Kevin and Judy Oleaga v. City of New York

/ / Case Verdicts

Case Name

Kevin and Judy Oleaga v. City of New York

Type of Injury

BIMALLEOLAR ANKLE FRACTURE

Occupation

sanitation worker

Location

Queens, NY

Verdict

This action settled on 8/2/00, prior to jury selection, for $750,000

Verdict Amount

$750,000.00

Case Details

XVIII/12-49 WORK ACCIDENT GARBAGE TRUCK STRIKES TREE BRANCH WHICH THEN HITS SANITATION WORKER BIMALLEOLAR ANKLE FRACTURE

SETTLEMENT: Kevin and Judy Oleaga v. City of New York 6209/93 Date of Settlement 8/2/00 Queens Supreme

Pltf. Atty: Daniel P. O Toole of Block & Associates, Manhattan

Deft. Atty: Barbara McLean, Asst. Corp. Counsel

This action settled on 8/2/00, prior to jury selection, for $750,000, all for pain and suffering, and under the terms of the settlement Pltf. s lifetime pension and disability benefits will remain in full force without reduction and with no liens to be paid. Pltf., a 38-year-old sanitation worker, claimed that on 5/4/92 while working on Shiloh Ave. in Queens he was injured when his partner driving the garbage truck hit a tree branch which fell on his ankle. Pltf. also claimed that the City Parks Dept. had inspected the tree on 7/20/90 and noted that it was in need of pruning for low branches. Pltf. s experts were prepared to testify that the standard clearance for roadways is 14 feet and that the branch height at the point of impact was 8.5 to 11 feet. Deft. maintained that the tree was not a priority for correction.

Neighboring landowners, dismissed from the case via summary judgment, were prepared to testify that they had called the Parks Dept. prior to the accident and alerted it about the low branches. A Freedom of Information Law demand and discovery demands served upon the City failed to confirm these alleged prior complaints.

Injuries: bimalleolar fracture of the right ankle requiring open reduction and internal fixation. Pltf. claimed that he is permanently disabled and he retired from the Sanitation Dept. Demonstrative evidence: photographs of the tree after the limb fell.

Pltf. Experts: Dr. Ronald Light, orth. surg., New Hyde Park; Walter Nestler, landscape architect, New Rochelle; Joseph Champagne, P.E., engineer, New Rochelle; Al Mickens, Ph.D., economist, Manhattan.

Deft. Expert: Edmond A. Provder, vocational rehabilitation, Manhattan.