DATE OF VERDICT
COURT AND COUNTY
AGE AND OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF
60 Retired Long Island Railroad Conductor
DESCRIPTION OF CASE
On March 13, 2004, Plaintiff, a Vietnam Veteran, was a "good samaritan" helping accident victims at the scene of an unrelated motor vehicle collision in Port Jefferson, New York. The road was later blocked off by emergency personnel including members of the local police and fire department. Defendant was driving her car while impaired by marijuana and prescription pain killers. She drove through a police barricade and struck the plaintiff, propelling him 30 feet in the air. Plaintiff crashed to the ground and sustained severe life threatening trauma to his head. He was rushed to the nearest hospital.
Plaintiff fractured his skull and hip. He underwent an emergency craniotomy to evacuate the hemorrhage in his brain and an open reduction internal fixation to repair his hip fracture. Plaintiff sustained severe brain damage and has been confined to a nursing home since the accident.
The jury verdict, which was covered extensively by the media, is the largest reported non-medical malpractice verdict in Long Island history
Stephen J. Murphy joined the firm in early 2005 after a successful and rewarding career as a homicide prosecutor working in the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office. Mr. Murphy is a lawyer who is best known for his work in the courtroom, now focusing on serious construction accidents and catastrophic personal injury trial work.
Mr. Murphy's hard work and skill in the courtroom have earned him many accolades from his colleagues, opponents and judges. Mr. Murphy was described on Z100 Radio as a "legendary trial lawyer", he has been featured on Fox News Radio as one of "America's Premier Trial Lawyers" and was described in The New York Times as one of the "Top Attorneys in New York." Mr. Murphy's honors and accolades include:
- Being named as a "New York Super Lawyer" from 2011 through 2016, recognizing him as one of the top 5% of lawyers practicing in the field of personal injury law.
- 'The National Trial Lawyer Award' honoring him as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in New York State for the last 7 years.
- Named to the 'Best Lawyers in America,' list in 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016.
- Named to the Irish Legal 100, recognizing the top Irish American lawyers in the United States in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
- Recipient of the St. John's School of Law P.T.A.I. ‘2014 Alumni Excellence Award.'
- Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for the last 6 years.
- Recipient of the Frances Pope Memorial Foundation 'Man of the Year Award' in 2010.
- Named as ‘Volunteer of the Quarter' by The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
- Recipient of the St. John's University School of Law 'Alumni Excellence' Award.
Mr. Murphy handles a wide range of cases including labor law and construction accidents, tractor trailer and truck collisions, wrongful death, premises liability, medical malpractice and motor vehicle cases.
With just 11 years in civil practice, Mr. Murphy already has an extremely impressive body of work, regularly returning verdicts and settlements in excess of a million dollars. He has amassed well over $200,000,000 in results for his clients during that time period, including well over $40,000,000 in settlements in 2013, 2014 and 2015. In 2015, Mr. Murphy recovered 3 of all of New York State's Top 25 Settlements for the year. Mr. Murphy is an attorney that members of the bar, from Brooklyn to Buffalo, frequently consult with on trial matters and refer their most significant cases to.
'The Good Samaritan Case'
Mr. Murphy, along with his colleague Daniel O'Toole, persuaded a Suffolk County jury to return a record-setting verdict of $32,756,156 on behalf of a 60 year-old man in a traumatic brain injury case. The verdict, covered extensively by the local media, is the largest negligence verdict ever in Long Island and was featured in a cable television documentary entitled "The Good Samaritan." In addition, the result was also recognized by the New York Law Journal as the second highest negligence verdict in New York State for 2007 and one of the top 100 verdicts that year for the entire United States.
‘10th Largest Settlement in 2014 for the Entire United States'
Mr. Murphy and his partner David Scher were able to recover $8,800,000 for a female pedestrian who sustained neurologic and orthopedic injuries in a collision. The landmark result was hailed by the ‘National Law Journal' as the 10th highest settlement in the entire country for 2014. It also was the 4th largest settlement in New York State during 2014. This marks the 3rd time in seven years, and second year in a row, that one of Mr. Murphy's results was included among the top 50 results in the entire country by the ‘National Law Journal.'
Other Notable Results:
Mr. Murphy has successfully negotiated a $15,500,000 settlement for a client who sustained a traumatic brain injury. He also was able to persuade two insurance carriers to pay $9,950,000 to avoid a trial in Buffalo in a case where a young woman sustained an above-the-knee amputation. Mr. Murphy recovered $7,500,000 from the City of New York in a pedestrian accident case and $5,500,000 for an injured electrician who sustained a brain injury after falling from an extension ladder. Recently, Mr. Murphy was able to successfully negotiate a $7,525,000 settlement for a family after a devastating accident where a mother and a 7 year-old boy were killed.
In Queens County, Mr. Murphy recently convinced a jury to return a verdict of $5,585,000 for an undocumented worker who sustained back and wrist injuries in a construction accident. He also convinced a large insurance company to pay $4,600,000 out of $5,000,000 in insurance coverage for an injured Rigger who sustained neck and back injuries. Mr. Murphy also secured $3,925,000 for an injured worker that tried to help a truck driver who was stuck at a railroad crossing. The truck was struck by a locomotive while the plaintiff was trying to assist the truck driver, resulting in serious orthopedic injuries to the plaintiff. This result was also listed by the ‘National Law Journal' as one of the Top 50 Settlements in the United States in 2013.
In recognition of his achievements, after being with the firm for less than 3 1/2 years, Mr. Murphy was named a partner. Thereafter, the firm became Block O'Toole & Murphy.
Experience as a Homicide Prosecutor and Adjunct Professor of Law
Mr. Murphy began his legal career working as an Assistant District Attorney. He honed his skills in the criminal courtrooms in Brooklyn, prosecuting violent crimes. Mr. Murphy earned a reputation from the judiciary and his colleagues as a tough, but fair, prosecutor. In early 2002, the District Attorney appointed Mr. Murphy to the Homicide Bureau. Mr. Murphy, the youngest member of Brooklyn's Homicide Bureau at the time, successfully handled several high profile cases, including double and triple murders, arson homicides, gang murders and brutal murders of innocent children.
In July 2003, Mr. Murphy traveled to Sarajevo on behalf of the United States Justice Department to assist in the implementation of a new justice system in post-war Bosnia & Herzegovina. While there, Mr. Murphy, and two Federal District Court judges from California, were responsible for trial advocacy training for the newly appointed attorneys and judges in the region.
Mr. Murphy served as an adjunct professor of law for eight years at the St. John's University School of law. He instructed students on trial advocacy and lectured on criminal and civil trial practice and evidence. Mr. Murphy also served as an instructor for their nationally regarded trial advocacy program. His students won national championships in trial competitions in five of the seven years Mr. Murphy was involved. In 2014, the St. John's School of Law honored Mr. Murphy with the P.T.A.I. ‘Alumni Excellence Award.'
In 2011, Mr. Murphy was appointed to the New York County Democratic Judicial Screening Panel and in 2015 he served on the Kings County Democratic Screening Panel. Mr. Murphy has also appeared on Court TV, Z100 Radio, Fox Radio and Sirius/XM Satellite Radio as a guest host offering expert legal commentary and his work has been featured in The New York Times, New York Post, Newsday and New York Daily News. Mr. Murphy has been published in The New York Law Journal for a series of columns that he co-authored with colleague David Scher concerning the laws that apply to construction accidents.
Mr. Murphy is a proud member of the St. Jude Children's Hospital fundraising team, helping raise well over $2,000,000 for this worthy cause. He also is a dedicated supporter of the Frances Pope Memorial Foundation, an important charity that assists families with a child that has been diagnosed with a pediatric disease such as leukemia and cancer.