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New York Personal Injury Law Firm In the News

- Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin Join Inaugural Class of New York Medical Malpractice Hall of Fame

- Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP Sponsors Networking & Fundraiser Event for Mayoral Candidate William C. Thompson, Jr.

- Justice Weinstein Receives 2011 Benjamin Cardozo Award at Jewish Lawyers Guild Dinner Chaired by Kenneth J. Halperin

- Suits Put a $403M Hurt on City

- Emergency Room Wait Costs Hospital $11 Million

- Queens woman Candida Diego who was left for 2 hours in emergency room wins $10.7M

- Hit-and-run driver claims city didn't take care of his Bentley after crash

- Builder may face slay rap in hardhat death

- Construction Worker Deaths Spike Building Boom, Cheap Labor Leads to Surge in
Laborer Deaths

- Plastic Surgeon to the Scars - Brad Jacobs went from shaping Playboy bunnies to defending himself against charges of butchery

- Falling Construction Tool Injures at Least Two at Deutsche Bank

- Contractor admits role in death of a worker




Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin Join Inaugural Class of New York Medical Malpractice Hall of Fame

VerdictSearch, an affiliate publication of the New York Law Journal announced on October 10, 2014 its first ever group of honorees for the Verdict and Settlements Medical Malpractice Hall of Fame. The list includes three cases handled by Phil Russotti.

Click here to read the entire article.

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Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP Sponsors Networking & Fundraiser Event for Mayoral Candidate William C. Thompson, Jr.

October 23, 2012 - The personal injury lawyers at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP are happy to announce the success of our networking and fundraiser event for Mayoral Candidate William C. Thompson, Jr. The gathering was held on Tuesday, October 23, 2012 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Cibo Restaurant located on 767 Second Avenue at 41st Street in New York, NY 10017.

Mr. Thompson, candidate for Mayor of the City of New York, spoke for 20 minutes about his credentials for Mayor and the upcoming mayoral primary scheduled for September 2013. Mr. Thomson only lost by less than 5% of the total vote to Mayor Bloomberg in the last election. Our law firm was pleased to collect campaign contributions ranging from $100 (Friend), $250 (Host), and $500 (Sponsor).

This recent “Meet and Greet” Fundraiser is representative of how our law firm is focused on providing diverse presentations and events in which highly respected members of the bar are present to discuss noteworthy developments in their area of expertise.

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Justice Weinstein Receives 2011 Benjamin Cardozo Award at Jewish Lawyers Guild Dinner Chaired by Kenneth J. Halperin

The Queens Gazette
May 18, 2011

The Jewish Lawyers Guild held its 35th Annual Dinner in Manhattan on March 31 in which the 2011 Benjamin Cardozo Award was presented to Queens County Administrative Judge, Civil Matters Justice Jeremy S. Weinstein. Chief Administrative Judge Ann Pfau was also recognized with the Golda Meir Award. These prestigious acknowledgements are awarded to individuals who have devoted themselves to the law and the judiciary. New York personal injury attorney Kenneth J. Halperin of the law firm Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP served as Dinner Chair of the Jewish Lawyers Guild event and participated in recognizing these leaders in the community.

Click here to read the entire article.

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Suits Put a $403M Hurt on City

By ANGELA MONTEFINISE
NY Post
December 21, 2008

The city shelled out $403 million in personal-injury lawsuits this year - a 6 percent spike in payouts over last year, according to Law Department stats.

The top settlement in fiscal year 2008 was $8.5 million to guidance counselor Rodrigo Villaseca, who lost vision in his right eye after an emotionally disturbed kindergartner slammed a broken door in his face at PS 306 in The Bronx.

The door had been broken for five years - and would have cost $55 to fix.

The second-highest payout was $7.2 million to Correction Officer Judy Jones, who shot herself and was rendered a quadriplegic after the department gave her a gun despite a history of mental illness.

Other top settlements this year included:

  • $6.5 million to Staten Island Ferry crash victim Shriram Agni, who lost his leg.
  • $6.5 million to the family of Awa Marie Sissoko, an infant whose face was burned when she fell out of bed in a city-owned Brooklyn building and became wedged between the radiator and the floor.
  • $6.3 million to Gwendolyn Waller, who became a quadriplegic when her car skidded on ice on a notorious stretch of the Van Wyck Expressway in Queens.
  • $5 million to the family of Lorenzo Pavis, a construction worker killed when the road he was working on collapsed in Staten Island. (REPRESENTED BY Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP)

Other top payouts were given to people injured or killed in car accidents with city vehicles, including police cars and sanitation trucks.

The city handed out $380 million in tort settlements in fiscal year 2007, according to the department.

In addition to those payouts, the city's Health and Hospitals Corp., which handles medical malpractice cases against city hospitals, saw a slight decline in payouts, from $151 million last fiscal year to $144 million this year.

The top malpractice settlement was $5 million, the agency said.

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WRS Recovered the 6th Highest Payout from the City in 2008.

Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP represented the clients in the New York construction accident wrongful death case, which resulted in a $5 million settlement, the 6th highest payout from the city in 2008.

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Emergency Room Wait Costs Hospital $11 Million

BY SYLVIA HSIEH
LAWYERS USA STAFF WRITER
Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A New York jury has awarded $10.7 million to a 66 year-old woman who lapsed into a coma after waiting two hours in an emergency room.

She initially went to the ER after falling down the stairs and hitting her head, but she left the hospital permanently paralyzed on the left side after emergency brain surgery.

"It was clear that they forgot about this woman," said winning attorney Philip Russotti, a partner with Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP in New York.

Click here to read the entire article.

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Queens woman Candida Diego who was left for 2 hours in emergency room wins $10.7M

BY NICOLE BODE
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Monday, October 13th 2008, 8:11 AM

Jury awarded Candida Diego and her husband, Roberto, $10.7 million for negligence at a hospital emergency room.

A 71-year-old woman left partly paralyzed because Queens hospital workers waited two hours to give her emergency care for a fractured skull has been awarded $10.7 million.

Candida Diego of Elmhurst is confined to a wheelchair and has no movement in her left side as a result of negligence at New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens, jurors found.

"I thought my wife was going to die," said her husband, Roberto Diego, 67, who also was awarded part of the jury verdict. "She can't do anything for herself. She's very depressed."

An ambulance rushed Diego to the hospital around 1 p.m. Sept. 23, 2004, after she fell down a flight of stairs and cracked her head at the Starside Drugs pharmacy in Flushing, where she worked as a cashier for more than a decade.

She was cleared for an emergency brain scan to check for bleeding at 1:30 p.m., but wasn't given one until 3:30 p.m. - less than an hour before she lapsed into a coma in the emergency room, court documents say.

It took emergency brain surgery to save her life, her lawyer said.

"They are a level one trauma center, the highest," said lawyer Philip Russotti. "They did not respond like a level one trauma center should. They held themselves out to handle any type of emergency. They certainly did not do it in this case."

A spokeswoman said the hospital will appeal the decision, handed up Oct. 3.

"We do not believe we have any liability," spokeswoman Cynthia Bacon said.

Roberto Diego said he waited with his wife in the hospital's emergency room, increasingly alarmed by her severely swollen face and bandaged head. No one explained why they were left to wait two hours, he said.

She has permanent neurological damage and is unable to take care of herself, he said.

A full-time staffer cares for her at her home while her husband works as a butcher at a grocery store, he said.

He was retired before the accident but returned to work to support both of them, he said.

He said he hopes the jury verdict can help his wife.

"Now I can try to help her to walk again," he said.

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Hit-and-run driver claims city didn't take care of his Bentley after crash

BY JOHN MARZULLI
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Sunday, August 24th 2008

In the annals of shameless lawsuits, this one takes the cake.

A Coney Island businessman is suing the city for damaging the Bentley he was driving when he killed a Brooklyn dad in a hit-and-run accident.

Harry Shasho, who pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, says the NYPD failed to safeguard the battered black 2005 Bentley GT luxury sedan that was impounded as evidence of the fatal crash. He's asking for at least $190,000.

The victim's loved ones are outraged.

"He's not a human being, he's an animal with no conscience," fumed Linda Ruberto, the longtime girlfriend of victim Louis (Pete) Couch, who was killed as he crossed Ocean Parkway.

Click here to read the entire article.

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Builder may face slay rap in hardhat death

BY SCOTT SHIFREL
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Wednesday, June 11th 2008, 12:45 AM

A building contractor is facing possible murder charges on Wednesday for a Brooklyn construction accident that killed a worker and injured another in March when a foundation wall collapsed.

"I think maybe it will be manslaughter," contractor William Lattarulo said Tuesday as he prepared to surrender to prosecutors this morning.

Lattarulo, 63, blamed heavy rains and said he tried to warn workers in the March 12 collapse in East New York that killed worker Louro Ortega of Queens.

Authorities fined Lattarulo and indicated shoddy construction caused the collapse, which occurred just three days before the E. 51st St. crane crash that killed seven people in Manhattan.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes' office has been investigating Lattarulo, and today's charges against the builder are noteworthy at a time when a construction boom has led to a spate of accidents across the city.

"They're just looking for someone to blame for all this," he said, referring to the other accidents. "They're going to make me pay." He described the 30-year-old Ortega, a married father of two, as "a nice kid."

"I don't think I killed that kid," he said. "If I thought I did something wrong, I wouldn't fight it."

Lattarulo, of Malverne, L.I., owns both the house next to the 795 Glenmore Ave. site and five adjacent lots. He has been cited for numerous code violations, authorities said, including working with an expired permit.

Lattarulo was planning to build a commercial laundry at the site, according to Ortega family lawyer Kenneth Halperin, who is preparing for a possible lawsuit.

"They failed to make sure the foundation wall was stable," Halperin said.

"No one checked it, no one did anything," he said. "This never should have happened, there's no reason someone should have died."

Ortega had been on the job just two days and was partially buried by rubble in the collapse.

Prosecutors, who are expected to announce the charges this afternoon, declined to comment and buildings officials said the investigation is ongoing.

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Construction Worker Deaths Spike
Building Boom, Cheap Labor Leads to Surge in Laborer Deaths

By Susan Donaldson James
January 16th, 2008
ABCnews.com

Construction has increasingly become a deadly business -- especially in New York, where laborers routinely dangle from skyscrapers, all part of a building boom that has defied the national slowdown…

…."The regulations are there," said Philip Russotti, a New York lawyer who represents workers -- many of them in scaffolding accidents.

"Safety costs money," he said. "If you are motivated by profit, you are motivated to push people to move quickly and cut corners with safety. But you're playing with people's lives."

Russotti's firm obtained an $18 million award for a construction worker who fell from a ladder and suffered a brain injury. Another verdict awarded $11.1 million to a 53-year-old man who fell 10 feet on his head and suffered dementia and a permanent mood disorder.

Click here to read the entire article.

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Plastic Surgeon to the Scars-
Brad Jacobs went from shaping Playboy bunnies to defending himself against charges of butchery

by Chris Thompson
August 28th, 2007

Jacobs may have wanted to take things to another level, but there was the little matter of 26 malpractice cases that ended in judgments against him or in settlements over the years. According to Jacobs, plastic surgeons deal with such settlements constantly, and his track record is better than some. "No names mentioned, but you look at other plastic surgeons-some of these surgeons have that in a year," he says. But according to the health-care ratings company HealthGrades, more patients have filed malpractice actions against Jacobs than any other plastic surgeon in the state; in fact, Jacobs's malpractice rate is 10 times the state average. According to Ken Halperin, a malpractice attorney with the firm Wingate, Russotti, and Shapiro, that's an extraordinary figure. "It's extremely unusual," he says. "I'd be shocked if there were more than 10 doctors in the state of New York that had 25 malpractice cases, let alone had settlements against them…The amazing thing is that he still has his license."

Click here to read the entire article.

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Falling Construction Tool Injures at Least Two at Deutsche Bank

Aug. 23, 2007
By EMILY FRIEDMAN and WILLIAM MARRA

Two firefighters and at least one construction worker were rushed to a local hospital today after a piece of debris fell on them at the Deutsche Bank building in downtown Manhattan, a New York City Fire Department spokesperson told ABC News.

City officials told ABC News' affiliate WABC-TV that the debris was actually a contruction tool, suspected to be a construction jack.

Click here to read the entire article.

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Contractor admits role in death of a worker

Tuesday, February 06, 2007
By FRANK DONNELLY
STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- In an apparent precedent on Staten Island, a well-regarded North Shore builder pleaded guilty yesterday to criminally negligent homicide stemming from the death of one of his workers, buried three years ago in a trench collapse at a West Brighton job site.

Kenneth Formica's felony plea in state Supreme Court, St. George, in connection with the death of Lorenzo Pavia, 39, on Dec. 15, 2003, marks the first time in recent history that a Staten Island contractor was found criminally liable for the death of a worker, sources said.

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Contact Us: Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Contact the New York personal injury attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP today for a FREE, no obligation consultation today:

The Graybar Building
420 Lexington Ave. Suite 2750 New York, NY 10170
Phone: (212) 986-7353 Fax: (212) 953-4308

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