To Jonathan S. Damashek, the best part of his job is being able to stand up for people who deserve their day in court.
“I like fighting for the little guy against the large corporate defendants and insurance carriers to help them recover what they lost in their lives,” he says. In this regard, Damashek seeks to recover monetary compensation for his clients that covers their past and future pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost earnings and benefits, and loss of their enjoyment of life.
After graduating from New York Law School in 1997, Damashek started his career at Schneider, Kleinick, Weitz & Damashek, a widely respected personal injury law firm that won billions in verdicts and settlements in New York.
In 2002, he joined Jordan D. Hecht and Judd F. Kleeger, developing a legal practice focusing on catastrophic injury cases. He has since been responsible for numerous seven-figure verdicts and settlements for his clients.
In 2014, he settled a labor law construction accident case for over $9 million dollars involving two brothers who were injured while working at a construction site. In that case, the Echeverria brothers were both struck by a cement block while they were working on the exterior scaffold of a building. One of the brothers, Roilan suffered an amputation to his finger and an injury to his neck which required a cervical fusion surgery. The other brother, Auner suffered injuries to his back, knee and shoulder which all required surgeries.
In another one of his cases, he reached a settlement valued at $8 million on behalf of a three-year-old boy and his family as the result of injuries the child suffered from being burned with hot water in an apartment shower due to a faulty mixing valve.
He settled another case for $4.5 million on behalf of a Verizon worker who sustained back and neck injuries after falling into a sump-pump well due to a faulty well cover.
To Damashek, the key to obtaining outcomes like those is total commitment to each client.
“We strive to get the maximum value on cases, and we prepare every case as if it’s going to trial,” he says. “We’re not preparing a case to settle it; we prepare a case to try it before a judge and a jury. We understand the mechanics of that process.”
Damashek and his partners believe in holding out for the real value of cases and not taking sub-value offers.
“Insurance carriers and defendants know that when we say a case is worth a certain value, that’s the value that we’re looking for if they want to settle the case,” he says.
The real value of a case, he says, is one that will provide for injured clients’ future needs.
“Those are the things we build into our demands so that those who can’t work and those who need future medical care don’t have to worry about where the money’s coming from,” he says.
Damashek’s commitment to his profession extends beyond his own legal practice. He is on the board of directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He was also a member of the Democratic Committee Judicial Screening Panel for Civil Court, a body that interviews potential candidates for Civil Court elections in New York County and makes recommendations on who are best qualified. In addition, he served as the finance committee co-chairman on former Mayor Rudy Giulani’s Council on New Media.
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