A 51-year old man took his wife and teenage son to an upstate New York mountain ski center for a day of winter sports. Part of the complex operated by the State of New York consisted of a tube slide that started at the top of a steep hill and followed a carved out path as it descended (similar to a luge slide). Just before the end of the run, the slide made a sharp turn which straightened out and then ended with a snow bank in order to stop the tube. Our client boarded and sat in the tube, and pushed off as he started to go down the path. His speed picked up during the decent, more so than earlier since the air temperature dropped, and the carved out path became extremely icy and slick, it was now in the late afternoon. As the tube picked up speed, it hit the sharp turn, but instead of following the carved out path, the tube continued straight on, vaulting airborne over the path and violently striking a large tree 20 feet away. The impact caused our client’s head to strike the tree, throwing him to the ground. Bleeding and unconscious, first aid was administered at the scene, after which an ambulance brought him to the emergency room of a local hospital. In critical condition and requiring immediate surgery, he was airlifted to a major hospital. Although he survived, his future course was most difficult, leaving him with neurological injuries.
After the family interviewed a number of top New York personal injury firms, Finz & Finz, P.C., was selected and retained. An action was brought against the State of New York in the Court of Claims alleging the negligent design of the tube slide as the cause of the accident. The State of New York put up a vigorous defense. Putting together a team of noted engineers and accident reconstruction experts, we continued to pursue the case vigorously.
Just prior to trial, a final conference was held before another judge of the court, with the result that after two days of vigorous conferencing, the case was settled for $8,000,000.00. It was reported at the time to be the largest or second largest settlement against the State of New York for a single plaintiff in a personal injury case.
Once again Finz & Finz, P.C., proved its dedication, aggressiveness, experience and ability in achieving a result that at least provided our injured client and his family with financial security in the face of such a tragic accident, the claim of which was consistently rejected by the State of New York. And once again, we fought for justice and would not rest until justice prevailed.