The Case: On September 1, 2007, Blake Hunt, a 17-year-old student at Flushing High School, was rendered a quadriplegic after sustaining a paralyzing injury during a football scrimmage. Hunt filed suit against the City of New York, the Department of Education and the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL). His lawyer Barry E. Greenberg says, “Most attorneys would have thought that this was a losing case and that Blake assumed the risks of playing varsity high school football, but after thoroughly investigating the facts it became very clear that Blake simply did not get the proper training.”
In preparing the case, Greenberg conducted extensive discovery and depositions, utilized numerous private investigators and football experts, and researched hundreds of sports-related cases. Over the three years that it took to achieve a recovery, Greenberg met with Hunt every two weeks, because he is attentive to his client’s needs and considers his clients to be the best resource in achieving a successful outcome.
At the time of the trial, Greenberg argued that Hunt was not properly instructed as a result of his not having attended all of the practice sessions that the PSAL requires before a student can participate in a scrimmage against another team. Greenberg contended that because he was inadequately trained, Hunt should not have been allowed to participate in the scrimmage.
The Verdict: Greenberg secured an $8 million settlement for Hunt, and says that the ruling may have a lasting effect on how the PSAL and its football coaches train players for competition.
After graduating from New York Law School in 1980, Barry E. Greenberg went to work as a trial attorney for several firms in the New York area. Quickly he realized that working for other firms would not allow him to provide the sort of personalized client attention that he believes is essential for winning cases.
“I had a lot of trial experience in my first couple of years out of law school, but I decided to go out on my own because I did not like being handed cases shortly before the trial,” Greenberg says. “I wanted to work on my cases from the very beginning and get to know my clients and investigate their cases from day one.”
Greenberg decided early on that victims of serious accidents need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon after their accident as possible in order to fully protect their legal rights. With that in mind, he came up with the idea of “Visiting Lawyers,” a service where either he and/or one of his private investigators will immediately visit with victims of serious accidents and medical malpractice to conduct a thorough investigation. From offices conveniently located in New York City and Long Island, Greenberg is able to meet with clients across the New York metropolitan area.
In addition to his responsiveness, Greenberg has the ability to see the bigger picture in a case. “I do every single part of the process, from the intake of a case through the trial. To be able to have that depth of understanding in a case is a tremendous advantage, because in most firms you are pigeonholed in one area and you miss out on how the pieces go together.”
Though Greenberg has handled thousands of cases over the last 30 years, he makes a point of staying in touch with his former clients. Many of his referrals come from friends and family members of clients whom he has worked with over the years. He notes that these referrals derive from his commitment to client satisfaction. “I am a partner with my clients, and I make sure that they understand the law that applies to their case and the reasons why I am looking for specific information.”
Greenberg says, “My clients will not be shuffled from one attorney or paralegal to another. They will speak to me from the very beginning of their case to the very end of their case.”