Landmark Cases

$10,500,000 verdict for wrongful death - Malcolm Ferguson v. City of New York

A Bronx jury awarded $10.5 million to the mother of Malcolm Ferguson, who was wrongfully shot and killed by the New York City Police Department.

Malcolm Ferguson, who was unarmed, was shot point blank in the left temple of his head. The police officer, Louis Rivera, also a defendant in the case, was found to have used excessive force in violation of Malcolm Ferguson’s civil rights as protected under the United States Constitution.

The jury awarded a $3,000,000 for pain and suffering, $7,000,000 for punitive damages and $500,000 for loss of support.

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Record breaking fractured nasal bone verdict - Anne Cassuto v. City of New York

On July 20, 2002 Anne Cassuto was walking with her shopping cart on a sidewalk in Brooklyn, when abruptly, an uneven cement slab caused her to end up in a difficult situation. Cassuto’s shopping cart suddenly stopped, which caused her body to flip over and sustain some major injuries. As a result of these injuries, Cassuto ended up requiring surgery from a fractured nasal bone.

Because of the seriousness of her injuries, Cassuto sued the home owner, Rodrigue Dufresne and the City of New York. At trial, Cassuto claimed the sidewalk slab was raised around three inches off of the pavement. A witness was willing to testify and this was another factor that led the jurors to their final decision. The jury came to the conclusion that the City of New York was 90% in the wrong, while the homeowner, Rodrigue Dufresne was 10% responsible. The plaintiff, Anne Cassuto was rewarded $24,208.03 for her medical expenses, $250,000 for past pain and suffering, and $115,000 for future pain and suffering.

Ground breaking decision on explosive issue - the question of quotas

A Brooklyn jury declared that the NYPD is driven by arrest quotas. The ground breaking decision came in a civil trial brought by Carolyn Bryant, 46, who sued the NYPD for injuries she sustained during a 2006 arrest.

In July of 2006, Carolyn Bryant’s son was being arrested by Operation Impact cops when she stepped outside to see what was happening. She was then assaulted and arrested. Charges of resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration were dismissed against Bryant along with the charges against her son. However, Bryant has suffered from neck and knee pain since the incident.

During the trial Capt. Alex Perez, of the 81st Precinct in Bedford-Stuyvesant, testified and admitted that arrest numbers are a factor in evaluating an officer’s performance. The jury then found that the NYPD had a “custom and policy” regarding the number of arrests they make that violated Carolyn Bryant’s constitutional rights.

Looking forward, such a decision is groundbreaking. “It’s a binding decision by a jury that nobody’s appealing,” said Bryant’s lawyer, Seth Harris. “Other lawyers can now argue that convincingly that the issue of quotas has been decided.”

Burns & Harris is one of New York’s premier law firms. These lawyers have a long and proud tradition of representing those that have been injured in any way. They are well versed in the Law and have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of injured parties.

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