Largest Reported NJ Personal Injury Settlement during the Court’s 2022-2023 term

Heroic Tenant Suffers First and Second-Degree Burns After Space Heater Malfunctions—$500,000 Settlement

In Hamilton, New Jersey, a man residing as a tenant in a two-residence house suffered first and second-degree burns after a space heater overheated and caused the house to catch on fire. The man hired Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. partner Samuel L. Davis to file a lawsuit on his behalf. After personal injury lawyer Samuel L. Davis proved that the fire occurred as a result of the homeowner and her daughter’s negligence, our client won a $500,000 settlement, which was the defendants’ policy limit. 

The bedroom of the homeowner’s daughter was located in the house’s basement. Her daughter used a space heater to warm her room, but the homeowner had warned her on several occasions of the heater’s tendency to overheat. Because of her warnings, the daughter always turned off the heater before leaving the house. On the day of the accident, the mother and daughter left the house to go to a carwash. The daughter happened to forget to turn off the heater before leaving. 

Our client was in his room when he heard the basement’s smoke detector go off. He realized that he needed to evacuate and made it outside safely, when he noticed that the homeowner’s ten-year-old son was still in the house. He re-entered the house and found her son. Our client suffered the first and second-degree burns while rescuing the ten-year-old. Our client was taken by ambulance to the Emergency Room at Capital Health Regional Medical Center. 

The tenant suffered deep full thickness burns to his upper extremities, and partial thickness burns to his face. The burns covered about 16% of his body surface area. He underwent surgery, in which he had 2:1 meshed split-thickness skin grafts to his arms and ReCell application to his upper extremities and face. The skin grafts were harvested from his left thigh. 

The firm hired medical practitioners and psychologists to serve as expert witnesses and to write reports proving the permanency of our client’s condition. Their verbal and written testimony helped justify our client’s need for financial compensation, specifically for her medical bills and pain and suffering. 

Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. partner Samuel L. Davis sued in the New Jersey Superior Court and proved that the homeowner and her daughter were careless and negligent. Attorney Davis ensured that our client received proper compensation for his pain and suffering, in the form of a $500,000 settlement. 

Settlements are often limited by the total available insurance coverage. Insurance company adjusters and their lawyers often defend cases by claiming that a client was negligent and could have avoided being injured by arguing comparative negligence on the part of an injured client; or that their pain and suffering was caused by pre-existing medical conditions or prior injuries. Despite those defenses, the Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, PC lawyers won their client’s injury claim. Each client’s case is unique. Results may differ because of different facts, circumstances and available insurance coverage.   


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Medical Glossary

Skin Grafting: A surgical procedure that involves removing the injured skin, selecting a donor site, harvesting a graft from the donor site, and placing the skin graft over the wound. 

Meshing: The process of running the donor skin under a machine, which stretches the donor skin and expands it so it can cover a greater surface area.

ReCell: A medical device that sprays skin cells onto an affected area, improving the healing process and the appearance of scars.