Insight

Courtroom Mastery

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

Marion Hedges Injury Settlement
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Justin Smulison

January 4, 2019 02:29 PM

Kramer Dill of Livingston & Moore is a nationally recognized plaintiff’s firm with a history of significant results in challenging personal injury cases. Indeed, the New York-based firm has recovered more than $1 billion for its clients since its founding more than 60 years ago. Senior partner Thomas Moore has secured 92 jury verdicts in excess of $1 million—a number that is reputed to be the largest in American history. And 2018 proved to continue in this successful tradition, with Moore and the firm achieving one of the year’s top verdicts.

That result was announced in June, a $45.2 million award that originated from a devastating injury nearly seven years earlier, when Marion Hedges was seriously injured in an East Harlem mall where two youths tossed a shopping cart onto her head. Moore represented the philanthropist and her family from the filing through the trial.

Hedges was buying Halloween candy on Oct. 30, 2011 when two then-12-year olds threw the cart from a fourth-floor walkway. The impact left Hedges forever changed—and during the trial she and Moore conveyed to the jury the mental, physical, and emotional complications that still affect her. Moore filed suit on Hedges’ behalf against East River Plaza and Planned Security, which he proved were liable for the injuries. Moore demonstrated that the negligent security and upkeep of the mall was largely to blame, as upper-level walkways were unkempt and littered with debris.

“Our initial obstacle was establishing that the mall was also at fault. No one questioned that the kids threw the cart, but the mall and its poorly run security system had facilitated their action,” Moore says. “The area had been hazardous for too long—making a tragic event not only probable but inevitable.”

Perhaps even more damning, Moore told the jury during closing, was that security footage and communication during and after the incident were missing. The jury agreed and after a month-long trial, reached their verdict in less than four hours, awarding Hedges and her family the substantial amount. Jurors even told the New York Daily News that the missing communiques certainly swayed them in their decision. Hedges, ever the altruist, said she planned to give some of the award to a nearby community center to help teenagers.

“It was a hard-fought case, but we wanted to ensure that Marion would be fairly compensated for her catastrophic injuries. Experts told her she escaped death, and no one should ever have to suffer the way she and her family have,” Moore says. “Our firm is proud of the number of cases, like Marion’s, where we’ve served as a champion for our client’s cause. Ultimately, we hope to prevent similar incidents from happening.”

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