Bergen County Courthouse, Hackensack, NJ/Credit: Wikimedia

In Danja Invest Corp. v. Zaytsev, a Bergen County judge rendered a $1.168 million judgment on May 17 in favor of a Belize-based company that sought to collect on a promissory note.

Danja Invest Corp. sued Eduard Zaytsev of Cresskill after he defaulted on a loan that he took out to pay for a real estate investment, said Michael Epstein, the lawyer representing the plaintiff. Superior Court Judge James DeLuca of Bergen County Superior Court issued the award for $1.168 million following a two-day bench trial.

According to the suit, Zaytsev borrowed $950,000 from Danja in 2013 under a mortgage agreement that was secured by his home, with the understanding that he would use the funds to buy another property to renovate and flip, according to Epstein.

Two years later, Zaytsev had not repaid any of the loan, and never bought an investment property, the suit claimed. The parties agreed to discharge the mortgage in exchange for a promissory note with accrued interest, with the note due in one week. After Zaytsev failed to pay the note, Danja filed suit, Epstein said.

At trial, Zaytsev contended that the loan proceeds he received represented the payoff of money that Danja’s principal owed him from a business deal in Russia, but DeLuca reviewed that claim and found it lacked credibility, according to Epstein.

The judgment amount represents the original principal plus interest of 5 percent through the trial, he said.

Epstein is with the Epstein Law Firm in Rochelle Park.

The lawyer for Zaytsev, Ilya Novofastovsky of Novo Law Firm in New York, did not return a call about the case.

— Charles Toutant

$1M in Fatal Med Mal Case

Harris v. Frankel: The family of a 45-year-old Englewood man who died of a pulmonary embolism seven days after undergoing bariatric surgery has received $1 million as compensation.

The family of the man, Willie Harris, agreed to the settlement with Conventus Inter-Insurance Exchange, the carrier for the sole defendant, Dr. Zev Frankel, on March 23, as a Bergen County Superior Court jury was deliberating over the case, said the family’s attorney, Daryl Zaslow.

The family received its settlement funds on May 1, said Zaslow, of Edison’s Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow.

Judge John O’Dwyer had been presiding over the trial. Thomas Ronaldi, of Zaslow’s firm, assisted with the trial.

Harris went to Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck on April 3, 2013, for the laparoscopic repair of a lap-band, and for the repair of a hernia, which was caused by the lap-band slipping, Zaslow said. The lap-band was originally inserted in 2004.

Although the surgery was successful, three days later, as Harris was preparing to be discharged, he developed atrial fibrillation, and subsequent tests confirmed he had sustained a deep vein thrombosis and a pulmonary embolism, Zaslow said.

Frankel, a cardiologist, was brought in to help treat the thrombosis and embolism, Zaslow said.

Frankel treated Harris with therapeutic anticoagulation, in the form of Xarelto. Despite this treatment, Harris died from a massive pulmonary embolism on April 10, 2013, as he was attempting to leave the hospital, Zaslow said.

The medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that Frankel deviated from the accepted standards of care by choosing not to call in a vascular surgeon to implant an inferior vena cava filter. An IVC filter is a small, cone-shaped device that is placed in the inferior vena cava, the largest vein in the human body, and is designed to act as a safety net by preventing large clots that break apart from a deep vein thrombosis from reaching the heart and lungs, Zaslow said.

The lawsuit alleged that an IVC filter was required, as the deep vein thrombosis Harris had was “free floating,” and because his lungs were already vulnerable from the prior pulmonary emboli he had sustained, Zaslow said.

Frankel had denied any liability.

Harris was survived by a 50-year-old wife and two sons, ages 16 and 13.

Conventus retained Sean Buckley. Frankel was represented at trial by of Buckley Theroux Kline & Petraske in Princeton. He confirmed the amount of the settlement.

— Michael Booth

$765K Verdict For Parking Lot Slip

Gavigan v. Sweeney Landscaping: A Ringoes woman has received $764,893 as compensation for injuries sustained when she slipped and fell on any icy sidewalk at her workplace.

Plaintiff Frances Gavigan, 65, received her damages award on April 6. A Somerset County Superior Court jury awarded the damages to Gavigan on Feb. 23, after a two-week trial presided over by Judge Edward Coleman, said one of Gavigan’s attorneys, Andrew Fraser.

Gavigan was injured on Feb. 12, 2013, said Fraser, of Laddey Clark & Ryan in Sparta. She slipped and fell on any icy sidewalk at her office at Valeant Pharmaceuticals in Bridgewater, Fraser said. Defendant Sweeney Landscaping had failed to reapply salt for 13 hours after the original salt had washed away following a thaw and rainstorm, Fraser said.

As a result of the fall, Gavigan fractured her right ankle, causing a ligament and nerve to be separated from the bone, which required surgery to repair. The ankle subsequently became infected, and Gavigan was required to undergo 28 debridement procedures to remove dead tissue, Fraser said.

During the trial, Sweeney Landscaping maintained it was not liable because the accident occurred after normal working hours, and it was not obligated to salt the walkways at that time, Fraser said.

Tiffany Heineman of Laddey Clark also represented Gavigan.

Sweeney’s carrier, Selective Insurance Co., retained Richard Williams Jr. of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulaney & Caprtenter. He declined to comment. Michael Marone of the same firm also participated in the representation of Sweeney Landscaping.

— Michael Booth