In July 2016, Alan M. Greenberg successfully negotiated a $500,000 settlement for a client who suffered burn injuries in a fire that occurred in a multi-family home in Mount Vernon, NY.
The client, Rudy E. Rodas, a truck driver, returned home on April 2, 2013, noticed smoke in the building’s foyer, and then proceeded to the 2nd floor apartment he shared with his girlfriend. Both then evacuated the building while warning other tenants that a fire was in progress. Shortly afterward, the client returned to the 2nd floor apartment to retrieve his girlfriend’s cell phone and purse, but after opening the door to the bedroom where the items were located, encountered a backdraft of flames that burned his face and hands.
The client was transported via ambulance to Sound Shore Medical Center in New Rochelle, NY. There he underwent an examination, which established that he suffered second-degree burns to his face and third-degree burns to his hands. He then received treatment that included intravenous resuscitation, application of topical ointments, skin excisions, and the application of a skin graft.
The client sued the building owners, alleging that they negligently allowed a dangerous condition to occur which was the cause of the fire. According to a fire expert hired by the client shortly after the fire occurred, the fire was caused by an overload of the building’s electrical system. The electrical overload itself was caused by excessive loading of the system by a large number of tenants, which exceeded the number permitted by the building’s certificate of occupancy. Prior to the fire, the client had reported electrical problems to the building owners but these issues were never addressed.
During jury selection in Westchester Supreme Court, a $500,000 settlement was negotiated with the insurance company representing the building owners.