In late June 2013, Mark Perez was setting up the Best Buy booth for a concert at the Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, New York. As Perez was putting together the two-level booth—and standing at least 10 feet above the ground—a union stagehand hired by Live Nation drove a forklift into the structure, causing him to plummet to the ground and sustain massive brain injuries, skull fractures, spinal fractures, fractured ribs, and a punctured and collapsed lung.
During his initial hospitalization, Perez was put into a medically induced coma; placed on life support; and intubated with feeding, chest, and tracheal tubes. After emerging from the coma, he underwent a comprehensive brain injury rehabilitation program but still required four brain surgeries between 2013 and 2015. Perez will likely need additional brain surgeries, suffers from posttraumatic epilepsy, and is now constantly at risk of having seizures.
“Mark is keenly aware of how his quality of life has deteriorated,” notes Benedict Morelli, Perez’s attorney in the lawsuit against Live Nation. “He will have to live with that intense physical and emotional suffering for the rest of his life.”
We are always prepared to go to trial to ensure our clients are fully compensated.
Morelli, a renowned plaintiff’s attorney, has an impressive track record of taking cases to trial and winning—and Perez’s lawsuit proved no different: In December 2019, Morelli and his team obtained a $102 million verdict for Perez. Subsequently, in an opinion analyzing the damages award, a Manhattan judge agreed to allow the plaintiff to recover more than $40 million in pain-and-suffering damages and nearly $13.5 million in future and past medical care and future lost wages. If upheld on appeal, this award will be the largest pain-and-suffering award ever in the state of New York by more than double the current highest sustained award.
“The court recognized the unique circumstances of Mark’s case and his profound awareness of his loss of enjoyment of life,” says Morelli. “We are always prepared to go to trial to ensure our clients are fully compensated, and we are proud that our skill in the courtroom allowed us to secure this historic award and vindication for Mark and his family.”