a jury selection with Rappaport’s insurance carrier agreeing to pay Demorin $385,000.

Lopardi v. London

Gordon & Gordon, P.C. represented plaintiff Joseph Lopardi after he was struck by a negligent driver in Queens. 60-year-old Lopardi was driving on 36th Avenue near the intersection of Corporal Stone Street in Bayside, Queens. As he proceeded through the intersection, his car was struck in the right, rear side by a vehicle driven by defendant Massako London. Lopardi sustained injuries to his neck and back and was transported to North Shore University Hospital, where he received minor treatment. After claiming he sustained herniations of two intervertebral discs, he underwent eight months of treatment. This included chiropractic care, physical therapy, and injections of steroid-based painkillers. Eventually, he underwent spinal fusion surgery which included implantation of stabilizing hardware. After 17 additional weeks of physical therapy, Lopardi claimed that while his neck pain had been resolved, he still suffered from a lack of range of motion in his neck. He also claimed he could no longer engage in activities such as jogging and paddleball, which were both parts of his previously active lifestyle. He sued Massako London and the owner of the vehicle, Robert London. He claimed Massako had struck his vehicle after running a stop sign. The jury awarded Lopardi with $1,200,000 for past and future medical bills along with past and future pain and suffering.

Gallardo v. Analeni

New York –  Gordon & Gordon, P.C. won a defense verdict for their clients who were falsely accused of failing to pay appropriate overtime wages to an employee. The defendants, Carmen and Galo Gallardo, hired Rosibel Analeni as a housekeeper for their home in Roslyn Heights. The job duties included general maintenance of the two-story house. The Gallardo’s also ran a child-care facility called My Little Sunshine Daycare, Inc. out of their home. Analeni sued the Gallardo’s, claiming she worked an average of 55 hours a week for the daycare facility and didn’t receive legally-required overtime pay. Her attorney claimed that My Little Sunshine Daycare, Inc. was a registered business, and thus bound by the state’s minimum wage laws. Ms. Anaseli sought recovery of $25,000 for four years of overtime pay. In defense of the Gallardos, Peter Gordon of Gordon & Gordon claimed Analeni was not an employee of My Little Sunshine Daycare, Inc., but instead an off-the-books worker who was only employed as a housekeeper. He also showed that her average weekend hours didn’t exceed more than three hours of work and earned her an additional $60 a week. The jury ruled in favor of the defense, finding that Analeni was only an employee of Ms.  Gallardo and not the daycare facility operated out of the house.

Hamilton v. Macalino

New York – Gordon & Gordon, P.C. won a $250,000 settlement for their client who was injured while riding a school bus. Cynthia Hamilton, a bus matron, was riding a school bus as it traveled on Ditmas Avenue near the intersection of East 19th Street in Brooklyn. The bus driver stopped as he reached a red light at the intersection. While stopped, the bus was hit from behind by a vehicle driven by Edgardo Macalino, who had also stopped behind the bus. However, his car was hit from behind, propelling him into the bus. The other driver was Aurea Macalino. Hamilton sustained back and shoulder injuries, though she finished her workday and received minor treatment a few days later at Beth Israel Medical Center. She claimed to have sustained a herniation of an intervertebral disc, and tears to her right shoulder. After nine months of physical therapy, Hamilton underwent arthroscopic surgery and received injections of steroid-based painkillers. After these treatments, she claimed the injuries continued to affect her ability to perform everyday activities. She sought recovery for past and future medical expenses along with past and future pain and suffering. A jury found that Aurea Macalino was liable for the accident. However, the parties negotiated a settlement before trial and Macalino’s insurer paid out $250,000.

Finding Justice and Compensation for Small Business Fraud

In 1974, Ushakant Patel and Indira Patel (no relation) met in India while attending college. They fell in love and started a passionate romantic relationship. But when Ushakant proposed marriage, Indira did not accept and the two grew apart. Ushakant and Indira both ended up immigrating to the United States independently. In the later 1990s, Indira answered an advertisement in the newspaper concerning the sale of a convenience store. She left a message and when it was returned, it was none other than Ushakant. They rekindled their mutual affection, and had an affair that lasted for more than a decade.

It was in 2003 that Indira Patel applied and was approved for a lease to a sizable building located in the heart of Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, New York, at the intersection of 4th Avenue and 86th Street. The building contained two stores and two apartments. Indira took over one of the commercial areas that housed a convenience store. When her father fell ill, in 2004, her trusted confidant, Ushakant, agreed to start managing the building and had his sister run Indira’s convenience store.

In October of 2008, Ushakant Patel, unbeknownst to Indira, forged documents that transferred ownership of all of Indira’s business’s assets and the building’s lease. Indira argued that the business and lease were transferred by Ushakant without her explicit permission by forging Indira’s signature on the related transfer documents, making the documents fraudulent, and therefore a legal nullity. In response, Ushakant maintained that not only had Indira given him permission to sign on her behalf but that she had given him permission in the past for other documents related to the business and the building.

Attorneys Peter S. Gordon and Jason S. Matuskiewicz of Gordon & Gordon represented Indira in seeking compensation for the fraud perpetrated on her. Ultimately, the jury was asked whether Indira had authorized Ushakant to sign the transfer documents on her behalf. The jury answered in the negative and awarded Indira $286,000 for the value of her business when it was transferred. Another $50,000 sum was representative of the security deposit that Indira gave the building owner, which was also transferred as a result of the fraud.

After Attorneys Peter S. Gordon and Jason S. Matuskiewicz helped Indira obtain a verdict in her favor, Ushakant sought to have the decision overturned in the Supreme Court of New York. Ushakant argued that there was no “legally sufficient evidence” to support any claims of business fraud. Their primary points were: it wasn’t proven that Ushakant knowingly made any false representation to Indira; the misrepresentation wasn’t proven to be for the purpose of convincing Indira to trust it; no evidence supported the idea that Indira relied strongly on the misrepresentation; nothing corroborated the claim that she received damage as a result.

Unfortunately for Ushakant, if the conclusion of the jury could have been reached by a “valid line of reasoning” given the available evidence provided at trial, then there was no justification to legally rule out the initial verdict. In other words, as long as the jury’s decision was found to be a “fair interpretation” of the provided evidence, then the verdict would stand. Ushakant’s attorney argued that Indira wasn’t fraudulently induced into giving Ushakant permission to sign the papers. However, Attorneys Peter S. Gordon and Jason S. Matuskiewicz cogently argued that Indira’s complaint was quite different.

Instead, Indira claimed that the event was an example of fraud in the factum. Because the documents transferring ownership were forgeries, they constituted fraud in fact, and the Court denied Ushakant’s request for the initial verdict to be thrown out. Attorneys Peter S. Gordon and Jason S. Matuskiewicz showed that Indira had provided sufficient evidence to show that the defendant didn’t have permission to sign the transfer documents on behalf of Indira, and that the transaction was fraudulent.

Ushakant also argued that a professional assessor wasn’t present at trial to offer an expert opinion. Evidence provided at trial, however, was able to show that Indira was offered $280,000 for the business by a willing buyer. Courts have determined that what a willing buyer is offering for a business in question provides a sensible line of reasoning to determine what that business is worth.

In the end, the Supreme Court of New York denied Ushakant’s motion that the jury’s initial verdict be set aside due to being in contrast to the evidence. With the legal expertise of Gordon & Gordon, Indira was able to get justice in this incident of small business fraud and has been compensated as a result.

Pugh v. NYC

At roughly 3:15 p.m. on July 31, 2013, Plaintiff Clayton Pugh, a school bus driver who was parked, was hit violently by a vehicle. Salvatore Oddo, the Defendant, was driving the vehicle, and it was owned by the NYC Housing Authority. The accident took place at the intersection of East Houston Street and Avenue A in New York County in the State of New York. Due to the violence of the accident, Pugh sustained injuries to his head, wrist, hip, shoulder, and spine – all of which are permanent in nature and required significant intervention to alleviate or correct.

The lawsuit brought forward by Pugh, the Plaintiff, and a representing New York attorney alleged that the accident only resulted from the negligence and carelessness of the Defendant.  Although the Defendant maintains that a nearby vehicle obstructed his path and caused his veering into Pugh’s car, Oddo’s passenger at the time, Mr. Idumwomyi, testified that he didn’t remember seeing a vehicle cut in front of them before the incident. Pugh’s personal injury lawyer helped leverage this critical piece of information.

Because of the accident, Pugh’s cervical spine experienced severe injuries. To treat the damage, doctors performed four surgeries on the Plaintiff along with another arthroscopic surgery to fix a labral tear in his left shoulder. Pugh also sustained multiple injuries to his bilateral wrist, lumbar spine, and right hip. The twist in his wrist led to the development of Bilateral Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Additionally, Pugh’s head received significant injuries. This damage resulted in the development of headaches, anxiety, depression, and even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The Plaintiff also experienced the development of permanent scarring in his collar bone and throat following the necessary Cervical HemiVertebrectomy surgery.

Pugh received treatment at the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center multiple times for these aforementioned injuries. The Plaintiff also was restricted to the Health East Ambulatory Surgical building on four different occasions in order to receive epidural injections. Additionally, he spent time in the New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital to undergo cervical fusion surgery and North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System – Franklin Hospital to receive arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder. The road to recovery has been continuous and long. All of these injuries were caused by a single incident that, as the lawsuit alleges, resulted from the Defendant’s recklessness, carelessness, and negligence.

All injuries that the Plaintiff is struggling with from the accident are continuous and permanent in nature. It’s believed that Pugh has limited movement and experiences discomfort in the negatively affected areas of his body. The Plaintiff has suffered a lower quality of life due to these injuries, including a decrease in enjoyment of his life that he could have experienced if it weren’t for the accident. Pugh was working two jobs at the time of the car accident but had to leave both for a considerable amount of time due to the injuries suffered from the incident.

With a top attorney in New York on his side, Pugh was able to present a solid case that ended up resulting in a better outcome than he could have expected. Peter S. Gordon, a prominent New York lawyer, argued that the accident wasn’t Pugh’s fault and, as a result, the damages and expenses directly related to the incident should be compensated for. During jury selection a settlement of $1.6 million was finalized.

Silverio v. Ehrenkranz

On a quiet morning in mid-July 2015, Hector Silverio, who is happily married to the love of his life and is the proud father of three amazing children, was driving on a normal route in a familiar area of New York City. At around 9:50 am, Silverio’s car was violently struck by another vehicle. The operator, Edward M. Ehrenkranz, was driving a vehicle owned by the City of New York, the New York Police Department, and Fleet Services.

As the Plaintiff was simply minding his own business at the time of the accident, the collision came without warning. The Defendant made a left turn when the light at the intersection was still red. With a green light, Silverio continued through the intersection only to be struck by Ehrenkranz. It was a direct collision that caused significant damage to both vehicles and drivers. The accident occurred near Grand Concourse on or close to where it intersects with East 165th Street in the Bronx County of the City and State of New York.

Silverio searched for a reputable and successful New York attorney to represent him legally. He rightfully took to Gordon & Gordon to find the best personal injury lawyer in New York to increase the chances of receiving the damage he justly deserved. Attorneys Peter S. Gordon and Jason S. Matuskiewicz accepted the case and immediately started working on their strategy. It was the official stance of Silverio and his attorneys that the accident was solely caused by the recklessness, carelessness, and negligence of Ehrenkranz, the Defendant.

The violence of the car accident was enough to require Silverio to visit a hospital. He was rushed from the site of the incident to St. Barnabas hospital emergency room where he was attended to. The injuries that the Plaintiff sustained as a direct result of the accident are lasting and permanent in nature. In addition to permanent scarring on his lower abdomen and lower back, Silverio also had to undergo multiple and invasive surgeries to his lumbar spine – one of the most sensitive areas on the human body. He also suffered injuries to his left forearm and left shoulder, making it harder to complete everyday tasks and make normal movements.

With the help of a New York lawyer from Gordon & Gordon, Silverio argued that compensation was due also for the significant amount of medical expenses required to treat the injuries resulting directly from the accident in which the Plaintiff had no fault. The cost of physician services alone added up to around $375,450. Silverio had to spend hundreds of thousands more in hospital fees for diagnostic tests, X-rays, ambulatory services, medical supplies, drugs, and other related hospital expenses. He was also forced out of work for three months as an Uber driver which resulted in a net loss of $65,000. The damages to his car were paid out-of-pocket.

Peter Gordon, a prominent attorney in New York, opined that the expenses directly related to the accident shouldn’t fall at the feet of Silverio since he had no part in the accident. Instead, it was argued that the Defendant should be held responsible since it was his negligence and recklessness at the time that caused the accident, the following injuries, and, as a result, the accompanying expenses. The Jury was able to reach a settlement on behalf of both parties. The Plaintiff was awarded $750,000 for his injuries.

DeLeon v New York City

Ana DeLeon, who was 54-years-old at the time, was walking to work when she lost her balance and fell on raised concrete. This incident occurred on January 21, 2016. Ms. DeLeon was working as a home attendant and was on her way to a patient’s home when the accident occurred. The patient’s home was located at 11558 123rd Street near Ozone Park, New York. The plaintiff was roughly two blocks away from her patient’s home when she took the violent spill. Ms. DeLeon was walking out of a local Walgreens and wasn’t aware of the raised concrete obstructing her footpath as she continued in the middle of the sidewalk. At that time, there were no other pedestrians in front of the Plaintiff.

Unfortunately, there weren’t any markings, construction, barricades, tape, signs, or any other obvious identifier that might have alerted Ms. DeLeon to the unevenness of the sidewalk that lay ahead of her. The Plaintiff also remembers looking forward right before the accident and wasn’t distracted by a device or another situation. Even with her attention on the sidewalk, the lack of forewarning of the upcoming sidewalk issue caused Ms. DeLeon to trip and fall hard. The Plaintiff tripped on the uneven concrete with her left foot which forced her upper body to fall forward.

Both of her knees instinctively hit the concrete along with both hands to absorb some of the fall’s impact. After the unforeseen and painful incident, Ms. DeLeon continued walking to her patient’s house. She ended up taking an ambulance to Jamaica Hospital from there to treat the pain and injuries resulting from the fall. In route to the hospital, the Plaintiff complained to paramedics of pain in her shoulders and left knee. Blood was also coming from cuts on both her knees.

When Ms. DeLeon made it to the hospital, medical staff were able to determine the full extent of her injuries. The Plaintiff ended up suffering wounds to her hips, shoulders, hand, and knees due to the fall. The trauma was severe enough that doctors ordered MRIs to be performed on the Plaintiff’s bilateral knees and bilateral shoulders. Four surgeries were also ordered on Ms. DeLeon’s right knee, left knee, left shoulder, and right shoulder. Following her original visit to the hospital immediately after the accident, the Plaintiff attended Physical Medicine and Rehab located at 95-20 Queens Blvd. for treatment.

Over the next few months, Ms. DeLeon had to attend physical therapy twice each week to improve her injuries and alleviate the accompanying pain. Additionally, she hired Dr. Mian to treat her shoulders and knees when the pain wouldn’t cease long after the accident. The severity of the injuries that resulted from the Plaintiff’s violent fall caused her to be bedridden and home for nearly 2 months after each surgery.

Her successful career as a home attendant was also sacrificed as she had to leave in order to undergo the required surgeries and adhere to the required recovery time. Not only did this result in a considerable loss of income, but Ms. DeLeon also had a mountain of medical bills piling up during the time she was out of work. To help receive compensation for this loss of income and time out of work, Ms. DeLeon knew she needed a personal injury lawyer in New York.

New York attorney Peter S. Gordon, from the Gordon & Gordon law firm, represented the Plaintiff in her lawsuit. New York lawyer Jason S. Matuskiewicz also lent his expertise to the proceedings to help secure Ms. DeLeon as much compensation as possible. The gravamen of the Plaintiff’s complaint was that there were no noticeable signs or identifiers of any kind to warn a pedestrian of the uneven concrete on the sidewalk.

With the help of a leading attorney in New York, Ms. DeLeon was able to successfully argue her case and ended up receiving a settlement for the suffering and pain she endured as a direct result of the accident. The court awarded a settlement of $475,000 to the Plaintiff.

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