$25 Million Settlement for Resort Accident: The Highest Personal Injury Recovery in NJ State History

In what is believed the largest settlement of its kind in New Jersey history, the firm obtained a $25 million recovery on behalf of a client in a personal injury lawsuit against a hotel and resort company.

“There have been larger verdicts, but when it comes to how much a plaintiff recovers, it’s usually much less than the verdict,” a Blume Forte attorney said. “I think it’s the largest recovery for a personal injury claim in the state’s history.”

The firm represented Daniel Schleifman, 42, and his wife, Maria Gonzalez, in their lawsuit against the Parrot Cay hotel at which they were planning to stay during their Caribbean vacation in the Turks & Caicos islands.

But in calm waters on a clear night in March 2000, the resort’s boat taxi crashed into a rocky outcropping, throwing Schleifman into a metal ladder and breaking his back, permanently paralyzing him from the waist down. No one else was injured.

Princeton attorney Michael A. Spero, who represented the hotel, acknowledged the settlement might be the largest in state history, but noted the figure was that high because Schleifman, a Wall Street investment banker with high earnings, had the potential to make even more.

“It’s a basic personal injury case but for the tremendous lost wages claims,” Spero said. “The resort is happy to have put it behind it.”