Insight

A Potentially Precedent-Shifting Verdict

Preeminent trial lawyer Benedict Morelli on achieving one of the highest pain-and-suffering awards in New York State history.

Benedict Morelli
SS

Sean Stonefield

December 14, 2020 08:00 AM

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.”

Headline Image: Statia Grossman

Related Articles

Overcoming Obstacles


by Sean Stonefield

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, personal injury firm Block O’Toole & Murphy is on track for its most successful year.

Block O'Toole & Murphy

Results That Make a Difference


by John Fields

Thomas Moore and Judith Livingston continue to secure some of the largest verdicts in New York state for their injured clients.

Largest Injury Verdicts in New York State

A Reputation for Success


by Justin Smulison

Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year” David Perecman on his 40-plus years representing injury victims.

A 40 Year Career in Personal Injury

New York's Best Lawyers 2022


by Best Lawyers

Our 2022 New York's Best Lawyers publication features top-ranked legal talent and legal editorial from firms in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

New York's Best Lawyers 2022

Leading Cause of Car Accidents in Alabama? Failing to Yield the Right of Way


by Mitchel Lattof

Failing to yield the right of way was the leading cause of car accidents in Alabama in 2018. According to the Alabama Department of Transportation, failing to yield the right of way resulted in 23,832 crashes. Ninety-six of those crashes resulted in fatalities.

Shards of car glass on the street

The Winning Edge


by Justin Smulison

In its 40th year, Frantz Law Group finalized history-making settlements for clients in California and nationally.

Frantz Law Group

What to Do If You Become a Victim of Police Brutality?


by Edson Legal and Grillo Law

Two Toronto firms, one focusing on police brutality and the other on personal injury, give advice on what are the next steps you should take if you find yourself the victim of police brutality or abuse.

What Can You Do If You Are a Victim of Police

Trial Law Leadership


by Justin Smulison

Daniel J.T. Sciano, twice-named Best Lawyers® San Antonio “Lawyer of the Year” for Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs (2010, 2012), discusses how his record of success impacts clients and Texas’ legal community

Daniel Sciano Best Lawyers 2020

Big Case Warriors


by Best Lawyers

The co-founders of Lyons & Simmons, LLP discuss their relentless dedication to pursuing justice for clients while also invoking change.

Lyons & Simmons Best Lawyers 2020

Wearing a Hard Hat Significantly Reduces Risk of Injury, Death on NYC Construction Sites


by Michele Mirman

Construction Injury Prevention From Hard Hats

Fighting for the Underdog


by Sean Stonefield

A combination of hard work and excellence in the courtroom has garnered outsize results for the injured.

Block O'Toole & Murphy's Courtroom Success

Benedict Morelli: New York's Trial Attorney


by Best Lawyers

How Benedict Morelli successfully represented comedian Tracy Morgan and others.

Who Is Benedict Morelli

In the News: New York


by Best Lawyers

News and Events for New York Lawyers

In the News: New York

Why Expert Help Is Essential After a Car Accident


by Ted Lorenz

An Attorney Can Help Investigate After an Accident

A Legal Expert Can Help After A Car Accident

Courtroom Mastery


by Justin Smulison

Thomas Moore's latest multimillion-dollar verdict secures justice for a near-fatally injured client.

Marion Hedges Injury Settlement

Results Matter


by Sean Stonefield

With a history of record recoveries, Block O’Toole & Murphy continues to achieve some of New York’s largest personal injury verdicts and settlements.

Block O’Toole & Murphy

Trending Articles

Announcing the 2023 The Best Lawyers in America Honorees


by Best Lawyers

Only the top 5.3% of all practicing lawyers in the U.S. were selected by their peers for inclusion in the 29th edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.

Gold strings and dots connecting to form US map

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for 2023


by Best Lawyers

The third edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America™ highlights the legal talent of lawyers who have been in practice less than 10 years.

Three arrows made of lines and dots on blue background

Announcing the 2023 The Best Lawyers in Canada Honorees


by Best Lawyers

The Best Lawyers in Canada™ is entering its 17th edition for 2023. We highlight the elite lawyers awarded this year.

Red map of Canada with white lines and dots

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers® in the United States


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers listed in the 28th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® and in the 2nd Edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for 2022.

2022 Best Lawyers Listings for United States

Famous Songs Unprotected by Copyright Could Mean Royalties for Some


by Michael B. Fein

A guide to navigating copyright claims on famous songs.

Can I Sing "Happy Birthday" in Public?

Choosing a Title Company: What a Seller Should Expect


by Roy D. Oppenheim

When it comes to choosing a title company, how much power exactly does a seller have?

Choosing the Title Company As Seller

What the Courts Say About Recording in the Classroom


by Christina Henagen Peer and Peter Zawadski

Students and parents are increasingly asking to use audio devices to record what's being said in the classroom. But is it legal? A recent ruling offer gives the answer to a question confusing parents and administrators alike.

Is It Legal for Students to Record Teachers?

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers in Canada™


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers listed in the 16th Edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada™ and 1st Edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in Canada.

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers in Canada™

Caffeine Overload and DUI Tests


by Daniel Taylor

While it might come as a surprise, the over-consumption of caffeine could trigger a false positive on a breathalyzer test.

Can Caffeine Cause You to Fail DUI Test?

The Real Camille: An Interview with Johnny Depp’s Lawyer Camille Vasquez


by Rebecca Blackwell

Camille Vasquez, a young lawyer at Brown Rudnick, sat down with Best Lawyers CEO Phillip Greer to talk about her distinguished career, recently being named partner and what comes next for her.

Camille Vasquez in office

All Eyes to the Ones on the Rise


by Rebecca Blackwell

Our 2023 honorees recognized in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch™ in America tell us more about how their path to law formed, what lead them to their practice areas and how they keep steadfast in their passion to serve others.

Person walking between glass walls towards window

Announcing the 2022 "Best Law Firms" Rankings


by Best Lawyers

The 2022 “Best Law Firms” publication includes all “Law Firm of the Year” recipients, national and metro Tier 1 ranked firms and editorial from thought leaders in the legal industry.

The 2022 Best Law Firms Awards

Wage and Overtime Laws for Truck Drivers


by Greg Mansell

For truck drivers nationwide, underpayment and overtime violations are just the beginning of a long list of problems. Below we explore the wages you are entitled to but may not be receiving.

Truck Driver Wage and Overtime Laws in the US

Announcing The Best Lawyers in Australia™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms from Australia.

The Best Lawyers in Australia™ 2023

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers in South Africa™


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms.

Announcing 2022 Best Lawyers in South Africa

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers™ in Australia


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms.

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers™ in Australi