Block O’Toole & Murphy entered 2020 having achieved some of the highest recoveries in the firm’s history: In 2019, the firm garnered more than $250 million for its injured clients, including the number-one verdict in all of New York State ($110 million) and the second- ($11.5 million) and third- ($11 million) highest settlements in the state, as noted in the New York Law Journal’s “Top Verdicts & Settlements” list.

In 2020, Block O'Toole & Murphy looked to continue this remarkable track record of courtroom success. But with the COVID-19 pandemic shuttering courts and offices, the firm was soon facing unprecedented challenges. And yet, despite this uncertainty, the firm has been able to overcome obstacles and still secure top results for its injured clients.

“What differentiates our firm is how hard we will fight for our clients, and even with the pandemic we’re on pace to have our best year ever,” notes firm founder Jeffrey Block. “During the shutdown in the courts, our strategy has been to illuminate for insurance companies and defendants the risks that are inherent in every case and to try and foster or create incentives for them to engage and negotiate.”

By using technology to stay in contact with our clients, we continue to understand how their accidents have impacted every facet of their lives.

“In other words, we have not in any way compromised the value of our cases because of the court shutdown, the pandemic, or the economic struggles that so many people are going through,” says partner Daniel O’Toole. “We demonstrate to our adversaries what a jury will likely decide if a case isn’t settled for fair value.”

Indeed, during the period when the firm was working remotely, it secured countless settlements of $1 million or more for its clients, including a $10.5 million settlement in a wrongful-death case where a 50-year-old union laborer died following a defective-saw accident; a $5 million settlement for a laborer who suffered electric shock while performing excavation work; a $4.5 million settlement for a carpenter who became permanently disabled after a work-related accident; and a $3.5 million settlement for a furniture maker who fell through a poorly maintained vault door.

“By using technology to stay in contact with our clients, we continue to understand how their accidents have impacted every facet of their lives—medically, financially, and emotionally—both now and into the future,” says partner Stephen Murphy. “We continue to fight for these hardworking people who were hurt and whose lives were dramatically changed through no fault of their own. There are new challenges in 2020 but we’re not running from a fight.”