The personal injury law firm of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. is honored to announce its founding partner, Samuel L. Davis, has been recognized by the New Jersey Law Journal as achieving the largest reported New Jersey Personal Injury Settlement during the Court’s 2022-2023 term.
On August 7, 2023, The New Jersey Law Journal, a publication serving the members of New Jersey’s Judiciary and Bar since 1878, released its annual survey of the Top 20 New Jersey Personal Injury Awards between July 29, 2022, and July 1, 2023. The largest and top New Jersey personal injury case reported as a settlement was $28 million which was achieved by Samuel L. Davis, founding partner of New Jersey’s personal injury boutique firm Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. on behalf of an injured worker.
The New Jersey Law Journal reported that the case involved a man who suffered burn injuries covering over 60% of his body that were caused by an electric panel explosion while the man was working on the electrical system within the Newark, NJ office building.
The facts of the case as disclosed in a February 24, 2023, court opinion by the Essex County Assignment Judge, the Honorable Sheila Venable disclosed that the 2019 explosion caused the worker to burst into flames from his knees to head leaving him severely injured and disfigured. Normally, injured workers are barred from suing their employers and are left solely with a workers’ compensation claim, but Davis successfully proved that the injured worker, a non-electrician was improperly directed to remove a protective shroud covering multiple energized high-voltage electrical components. This action by his employer amounted to sufficient gross negligence entitling the injured worker to bring a separate claim for damages in the Superior Court of New Jersey.
The explosion occurred while the injured worker was standing on a 6-foot ladder within a closet housing an electrical panel. The electrical explosion was so violent that it threw him off his ladder and caused him to catch on fire. He ran 60 feet to an office seeking assistance, but finding no help, he used a fire extinguisher to extinguish the flames. With his skin melted and still smoking and in unimaginable pain, he took the stairs down two floors seeking help only to collapse and fall unconscious on a restroom floor.
The injured worker was placed in an induced coma for six weeks and underwent, in great pain, 166 surgical procedures. He may still face 20 more surgeries and a lifetime of care. The $28 million award represents payment for his pain, suffering, and financial losses. The settlement also included damages for his disfiguring scars and emotional harm and losses including post-traumatic stress disorder. A portion of the $28 million was allocated to his wife for her losses, including the extra physical, emotional, and financial burden the electrical accident caused her.
Davis obtained the man’s burned and partially melted cellphone, which had fragments of the worker’s skin and clothing melted into it. The preservation of the device allowed Davis to prove past communications between the injured worker and his supervisors about the nature and scope of the injured worker’s work at the building, and enabled Davis to refute the defense’s claim that their employee was defying his supervisor’s orders when he entered the electrical closet.
Davis and his partners are no strangers to The New Jersey Law Journal’s Top 20 Injury Awards, the firm has made the Top 20 several times over the years. In 2017, the Law Journal also recognized Davis for having the number one spot for the highest reported verdict and settlement in New Jersey. In August of 2016, Davis received a $9.5 million jury verdict for two sisters who suffered serious orthopedic and brain injuries from a boating accident.
Recently, Davis and his partners made national news when, due to several personal injury claims brought against Madison Square Garden and its affiliated venues, Davis and all the attorneys in his firm, as well as other lawyers suing Madison Square Garden were barred from entering MSG’s venues such as Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theater. This caused one of Davis’s partners to be singled out by facial recognition and ejected in front of her 9-year-old daughter from entering Radio City to enjoy the Christmas show. Despite that, in July of 2023, Davis settled a claim against its LAVO restaurant for $5.3 million for a woman who slipped on grease and suffered neck and back injuries that required several surgeries. In 2022, Davis also landed an out-of-court settlement of a drowning case on behalf of the family of a minor.
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Since 1981, the compassionate personal injury lawyers at Davis, Saperstein & Salomon have been delivering results for our deserving clients. We are solely committed to helping injured individuals, never representing corporations. No matter how large or small your personal injury case is, you can trust that it is important to us.