As the founders of Ronai & Ronai, LLP, Holly Ostrov Ronai and her husband Peter Ronai strive to make a difference for plaintiffs in personal injury cases. For 18 years they have exclusively represented injured people and their families, achieving significant results in high-profile cases.
In 2012, Ronai & Ronai, LLP secured a $17 million settlement in a wrongful death case involving two Hungarian students who were killed in a 2010 duck boat crash along the Delaware River. “We became very close with the parents we represented in that case, which is characteristic of our firm,” Holly says. “I have clients with whom I’m still in touch a decade after their cases ended. Our clients are really like family to us.”
Recently, the firm filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the New York City Police Department on behalf of a young man whose dirt bike was purposely rammed from behind by a police car in the Bronx, seriously injuring him and killing his best friend. The entire incident was caught on videotape, which was aired on various news programs and appeared all over the internet. In addition, they are representing the real-life victim of the kidnapping/torture depicted in the movie “Pain & Gain,” for defamation and unauthorized use of his likeness against various well-known Hollywood producers, directors and others.
“After doing this for over 18 years, we don’t take cases just to make money for our firm—we want to make a real difference for our clients and try to make them as close to whole again as possible,” says Holly.
Both attorneys have focused on plaintiffs’ personal injury throughout their careers, though Holly notes that being a woman and working in this area of the law has presented some challenges. “The field of personal injury on the whole is predominantly male,” she says. “It’s not unusual for me to be up against four or five male defense attorneys. In the beginning they would underestimate me, but now they know who I am and that I am tougher than any male attorney out there.”
Today, Holly is a member of the elite Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forums, the top trial lawyers in America, and was selected for New York Metro Super Lawyers 2013. Still, she hasn’t forgotten where she came from: “I’m just a girl from Queens who put herself through law school and I never forget that,” she says, “which is why my work on behalf of accident victims is solely about helping people who don’t have power or money and need a strong voice.”