NEW BEDFORD, Mass., May 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- On October 9, 2007, Plaintiff Gus Barboza, 42, was injured when two stairs of the fire escape that served as his legal alternate second means of ingress and egress to his efficiency condo collapsed. Mr. Barboza plummeted approximately 15 feet to the ground, where he experienced pain in his legs, neck and back. He was transported to St. Lukes Hospital in New Bedford, where a series of tests and x-rays were taken all of which were negative for any fractures or serious internal injuries. Mr. Barboza, nevertheless continued to experience pain in a number of parts of his body, which he claimed disabled him from his usual work as an auto window tinter. Over the next two years he sought the advice and treated with several chiropractors and physicians, all of whom diagnosed him as only having sustained soft tissue injuries.
In addition, in February 2008, Mr. Barboza sought the help of a physician from the pain clinic in New Bedford who diagnosed him as suffering from Myofascial Pain Syndrome, a disorder of the muscles that is real, though not widely understood. Over the next year and one-half Mr. Barboza underwent an extensive physical therapy program that included physical therapy, weight lifting and aquatic therapy to treat this disorder.
The insurer for Lord Phillip condominiums denied liability and damages and the Plaintiff retained Brian Cunha & Associates to represent him in his claim against the condo association for his injuries.
Attorney Brian Cunha, with the assistance of his managing partner Attorney Nelia DeStefano, were able to learn through discovery that the fire escapes in the condo complex were so rusty and in such poor shape, that the welds that held the stairs to the side supports had rusted away, causing the stairs to Mr. Barboza's unit to collapse. Attorney Brian Cunha also learned that a warning by a state inspector in 2003 (routine inspections of the fire escapes were required) was ignored and little was done to inspect, maintain or repair the fire escapes at the condo complex until after the Plaintiff's 2007 accident.
The most serious area of contention between the parties was the seriousness of the Plaintiff's injuries. The attorneys defending the Condo complex claimed that Mr. Barboza only sustained minor soft tissue injuries; that he should have been back to work within 4-6 weeks; that he was doing push-ups and weight lifting within a month of the accident; that his medical treatment was excessive and unnecessary; that any disability that he may have suffered was minimal and that he was a malingerer.
The case proceeded to trial on April 26, 2011. The Plaintiff was represented by Attorney Brian Cunha and co-counsel Karen Alegria. At the conclusion of a three day trial the jury rendered a verdict in Mr. Barboza's favor, finding that the Condo complex and its trustees were negligent causing Mr. Barboza's injuries and awarded him $120,000.00, which, with interest, will be in excess of $144,000.00.
The key to the success in winning a soft tissue injury case such as this, where there was no objective evidence of any injury, was the testimony of Mr. Barboza and his physician, who were able to convince the jury that Mr. Barboza was truly in pain and disabled due to the Myofascial Pain Syndrome caused by the fall and negligence of Lord Phillip Condominiums. The claims of malingering were soundly rejected by the jury and the jury awarded justice for a true victim.
The Law Offices of Brian Cunha & Associates specializes in personal injury cases and represents clients from all over New England including Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island with three convenient locations in East Providence, Rhode Island, Fall River, Massachusetts and New Bedford, Massachusetts. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, contact Brian Cunha at The Law Offices of Brian Cunha & Associates toll-free 800-322-8300 or click on http://www.briancunha.com.
SOURCE Brian Cunha & Associates