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Loreley Pereyra Pollak suffered some severe back injuries when she slipped and fell on snow and ice at the Holiday Villas condominiums on Janurary 11, 2009.
Her lawyer, John J. Tracy helped her win $4 million in case against the Graniteville condominium development’s managing agent and the contractor. I guess they probably learned their lesson about sloppy snow-shoveling!
Even though the amount was pretty large for Staten Island, a legal source who had nothing involved in the case says that the award given to Mrs. Pollak’s was appropriate due to her injuries.
The court papers say that the accident happened around 6 in the evening outside of Mrs.Pollak’s house near Richmond Avenue. She left her place to visit a neighbor when she slipped and fell on the snow and ice that had piled up on the steps leading to her sidewalk.
The forensic meteorologist testified that over 2 inches of snow fell before the day of the incident along with some freezing rain. The conditions caused a very slippery sheet of ice on Mrs.Pollak’s patio.
Her lawyer stated that under the bylaws of the condominium, the managing agent and homeowner’s association were responsible to clear the ice and the snow on the streets, walkways, and steps up to the residents’ front doors. The Holiday Villas Homeowners association managing agent had hired Florite Maintenance Corp to preform the snow removal.
Mrs. Pollak and her husband testified that there was ice on the patio and it hadn’t been salted, sanded, or cleared. A neighbor also testified that the contractor did not remove any of the snow from Mrs. Pollak’s patio and very little from her steps. The neighbor also said that the contractor did “A very sloppy job.”
Mrs. Pollak had suffered multiple spinal fractures during the fall and had to have surgery. Medical exams revealed that 59 year old Mrs. Pollak is now totally disabled and will be suffering with chronic pain for the rest of her life. She is also unable to preform activities that require heavy lifting or prolonged walking, sitting, or standing!
The jury granted Mrs.Pollak almost $4.1 million, including $2.6 million for future pain and suffering and medical and rehabilitation services.
The jury did a remarkable job in analyzing all the medical expenses and future implication of the injuries for Mrs. Pollak, Both of our doctors agree she’s permanently, severely injured and has permanent chronic-pain syndrome.
The Supreme Court found the managing agent 75% liable, the contractor 25% at fault and the snow removal contractor (Florite) defaulted. Source said that Staten Island injures are typically more conservative in awarding damages. They also say that the city will also award just and fair compensation given substantial evidence.
That same source says that Mrs. Pollak suffered some major injuries, pretty much a broken back. She’s going to be in pain for the rest of her life.
Daniel A. Gibalevich
DAG Law Firm
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