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Snow-removal co. failed to clear parking lot, plaintiff alleged.

On March 19, 2007, plaintiff D.G., 51, a truck driver, slipped in the parking lot of a trucking facility that was located on Gilpin Avenue, in Hauppauge. He fell, and he claimed that he sustained injuries to his back, head, and neck.  Plaintiff sued the premises’ snow-removal contractor H & R, the English Landscape Gardeners Ltd.  He alleged that H & R’s staff was negligent in its maintenance of the premises. He further alleged that the staff’s negligence created a dangerous condition. Plaintiff claimed that he slipped on a patch of ice. He contended that the ice was a result of H & R’s failure to properly maintain the lot, and he also contended that H & R was aware of the ice that caused his fall.  H & R’s counsel contended that the company adequately addressed the parking lot and that it did not create or become aware of any hazard that may have caused Plaintiff’s fall. However, H & R’s counsel ultimately relieved itself of obligation, and H & R failed to timely procure new counsel, thus leading to default judgment.


Plaintiff’s head struck the ground. He was placed in an ambulance, and was transported to a hospital, where doctors observed that he was suffering a brain hemorrhage, a concussion and palsy of his fourth cranial nerve.  Plaintiff claimed that he also sustained herniation of his C4-5, C5-6, C6-7 and L5-S1 intervertebral discs, with flattening of a portion of his spinal cord’s cervical region.  Plaintiff contended that his herniations caused pain that necessitated the surgical implantation of devices that provided pain-relieving stimulation of his spine.  One was implanted in 2008; a second was implanted in 2009.  He also underwent the administration of epidural injections of steroid-based painkillers.  However, he claimed that he suffers residual pain and a residual reduction of the mobility of his back and neck.  He undergoes physical therapy and pain-management treatment.   Plaintiff also developed post-concussion syndrome, and he claimed that his brain’s injury resulted in damage that diminished his cognitive ability.  He contended that he suffers impairment of his memory; constant headaches; occasional losses of balance; an increased sensitivity to noise; photophobia, which is an increased sensitivity to light’ diplopia, or double vision; and impairment of his ability to discern certain letters of the alphabet. He requires special eyeglasses. He claimed that his post-concussive effects also led to anxiety, fear, depression, irritability and shortness of temper with his children and wife.  He undergoes psychological counseling.


The matter proceeded to an inquest that addressed damages. Judge Thomas Whelan determined that Plaintiff’s damages totaled $6,000,000.