This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Scott Occhiogrosso of Block, O'Toole, and Murphy (www.blockotoole.com).
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Brooklyn Gang Unit prosecutor turned personal injury attorney Scott Occhiogrosso of Block O’Toole & Murphy discusses how he secured the largest non-medical malpractice jury verdict in New York history. In April 2016, 23-year-old bicyclist Robert Liciaga was struck by a falling railroad tie after New York City Transit Authority workers failed to follow procedure and practice safety measures while executing an elevated track replacement above Broadway. Liciaga is now paralyzed from the waist down.
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Scott Occhiogrosso is a partner at Block O’Toole & Murphy, having handled many very significant construction accident cases as well as other catastrophic injury matters that have resulted in multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for our clients. In April 2019, he won a $110,174,972.38 verdict from a Brooklyn jury for a catastrophically-injured cyclist against the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA). This result is believed to be the largest non-medical malpractice verdict in New York State.
After graduating from law school, Mr. Occhiogrosso - - like several of his colleagues at the firm - - began his training as a trial lawyer in the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office. He handled thousands of serious cases and spent his days navigating the gritty, cavernous courtrooms in downtown Brooklyn. He had occasion to work side-by-side with now firm partners Stephen J. Murphy and S. Joseph Donahue and made a distinct impression on them while he honed his skills as a prosecutor. Mr. Occhiogrosso was recognized for his tenacity and skills, resulting in a promotion to the prestigious Brooklyn Gang Unit. While with the Gang Unit, Mr. Occhiogrosso focused on prosecuting criminals that were involved in violent crimes and gang-related activities. He handled cases involving drug, robbery, burglary, assault, attempted murder and murder charges and did so with tremendous success. It was at the District Attorney's Office where Mr. Occhiogrosso developed a reputation for being an ethical but formidable adversary. Most importantly, his experiences solidified his desire as a lawyer to impact people in a positive way. He left the District Attorney's Office in 2005 determined to advance his skills and experience as a trial attorney, beginning as a defense attorney in the civil arena for the Port Authority. Mr. Occhiogrosso fought on behalf of police officers and other Port Authority employees, successfully defending hundreds of multi-million dollar cases through trial and settlement. He continued to gain valuable courtroom experience while learning the nuances of civil practice. In 2010, he left the Port Authority and joined a well respected, boutique plaintiff personal injury practice, continuing his career as a New York City trial attorney. In his brief but invaluable tenure with that firm, among other successes, he obtained a jury verdict of $5.5 Million in a fiercely contested medical malpractice case against a seasoned adversary in Manhattan.
In 2013, Scott joined Jeffrey A. Block, Daniel P. O'Toole, Stephen J. Murphy, and S. Joseph Donohue in being selected by his peers as a New York Super Lawyer, signifying that he is among the top 5% of attorneys in the field of plaintiff's personal injury law.
Mr. Occhiogrosso is fluent in both Spanish and English. He lectures about worker safety and legal rights to Spanish-speaking laborers in New York.
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