Jury Awards Nearly Half-Million Dollars to New York Woman Injured in Subway Staircase Fall – Weitz & Luxenberg

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Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C., a leading plaintiff’s law firm in New York City, obtained a $450,000.00 verdict for a client injured at a subway station operated by New York City Transit Authority. Elena Ivanova, who fell down a flight of concrete stairs in 2006 when the heel of her shoe was snagged in a subway stairwell, won a jury verdict against the Transit Authority in June.

A New York Supreme Court jury decided in favor of a New Jersey woman to the tune of $450,000.00 for injuries sustained when her high-heeled shoe became caught in a dangerous gap between a stair and a metal tread in a subway station stairwell, according to Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C., a leading national mass tort and personal injury law firm.

Elena Ivanova, a 54-year-old architect and mother of three, was returning home from an event at the Guggenheim Museum in 2006, when she entered the subway station at Broadway and 86th Street and stepped into a small gap between an eroded concrete step and its attached metal tread, according to complaint filed in the lawsuit (Index #106175/07, Sup. Ct. NY).

Ivanova then tumbled down 18 steps, fracturing her clavicle and sustaining multiple cuts and contusions, according to the trial record.

Weitz & Luxenberg said the personal injury lawsuit, filed in 2007, named the New York City Transit Authority as the defendant. The complaint alleged that the defendant allowed the subway station’s condition to deteriorate and become unsafe, which amounted to a violation of the Transit Authority’s duty to the public.

Weitz & Luxenberg asserted that this was the direct cause of Ivanova’s injuries.

According to the firm, when the Transit Authority declined to make a settlement offer, Weitz & Luxenberg trial attorney Shareef Rabaa took the case to New York State Supreme Court. The trial lasted more than a week. After hearing evidence and arguments, the jury came to a verdict of $450,000.00 and decided that the Transit Authority was 83 percent to blame for Ivanova’s injuries, court records revealed.

Rabaa, a trial attorney in Weitz & Luxenberg’s New York City office, said the victory was hard-fought and that his client was pleased with the result.

“A trial attorney is like a police officer for community safety.” said Rabaa. “By holding accountable those who want to put profit over human life, trial attorneys and juries are the only check against corporate greed available in our society.” said Rabaa. “In this case, the Transit Authority allowed a staircase to be in disrepair because they wanted to save a few dollars.”

Rabaa said Ivanova was born in Russia. She immigrated to the United States, setting aside her architectural training and working nights cleaning the building of an architecture firm in order to pay for her family to relocate with her.

Through hard work, perseverance and diligence, Ms. Ivanova eventually became a certified architect in the United States. By 2004, she was working to restore the Guggenheim museum – and it was on the way home from the Guggenheim in 2007 when she tripped in the subway station at Broadway and 86th Street.

“Ms. Ivanova’s injuries required three surgeries over a period of three years and her injuries are permanent,” said Rabaa. “The verdict signifies that a jury of Elena’s peers understands the negative impacts in her life as a result of the Transit Authority ignoring safety rules. Elena is elated that the jury understood her plight.”

Shareef Rabaa, at the age of 34, was recently named to The National Trial Lawyers: “Top 40 Under 40” list for Trial Lawyers in New York State.

“As for me, I couldn’t be more pleased for Elena. She deserves every penny for what they did to her.” said Rabaa. “She has such a wonderful story and it means a great deal to me that Weitz & Luxenberg has been able to help her.”

About Weitz & Luxenberg

Founded in 1986 by attorneys Perry Weitz and Arthur Luxenberg, Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C., today ranks among the nation’s leading law firms. Weitz & Luxenberg’s numerous litigation areas include: mesothelioma, defective medicine and devices, environmental pollutants, accidents, personal injury, and medical malpractice. Victims of accidents are invited to rely on Weitz & Luxenberg’s more than 20 years of handling such cases – begin by contacting the firm’s Client Relations department at 1-800-476-6070 or at clientrelations(at)weitzlux.com and ask for a free legal consultation. More information: http://www.weitzlux.com

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Dave Kufeld
Weitz & Luxenberg P.C.
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