OAS Helps Plaintiff Win $2,442,000 Verdict

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Plaintiff Rolanda Morgan-Word, a junior high school assistant principal, alleged that she was injured in January 2008 while attempting to break up a fight between two students. Her injuries arose from the struggle, which resulted in her either falling into or being pushed into a closet while interceding.


Morgan-Wood claimed that she sustained injuries to her shoulders, including a tear of her right, dominant shoulder’s supraspinatus tendon. She claimed that she suffers permanent residual pain, a permanent residual diminution of each arm’s range of motion, and numbness of each arm. The plaintiff also claimed that she cannot endure prolonged periods in which she is seated or standing and that her residual effects hinder her ability to sleep and prevent her resumption of work. Her claims were supported by evidence in the testimony of Edmond Provder from Occupational Assessment Services a vocational expert and a life care planner, as well as the testimony of her treating physician.

Legal Basis

Morgan-Word sued the defendants, the New York City Department of Education and the New York City Board of Education. The basis of her lawsuit was that the school’s principal negligently failed to provide adequate security, that the principal’s failure resulted in her injuries, and that the New York City Department of Education was vicariously liable for the principal’s actions. Morgan-Wood’s counsel argued that the school’s principal assumed a special duty to protect Morgan-Wood because in 2007 after Morgan-Wood was punched while quelling another fight at the school, the principal assured her additional security would be provided. Morgan-Wood claimed that she requested a transfer to another floor of the school after being punched, but the transfer was denied and the school’s principal reassured her guards and assistant principals would be deployed on her floor to ensure a safe environment. Morgan-Wood claimed that she relied upon the principal’s assurance, but that guards or other principals were not present when the 2008 incident occurred.


The jury found that the New York City Department of Education was liable for the accident. It determined that the school’s principal had assumed a special duty to protect Morgan-Wood. The jury found that Morgan-Wood’s damages totaled $2,442,000. $315,000 of that total is for past lost earnings, $1,750,000 is for future lost earnings, and $377,000 is for past pain and suffering. Morgan-Wood’s vocational expert, responsible for testimony proving past and future lost earnings, was Edmond Provder, owner of Occupational Assessment Services, Inc.


Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. (OAS) is one of the foremost companies providing Vocational Expert services in the United States, and we have assisted in many of the top personal injury cases in New York, New Jersey, and Texas. Contact us at 800-292-1919 to discuss how one of our vocational and life care plan experts can help document damages in your case.