In what is believed to be the largest personal injury verdict for a single
plaintiff in the history of the Queens County Supreme Court, Benedict
P. Morelli and his team obtained a verdict of $62,060,086.27 on behalf
of their client, 26 year old Chinese immigrant Zeng Guang Lin. The case
arose from a work-related accident that occurred on May 8, 2008 when Mr.
Lin, only 20 years old at the time, was working at a construction site
in the Bronx, owned by defendant Hutch Realty Partners, LLC. Mr. Lin sustained
injuries after falling 20 feet from a roof while installing metal siding.
In this bifurcated trial, a jury unanimously found that the Defendants
violated Labor Law §240(1) in failing to provide Mr. Lin with proper
safety devices, and were thus 100% responsible. The defendants unsuccessfully
argued that Mr. Lin was provided with appropriate safety devices and that
he was solely responsible for his accident. The liability trial lasted
2 ½ months.
As a result of the extensive length of the liability trial, the parties
were required to select a new jury to decide the issue of damages. In
the damages phase, which lasted an additional 3 months, Morelli alleged
that as a result of the accident, Mr. Lin sustained injuries including
a traumatic brain injury, multiple spinal fractures, multiple rib fractures,
splenic laceration, renal hematoma, and lung contusion. Plaintiff further
alleged that as a result of the traumatic brain injury, he sustained severe
permanent cognitive deficits. The defendants contended that Mr. Lin did
not have a traumatic brain injury with severe permanent cognitive deficits.
After more than three months on the damages trial, the jury required only
50 minutes to reach their verdict which was a forceful, quick, and decisive
repudiation of the defense. The jury awarded Mr. Lin $20,000,000 for past
pain and suffering, $42,000,000 for future pain and suffering, and $60,086.27
for past medical expenses. The $62,000,000 was more than the $55,000,000
Morelli asked for in his summation. The trial team consisted of Benedict
P. Morelli, Adam E. Deutsch, and David T. Sirotkin.
The case was entitled Lin v. Hutch Realty Partners, LLC and Gamut Consulting,
Inc., Case No.: 24253-08 (J.S.C. Janice A. Taylor).