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$3,500,000 Faulty Freight Elevator Caused Fall

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Semonella went: to the freight elevator to collect his pay from the night club, which was located on the second floor. Semonella alleged that the elevator was not present when the shaft doors opened, and that -he stepped into the shaft and fell 1.5 feet.Semonella sued Gonjada Inc., the parent company of Crystal Night Club; John. and Helen Wells, the owners of the building; Fun City, an establishment that shared use of the elevator; Fun City’s managing agents, Robert and Allison LaFrocia; and the company that maintained and repaired the elevator, Elevator Refurbishing Corp. Helen. Wells died prior to the trial, and the action against her proceeded against the executor of her estate, John Wells Jr. INJURIES/DAMAGES loss of services,: nerve damageSemonella sustained a burst fracture of the vertebrae_ The injury resulted in nerve damage in his lower extremities. Semonella underwent spinal fusion. He claimed that he suffers from leg weakness, and that he is only able to ambulate over short distances and with the assistance of braces and canes. He claimed that he is totally disabled from work.. He does not require home health services.

Semonella claimed $70,000 a year in lost benefits, partially offset by his $40,000 annual Social Security benefits_ His wife, Donna, claimed. loss of services.

The defendants contended that. Ralph Serrtonella could be gainfully employed in a sedentary job.


Ralph Semonella and Donna Serrtonella John Wells; Gonjada Inc. d/b/a. Crystal Night Club; Fun City; Elevator Refurbishing Corp.; Robert LaFrocia; Allison. LaFrocia; and John Wells Jr., as Executor of the Estate of Helen Wells, No. 7823/00


Nassau. Supreme: Geoffrey J. O’Connell 10/23/2003


Daniel C. Minc, Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP, New York, NYPaul A. Finn, White, Fleischner Fino, New York, NY (Elevator Refurbishing Corp. James S. Kehoe, Ronan, McDonnell Kehoe, Melville, NY (John Wells)


Cornelius A. Mahoney, Mahoney & Keane, New York, NY (Goniada Inc.) Doron Rosenheck, McCabe, Collins, McGeorrgh & Fowler LET, Mineola, NY (Fun. City)


On April 4, 2000, plaintiff Ralph Semonella, 37, a sanitation worker, made a delivery to Crystal Night. Club in Hempstead. After making the delivery,


The parties reached a $3.5 million settlement after jury selection. Wells and the LaFrocias contributed $1.95 million; Crystal Night Club contributed $500,000; Fun City contributed $500,000; and the Elevator Refurbishing Corp. contributed $550,000.