Amy Ng v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.: Jury Verdict Returned 07-05-2006
     Plaintiff, age 25, alleged negligence against the large retailer as a result of injuries suffered while waiting to cash out at the cash register. Plaintiff claimed that while waiting in line to check out, a large box containing a desk chair fell from the conveyor belt, and struck Plaintiff's hands and wrists. Plaintiff claimed an injury to the left wrist, and after several months of conservative treatment, underwent surgery to the left wrist resulting in a 14% PPD to the left upper extremity. Plaintiff claimed medical specials totalling $17,225.63 and lost wages of $5,980.60 as well as an impairment of earning capacity. Defendant pleaded comparative negligence and argued that Plaintiff's treatment was unrelated to the Wal-Mart accident. After approximately 4 hours of deliberation, the jury found for the Plaintiff and awarded her $2,335.13 in economic damages and $0.00 in non-economic damages. The court did not set aside the verdict nor did it grant an additur.

Rita Peatie v. Wal-Mart Store, Inc.: Jury Verdict Returned 12-07-2006
     Plaintiff, age 60, while standing in the customer service line, was struck in the head, neck and shoulder by a ceiling tile and metal cylinder attached to a vaulted ceiling. Plaintiff alleged negligence against the large retailer claiming that it failed to properly secure the ceiling tile, failed to inspect the ceiling and warn its customers of the ceiling tile which was not secured properly. Plaintiff underwent three surgical procedures to the shoulders and claimed medical specials totalling $32,200.86, a 24% PPD of the left shoulder, and a 13% PPD of the right shoulder. Plaintiff reduced her demand from $300,000.00 to $100,000.00 before trial. The jury, after 2+ hours of deliberation, returned a verdict for the defendant. The case is on appeal currently.

Geraldine Barnes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.: Jury Verdict Returned 01-18-2007
     The Plaintiff, age 69, tripped and fell on the metal plate at the entrance of a cart corral in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart while entering the cart corral to retrieve a shopping cart. The Plaintiff brought an action against Wal-Mart, in negligence, as a result of tripping and falling over the metal plate that keeps the shopping carts from rolling out of the cart corral. The Plaintiff claimed that Wal-Mart was negligent in that the raised metal plate was allowed to remain at the entrance to the cart containment area in a defective condition, failed to take steps to remove the plate, and failed to warn the Plaintiff of the dangerous condition. The Plaintiff introduced evidence that as a result of the fall onto the pavement, she suffered a torn medial meniscus of the left knee, chondromalacia of the left patellofemoral joint and osteoarthritis of the left knee. Plaintiff introduced evidence of an additional surjery to the left knee as well as an arthroscopic decompression of the right shoulder girdle with mini open repair of the right rotator cuff. Plaintiff introduced medical specials of $57,490.47 and was awarded a 10% PPD of the left knee and a 12% PPD of the right shoulder, by treating orthopedic surgeons Dr. Stevens and Dr. Joyce.

The defendant presented evidence that the metal bar at the entrance of the cart corral was not defective. Further, defense medical expert, orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Peter Barnett, testified that Plaintiff's left knee injury was partially due to an underlying degenerative condition in the knee and in part due to the fall at Wal-Mart. Dr. Barnett testified further that the right shoulder injury and subsequent surgery were not related to the fall at Wal-Mart. The Plaintiff demanded $150,000.00 to settle. The jury returned a verdict for the defendant.

John Muller v. Michael G. Economos & Meco Leasing, Inc.: Jury Verdict Returned 05-24-2007
     Plaintiff brought an action in negligence against the defendants, Economos, the driver of a Ford Explorer, and Meco Leasing, Inc. the owner of the vehicle, as a result of injuries he suffered in a head on collision. Plaintiff alleged that on May 8, 2002, he was operating his Porsche convertible northbound on North Main Street in West Hartford, CT when defendant caused his vehicle to collide head on into the Plaintiff's vehicle resulting in $21,825.01 in property damage to the Plaintiff's vehicle. Plaintiff, age 62, claimed an acute cervical spine injury: C7 and C8 spondylotic radiculopathy, cervical nerve root contusion, numbness and tingling in the left arm and fourth and fifth fingers on his left hand, and marked weakness. Plaintiff ultimately underwent a cervical disk replacement surgery in Austria which surgery was causally connected to the injuries suffered in the head on collision by Dr. James Yue of Yale University. Plaintiff claimed $35,401.73 in medical specials. He was rated as having suffered an 18% PPD of the cervical spine after the surgery.

     The defendants admitted that there was a collision: however, the defendant driver, Economos, testified that he blacked out prior to the collision and the next thing he knew, his car was on the curb. Defendants requested a charge of unavoidable accident which the trial court denied giving at first, but ultimately gave as a supplemental charge, after the jury came back seeking direction.

     The plaintiff filed an Offer of Judgment for $750,000.00. Plaintiff agreed to accept $185,000.00 prior to evidence. The jury found for the Plaintiff awarding $3,483.72.

Kayja La Fountain PPA Kicha Foster v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.: Jury Verdict Returned 05-13-2008
     Plaintiff, age 12 at the time of the accident, brought an action, through her mother, Kicha Foster, against Wal-Mart claiming injuries to her left lower extremity as a result of a slip and fall accident which occurred on June 22, 2004. The minor Plaintiff alleged that Wal-Mart was negligent in that it allowed the main aisle floor to be in a dangerous and defective condition by allowing a large spill to remain in the main aisle, by failing to inspect the premises, and by failing to warn patrons of the danger.

     As a result of slipping and falling in a tumbling fashion, the minor Plaintiff sustained an ankle/foot sprain. She treated at the E.R. on the night of the accident and with an orthopedic surgeon who prescribed a Swede-O brace, the use of crutches, and physical therapy. Plaintiff was awarded a 3% permanent impairment of the left foot and ankle by treating orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Fischer in August 2005, approximately 14 months after the accident. In September, 2005, as a result of ongoing complaints, the minor Plaintiff was referred to Dr. Raymond Sullivan, an orthopedic foot and ankle specialist. Dr. Sullivan ordered a CT Scan of the left ankle and found a congenital defect known as a subtalar tarsal coalition which was extremely painful, resulting in the minor Plaintiff undergoing surgery to correct the partial fibrous coalition. As a result of the surgery, Plaintiff began suffering from burning pain in her foot and ankle and was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Distrophy (RSD). The minor Plaintiff began treatment with a pain management specialist, Dr. William Zempsky, who testified that the minor Plaintiff would suffer from RSD for the rest of her life. Plaintiff was awarded a 29% PPD of the left lower extremity by Dr. Sullivan who causally connected the aggravation of the subtalar tarsal coalition, resulting surgery, and RSD to the Wal-Mart accident. The minor Plaintiff introduced past medical specials of $35,795.43 and future medical of approximately $365,000.00, comprised of future treatment for RSD by way of prescriptions for Lyrica, 4 physician visits per year, 20 physical therapy visits per year, and 12 psychological visits per year.

     The defendant, Wal-Mart, produced a former employee who testified that although she did not have a present recollection of the accident, she recalled the minor Plaintiff falling and she thought she was guarding the spill and, she believed she warned the Plaintiff. Further, Dr. Michael Aronow, an orthopedic foot and ankle specialist, testified on behalf of the defendant that the minor Plaintiff suffered an ankle sprain as a result of falling at Wal-Mart: however, the fall at Wal-Mart did not aggravate the subtalar tarsal coalition, instead the subtalar tarsal coalition was a congenital abnormality that was present prior to Plaintiff's fall at Wal-Mart. Plaintiff filed an Offer of Compromise for $900,000.00. The jury returned a verdict for the defendant.

Wilfredo Quinones v. RW Thompson
     The claimant suffered a compensable injury on March 16, 2010. Claimant began receiving benefits on March 23, 2010 and no contest of claim (Form 43) was filed as benefits were due and paid until November 8, 2011. On that date, the Commission approved a Form 36 discontinuing benefits. On February 29, 2012, the Claimant filed a Motion to Preclude the Respondent from denying further benefits claiming preclusion under C.G.S. §31-294c(b) for failure to file a Form 43 within one year of the injury. The Motion was heard at a Formal hearing on April 18, 2012. After the hearing, but before post-trial briefs were filed, the Workers Compensation Trial Commissioner died and the case was assigned to a new Trial Commissioner. An objection was filed, indicating that the new Trial Commissioner did not have authority to request additional evidence and must make a decision on the record as it stood. The new Trial Commissioner held two hearings, asked for additional evidence and eventually denied the Motion to Preclude and an appeal was taken. The Commission Review Board upheld the Finding on appeal. On Appeal to the Connecticut Appellate Court, the Court affirmed the powers of a newly assigned Commissioner upon the death, disability, or resignation of a prior Commissioner. They also denied the Motion to Preclude, indicating that the purpose of the penalty statute, C.G.S. §31-294c(b), is not violated if the Claimant receives all the benefits he was due in a timely manner and no Form 43 disclaimer of benefits is filed within one year of the injury.

Paul Guglielmi v. Willowbrook Condominium Association, Inc - Court entered judgment March 28, 2013; Appellate Decision rendered July 29, 2014.
     In this case, Varunes & Associates, P.C. represented the defendant, Willowbrook Condominium Association, Inc. The Plaintiff, David Babych, was the owner of a condominium unit in Willowbrook in 2007. A second Plaintiff, Paul Guglielmi, occupied the condominium unit from 2007 to 2010, at which time he purchased the unit. The Plaintiffs alleged that a water spigot outside of the unit began leaking into the unit's basement during the summer of 2007, and that mold and damage to the unit was discovered in 2010. The lawsuit was filed in January, 2011. The Plaintiff requested $31,868.45 in money damages for lost property and renovations. After a court trial, judgment entered for the Defendant. The Plaintiff appealed, and the Appellate Court found that the trial court's determination that the actionable harm occurred in the summer of 2007 was not clearly erroneous and affirmed the judgment. 151 Conn. App. 806, 96 A.3d 634.

Ryan Martin v. Edward Field, et al - Jury Verdict Returned August 14, 2015
     In this case, Varunes & Associates, P.C. represented the defendant, Edward Field. The plaintiff, Ryan Martin, a minor at the time of the accident, was a passenger of Richard St. Marie in a motor vehicle traveling westbound on Route 2 and was stopped for a red light. Our client, the Defendant, Edward Field, was traveling westbound on Route 2 and directly behind the Plaintiff's vehicle when Field collided with the rear of St. Marie's vehicle. Martin suffered injuries as a result, including a 6% PPD to his lumbar spine. Field filed an Apportionment Complaint against St. Marie because St. Marie had his vehicle parked at the red light and did not accelerate with the flow of traffic when the light turned green. Martin filed an Offer of Compromise for $50,000 and lowered his demand to $20,000 before trial. Field filed an Offer of Compromise for $8,600.00. The plaintiff had a total of $7,927.51 in medical specials. The jury, after deliberation, awarded the plaintiff a total of $15,327.51 in damages, which included the medical specials and $7,500 in non-economic damages. St. Marie was found to be 10%, which lowered Field's liability for damages to $13,794.76. A stipulated judgment thereafter entered, ordering Field to pay only $9,567.90, after collateral source reduction.

Charles Minitaro v. Kings Highway Realty, LLC - Jury Verdict Returned July 26, 2016 for the defendant, represented by Varunes & Associates, P.C.
     The Plaintiff, age 77 at the time of the incident, filed suit against Kings Highway Realty, LLC as a result of tripping and falling over a protruding root or tree stump in the landscaping island in the Stop & Shop parking lot in Fairfield, CT. The Plaintiff claimed injuries including the need for knee and hip replacements. The Defendant argued that the Plaintiff suffered from serious knee problems before the accident and his need for knee and hip surgeries was not caused by the fall. The Plaintiff used a cane, had a 35% PPD to his left lower extremity, a 30% PPD to the hip, and had incurred over $130,000 in medical specials. The Defendant claimed that the Plaintiff was comparatively negligent as he should not have chosen to cross a non-paved island, but instead should have walked on the paved portion of the parking lot. The Plaintiff made an initial demand of $500,000, which lowered to a demand of $165,000 before trial. At trial, the Defendant produced two expert witnesses who testified that the plaintiff was not injured in this accident and that there were no objective structural injuries sustained by the plaintiff, resulting in the need for total knee and hip replacement surgeries. After forty minutes of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant.

Paul Bellacicco v. Lisa Griffith, et al. - Jury Verdict on Liability Returned January 25, 2017 for the defendant; Appellate Case Dismissed April 5, 2017.
     Varunes & Associates, P.C. represented Lisa Griffith as a defendant. National Freight and truck driver, Freddy Amadour- Berroa, were co-defendants. The Plaintiffs, Paul Bellacicco and Todd Elkins, were each drivers of motor vehicles on Interstate 91 Northbound in Hartford, Connecticut on January 2, 2013 during rush hour when said vehicles were impacted by a third vehicle driven by our client, Lisa Griffith. A fourth involved vehicle, a tractor-trailer, was operated by Freddie Amador-Berroa and was owned by National Freight, Inc. Griffith asserted that Amador-Berroa was the at fault driver and thus responsible to her, Bellacicco, and Elkins for damages. Amador-Berroa denied he was at fault and asserted that it was Griffith who caused the four vehicle accident. Bellacicco and Elkins blamed both Griffith and Amador-Berroa alternatively as being the at fault driver. Bellacicco incurred $26,826.33 in medical specials and a brain injury and accepted an Offer of Compromise in the amount of $50,000 after trial; an Offer of Compromise in the amount of $50,000 from Griffith was declined by Elkins prior to trial. Trial was bifurcated on the issues of liability and damages, and after a trial on liability, our client, Griffith, was found by the jury to be only 20% at fault for the accident, while Amador-Berroa was found to be 80% at fault. The co- defendant, Amador-Berroa, appealed the interlocutory judgment. Our office filed a Motion to Dismiss the appeal due to lack of a final judgment, which was granted by the Appellate Court. The trial on the issue of damages is pending.