Notable Results

Shelley L. Stangler has a highly successful record of litigating significant, complex matters involving serious injuries and death. A sampling of matters she has handled include:

  • $4 million recovery against a hotel chain who failed to properly design and maintain a swimming pool resulting in oxygen deprivation to 14 year old girl left in a persistent vegetative state requiring lifelong care. A lifeguard was not required by law, leaving visitors with only a sign “no lifeguard on duty.” The winning strategy involved proofs that the pool was deceptively shallow as it was small. There was a quick and steep decline in feet and no marker distinguishing the shallow from the deep end of the pool. The young girl was on vacation with her family with no experience in swimming. There were multiple expert witnesses retained in several medical fields, notably highly credentialed and acknowledged experts in the field of pain, suffering and cognition in the catastrophically injured. The case was tried before a jury for a month before it settled.
  • $2,525,000 for a factory worker who sustained permanent loss of fingers on both hands during maintenance of a machine.
  • $1.5 million recovery in a medical negligence case involving the death of an 18 year old girl while at the hospital. This young girl had ingested drugs and was sent to a psychiatric ward for psychosis where she was treated with heavy doses of drugs indicated for psychiatric patients as opposed to being immediately transferred to a medical floor requiring different care. The young woman died from respiratory arrest which we argued was caused by an overdose and/or failure to monitor the dosages of the various drugs she was given. This case was settled close to trial at mediation.
  • $1.35 million dollar recovery in a civil rights and medical malpractice case involving the use of excessive force by an off-duty police officer on a 27 year old Hispanic male followed by the failure of the hospital and doctor to properly diagnose and treat a developing brain bleed resulting in death. This case involved an appeal regarding liability of EMT personnel who failed to note the critical symptom of vomiting on an ambulance report. Although there is a statute prohibiting, or immunizing Emergency Medical Technicians from being sued, the appellate court found that this law did not apply to the failure to disclose critical symptoms. We prevailed and made new law on behalf of consumers and members of the public who suffer injury as a result of preventable negligence. The medical malpractice portion of the case was tried to a jury with a settlement after summation. De Tarquino v. City of Jersey City, 352 N.J. Super 450 (App. Div. 2002)
  • A confidential recovery against a major automobile manufacturer and a trucking company for ejection and death during a rollover; this case involved 6 years of litigation with massive document review and several successful applications to the Court to force disclosure of documents relating to dangerous and unsafe seat belts
  • $825,000 to four African- American plaintiffs alleging race-based employment discrimination against a sanitation company. In this case, the immediate supervisor was alleged to have made racial slurs on a regular basis as well as giving less desirable jobs to the African-American employees.
  • $800,000 recovery in a wrongful death case arising out of an automobile accident.
  • $750,000 recovery against a general contractor for the failure to follow OSHA fall protection guidelines in the workplace resulting in severe cognitive deficits and partial right sided paralysis to a roofer.
  • $732,500 for negligent security in a parking lot with an assault by a criminal resulting in the loss of an eye. It was significant that Ms. Stangler was able to prevail against a contractor retained by the government who owned the lot despite laws protecting this contractor from a lawsuit or liability from the failure to protect against a crime.
  • $600,000 recovery for truck driver in a trucking accident requiring 4 surgeries to his leg.
  • $575,000 recovery was awarded to a client against the manufacturer, maintenance company and designer of a large conveyor belt system for the failure to design and maintain guards.The worker had his arm mangled in unguarded rollers as a result.
  • $500,000 recovery to pedestrian hit by a vehicle sustaining fractures to the hip and leg requiring several surgical procedures.
  • $500,000 in a jail suicide case. The 38 year old male father had been the subject of a police chase on a mistaken identity. We proved, through our expert witnesses and development of the evidence, that there were several failures by the government from the time of the chase through suicide in the jail cell with a belt, including the failure to take the man for psychological treatment at a hospital, despite known signs of severe emotional distress; failure to properly search resulting in leaving a belt on the person of the deceased in violation of policy; and failing to make the required rounds of monitoring, any or all of which would have prevented the death. The beneficiaries of the settlement were the four (4) children of our client.
  • $450,000 recovery which was also against a conveyor belt manufacturer and maintenance company for failure to properly inspect and repair the belts, resulting in severe injury to the worker’s arm requiring several surgeries.
  • $450,000 death case involving the use of excessive force. Here the 27 year old intoxicated male was stopped by the police. The police officer shot and killed our client after being locked in the car trying to disable the car with the young man taking off in the vehicle with the police officer. We proved that through a series of police errors in the handling and de-escalation of the situation, including violation of policy and training protocols, the shooting could have and should have been prevented. It is noted that this was considered an extremely difficult case to pursue with several attorney unwilling to undertake representation. Shelley Stangler obtained a highly successful result by understanding and focusing on violations of police policy and lack of training.
  • $350,000 recovery for the estate of a man in a medical negligence case involving the failure to properly treat alcohol withdrawal.
  • $300,000 recovery against a landlord who failed to notify parents of their right to have window guards installed resulting in child falling out of window suffering fractured skull and loss of hearing.
  • $250,000 recovery against a transit bus company who make a right turn hitting my client, a pedestrian, who suffered a fractured ankle requiring surgery.
  • $250,000 excessive force on a college student thrown to the ground with great force by a police officer fracturing his shoulder after being escorted from a bar.
  • $200,000 excessive force on a 60 year old real estate broker who came to the aid of his daughter during a motor vehicle stop who was thrown against the hood of the police car and then taken to the ground after telling the officer that he was harassing the daughter. The police countered that our client was obstructing justice and resisting arrest.
  • $180,000 against a casino operator for failure to properly maintain steps resulting in fractured ankle requiring surgery.
  • $150,000 excessive force on a man eluding the police during a chase who had gotten out of his vehicle and was pounced upon and beaten by the police causing a fractured hip. The police countered that our client was resisting arrest and required to be subdued.
  • $135,000 to an African American who was subjected to racial slurs at his place of employment.
  • $100,000 against a major hardware chain for failing to properly unpack and display merchandise resulting in nerve injury to hand and wrist.
  • $94,500 for worker compensation claim involving fall from a ladder and partially torn rotator cuff (shoulder injury).
  • $80,000 awarded by a jury in an automobile accident case which had no offer to settle prior to trial. Plaintiff had to meet the hurdle of the “verbal threshold,” meaning that the jury had to find a permanent injury.
  • Reinstatement of student expelled from Physician Assistant program at a major university on charges of failing to show up for rotations and taking time off without permission with $75,000 monetary recovery; this matter involved extensive legal briefing and motion practice in federal court.
  • Expungement of long term suspension by high school student charged with trespassing and causing significant property damage to school property; this matter involved filing a petition and litigating before the N.J Department of Education, Bureau of Controversies & Disputes.
  • Won a significant appeal making new law regarding the interpretation of a statute prohibiting people from bringing suit against emergency medical technicians. The Appellate Court found that where EMTs file negligent reports which fail to disclose important symptoms of injury, they can be found liable for their conduct. Tarquino v City of Jersey City, Hudson County, Docket No: 97-2320; on appeal Docket No: a-002142-01T3.
  • A confidential recovery against a major automobile manufacturer and a trucking company for ejection and death during a rollover; this case involved 6 years of litigation with massive document review and several successful applications to the Court to force disclosure of documents relating to dangerous and unsafe seat belts.
  • Successful outcomes for learning disabled children with auditory processing disorders, severe allergies, enzyme deficiencies, cerebral palsy and autism in implementing and enforcing Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and in obtaining Section 504 health plans for elementary and secondary school students.
  • Reinstatement of 3rd year Honors medical student expelled on charges of cheating.
  • Won a significant legal ruling interpreting a United States Supreme Court decision on the issue of whether a consumer can bring suit for a defective automobile where the manufacturer has met all federal government regulations (preemption); the Court ruled that plaintiff could proceed. Estate of Gregorio v. General Motors, United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Civ. No: 97-4984.
  • Home programming for autistic student. Our firm obtained a successful settlement in a case involving the need for a continued home program for a severely autistic student. This case was tried to conclusion before an administrative judge and was settled prior to a final determination by the court. Our clients received a significant payout from the School District which provided for continued home schooling with the providers of the parent’s choice.

Our Practice Areas

Civil Rights Litigation

Police Misconduct
Personal Injury
Employment Discrimination
Education Law

Defective Products