DCD SETTLES CASE AGAINST CITY OF NEW YORK ON BEHALF OF LIEUTENANT FOR 1.25 MILLION DOLLARS AFTER PRIOR LAWYER INFORMED LIEUTENANT HE WOULD HAVE TROUBLE PROVING “RECKLESSNESS”
A Lieutenant from a Manhattan North command received a settlement of 1.25 million dollars from the City of New York after he injured his right knee necessitating arthroscopic surgery. The Lieutenant had complications post-surgery and was awarded a ¾ line-of-duty accidental disability pension. The Lieutenant was injured while responding to a 10-85, another RMP with lights and sirens on, disregarded a steady red light without slowing down and struck the Lieutenant’s RMP at a high rate of speed. The Lieutenant initially hired another law firm. The law firm protected his rights by getting late notice of claim permission from a Supreme Court Justice and then filed the lawsuit against the City of New York. However, the attorney admitted that he would have difficulty proving “recklessness”, the standard necessary to prove in LOD RMP accidents in emergency settings. The attorney “sat” on the case for six years without proceeding with discovery including depositions and physicals. The Lieutenant and his wife grew impatient and started to do their own research. The Lieutenant found the “police officers right to sue” website and immediately notified DCD in February 2014. The Lieutenant and his wife retained DCD and terminated their relationship with the prior lawyer. DCD immediately started discovery including the preparation of the bill of particulars and attending a preliminary conference demanding certain documents from the City of New York. Depositions of all parties were held. Shortly after a compliance conference, an attorney from corporation counsel called DCD to commence settlement negotiations. DCD had leverage in the negotiations in that it was a strong reckless case and because the lawsuit was commenced prior to November 2009, a jury would not be instructed that the Lieutenant received a ¾ disability pension. Accordingly this nuance in the law made the damage portion of the case greater because the disability injury would not be offset by the amount the Lieutenant received by his tax-free pension. The City started the negotiation at $350,000 and eventually with Dominic DiPrisco’s persistence and DCD’s expertise in LOD lawsuits, the City of New York awarded the Lieutenant 1.25 million dollars.