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Stephen Murphy

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Personal Injury Attorney in New York, NY

Block O'Toole & Murphy, LLP
1 Penn Plaza, Suite 5315
New York, NY 10119
Phone: 212-736-5300
Fax: 646-825-4032
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2011 - 2022
Licensed in New York Since: 1998
Practice Areas: Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff, Construction Litigation: Consumer, Workers' Compensation: Claimant
  • Free Consultation
Attorney Profile

Stephen J. Murphy joined Block O’Toole & Murphy in 2005 and became a partner at the firm in 2008. Before joining the firm, he began his career working as a homicide prosecutor for the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office. He honed his skills in the criminal courtrooms in Brooklyn, prosecuting violent crimes and earning a reputation from the judiciary and his colleagues as a tough but fair prosecutor. Mr. Murphy is best known for his work in the courtroom. Currently, he handles a variety of personal injury cases but focuses on serious construction accidents and catastrophic injury trial work.

Mr. Murphy's hard work and skill in the courtroom have earned him many accolades and respect from his colleagues, opponents, and judges. Most recently, Mr. Murphy was named “2022 New York City Lawyer of the Year” for the category of Plaintiff Personal Injury Litigation by Best Lawyers Magazine. 

Mr. Murphy has been described on Z100 Radio as a "legendary trial lawyer." He has been featured on Fox News Radio as one of "America's Premier Trial Lawyers" and was described in The New York Times as one of the "Top Attorneys in New York." He has regularly appeared on local and national media platforms as an expert commentator on civil and criminal cases and issues.

Mr. Murphy has only spent 16 years in civil practice, but he has already garnered extremely impressive results for his clients. He regularly obtains verdicts and settlements that exceed $1 million. In the past 16 years, he has attained over $400,000,000 in results for his clients, and averaged well over $40,000,000 in settlements every year since 2013. Below are a few of Mr. Murphy’s standout results. 

2021: Top Three Construction Accident Results in New York State

Mr. Murphy’s commitment to fight for hardworking, injured women and men in New York was evident in 2020 and 2021 when VerdictSearch recognized his efforts in their annual publication on top verdicts and settlements. Mr. Murphy was the lead attorney on the top three construction accident results in the entire Northeast.

2016: Three of the Top Five Largest Results in New York State

Mr. Murphy was the lead trial lawyer on the second ($9,975,000), third ($7,400,000) and fifth ($5,500,000) largest settlements in New York State in 2016, according to the New York Law Journal and the Jury Verdict Reporter. Mr. Murphy had more reported million dollar results in 2016 than any other attorney in New York.

“The Good Samaritan Case”

Mr. Murphy, along with fellow partner Daniel O'Toole, persuaded a Suffolk County jury to award a record-setting verdict of $32,756,156 to a 60-year-old veteran who was severely injured by an intoxicated driver in a traumatic brain injury case. The verdict is the largest negligence verdict ever in Long Island. In addition, the result was also recognized by the New York Law Journal as the second highest negligence verdict in New York State in 2007 and one of the top 100 verdicts that year for the entire United States. 

A few other notable results of Mr. Murphy’s include:

  • $15,500,000 settlement for a client who sustained a traumatic brain injury 
  • $9,950,000 for a young woman who suffered an above-the-knee amputation after being struck by a van 
  • $7,500,000 from the City of New York in a pedestrian accident case

Mr. Murphy has long been a fierce advocate on behalf of construction workers and their families. Some of the below results illustrate his commitment to obtaining well-deserved compensation for hard-working folks who have been hurt while trying to do their jobs.

  • Mr. Murphy persuaded an insurance company to pay his client, a union sheet metal worker, $7,400,000 for back injuries he sustained in a construction site fall 
  • In a wrongful death case, Mr. Murphy recovered $7,200,000 for the family of a man who died in an elevator fall while he was working  
  • In 2021, he successfully settled a case for $6,000,000 on behalf of a crane operator who fell on the job and sustained spine injuries
  • He fought and recovered $5,500,000 for an injured electrician who sustained a brain injury after falling from an extension ladder 

Other Expertise and Experience

Mr. Murphy served as an adjunct professor of law for nine years at St. John's University School of Law. He taught students about trial advocacy and lectured on criminal and civil trial practice and evidence. He also served as an instructor for the school’s nationally regarded trial advocacy program. His students won national championships in trial competitions for a majority of the years Mr. Murphy was involved. In 2014, the St. John's School of Law honored Mr. Murphy with the P.T.A.I. Alumni Excellence Award.

Mr. Murphy has shared his legal expertise in various media and publications. He has  appeared on Court TV, Z100 Radio, Fox Radio and Sirius/XM Satellite Radio as a guest host offering expert legal commentary. His work has been featured in The New York Times, New York Post, Newsday and New York Daily News. Mr. Murphy has also been published in The New York Law Journal for a series of columns that he co-authored with colleague David Scher concerning the laws that apply to construction accidents.

Mr. Murphy is a proud member of the St. Jude Children's Hospital fundraising team, helping raise well over $4,000,000 for this worthy cause. In 2019, he received the “Chairperson of the Year'' award from St. Jude Children’s Hospital. He is also a dedicated supporter of the Frances Pope Memorial Foundation, an important charity that assists families with a child that has been diagnosed with a pediatric disease such as leukemia or cancer. 

Honors and Awards

  • Recipient of Best Lawyers “2022 New York City Lawyer of the Year” Award for all Plaintiff Personal Injury Lawyers in New York City
  • New York Super Lawyer, recognizing him as one of the top 5% of lawyers in the New York Metropolitan area, 2010 - 2022
  • The National Trial Lawyer honored him as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in New York State, for the past 13 years
  • Named to the “Best Lawyers in America” list, 2013-2022
  • Named to the Irish Legal 100, which recognizes the top Irish American lawyers in the United States, 2013-2016
  • Recipient of the St. John's School of Law 2014 P.T.A.I. Alumni Excellence Award
  • Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, 2008-Present
  • Recipient of the Frances Pope Memorial Foundation “Man of the Year” Award, 2010
  • Named “Volunteer of the Quarter” in 2014 by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
  • Honoree, Brehon Law Society, 2015

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • New York State Trial Lawyers Association, Board of Directors, 2008 - 2017
  • New York State Trial Lawyers Association Partnership for Justice, Past Co-Chairman
  • New York State Trial Lawyers Association, Member, Labor Law Committee, 2012 - Present
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Brooklyn Manhattan Trial Lawyers Association, Past President
  • The Brehon Law Society, Member
  • New York County Democratic Judicial Screening Panel, Panelist, 2012
  • Kings County Democratic Judicial Screening Panel, Panelist, 2015
Practice Areas
  • 40%Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff
  • 50%Construction Litigation: Consumer
  • 10%Workers' Compensation: Claimant
Focus Areas

Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury - Plaintiff, Slip and Fall, Wrongful Death, Construction Accident, Brain Injury, Trucking Accidents, Premises Liability - Plaintiff, Construction Defects

Selections

12 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2011 - 2022

Articles about Stephen Murphy appearing in Super Lawyers

About Stephen Murphy

First Admitted: 1998, New York

Professional Webpage: https://www.blockotoole.com/attorneys/stephen-j-murphy/

Honors/Awards

  • One of the top 5% of lawyers practicing in his field, has been recognized by 'The National Trial Lawyer' in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
  • Recipient Several Academic Honors, St. John's University School of Law
  • Magna Cum Laude, St. John's University School of Law
  • One of the top 100 trial lawyers and was featured in 'The New York Times' as one of the "Top Attorneys in New York
  • In 2010, The Frances Pope Memorial Foundation honored Stephen J. Murphy for His Extraordinary Commitment To Children & Their Families Who Endure Catastrophic Challenges. The mission of The Frances Pope Memorial Foundation is to assist families caring for children with cancer by helping to pay some of the expenses NOT covered by insurance., Frances Pope Memorial Foundation Man of The Year., 2010
  • Ranked in the Top 3% of His Class, St. John's University School of Law

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Proud Member, St. Jude Children's Hospital fundraising team
  • Youngest Member of the District Attorney's Office's Homicide Bureau
  • Dedicated supporter of the Frances Pope Memorial Foundation

Verdicts/Settlements

  • $1,250,000 Settlement in a Manhattan case for a mother and son in a suit against the City for spine and knee injuries sustained in a collision with a N.Y.P.D. vehicle
  • $1,475,000 Settlement for a hospital employee that was injured on the job
  • $15,500,000 Settlement for an injured client in a pedestrian knockdown case
  • $2,150,000 Settlement for a female auto accident victim in Nassau County that sustained a femur and heel fracture.
  • $1,350,000 Settlement before trial on a trucking accident in Queens County
  • $3,925,000 Settlement for a "good samaritan" that was injured while trying to help a truck driver that was stuck on a railroad crossing. The truck and the plaintiff were hit by a L.I.R.R. locomotive
  • $3,000,000 Settlement for a man that sustained orthopedic injuries after being struck by a tractor trailer
  • $2,005,000 Settlement in a "reckless disregard" case against an ambulance company
  • $1,325,000 Settlement just before trial for a carpenter at a construction project who fell from a ladder that was on top of a rolling scaffold, sustaining lower back and knee injuries
  • $1,200,000 Settlement for a laborer that lost the tips of four toes in a construction site accident
  • $1,941,000 Jury Verdict in a spine surgery case in Kings County
  • $1,250,000 Settlement just before summations in a Bronx trial on behalf of a bicycle messenger that sustained leg and knee injuries in an accident
  • $1,050,000 Settlement for a Queens woman that sustained a neck injury in a motor vehicle collision
  • $1,750,000 Settlement for a undocumented worker that lived in Queens for back injuries sustained in a construction accident
  • $1,250,000 Settlement in a Suffolk County case for a carpenter that sustained a neck injury after falling from a ladder
  • $1,200,000 for a 50 Year-Old female that aggravated a prior neck injury in an auto accident
  • $1,490,000 for a 44 year old man that was injured in a collision with a bus
  • $2,250,000 Settlement just before trial for an injured coca-cola worker that sustained a back injury while making a delivery at a prominent French restaurant
  • $8,800,000 settlement for a grandmother who sustained a head injury requiring surgery.  The victim was walking to pick up her grandsons at school when two cars collided at an intersection controlled by stop signs.  One of the stop signs was partially obstructed by a tree branch and caused the driver to miss the sign.  After the collision, one of the vehicles was propelled on to the sidewalk and crashed into the plaintiff.  Plaintiff brought suit against the operators of both vehicles as well as The City of New York.  The City contributed $7,500,000 of the settlment. The other two vehicles contributed the entire $1,300,000 of the available insurance policies., 2013
  • $1,400,000 Settlement in Queens just before summations for an injured carpenter that lost the tips of his fingers in a construction accident
  • $5,500,000 Settlement just before jury selection for an injured electrician that sustained a traumatic brain injury after falling from an extension ladder
  • $3,100,000 Settlement for a plumber that sustained spine injuries while working in a trench at a construction site
  • $1,500,000 Settlement in a case against The City of New York for a 57 Year-Old woman that sustained back and leg injuries after being knocked down by an unmarked police car while crossing the street.
  • $2,200,000 Settlement just before trial for an injured sanitation worker that sustained a fractured leg while working that required surgery and a skin graft
  • $1,350,000 Settlement on the eve of trial for a construction laborer that fell off a roof, fracturing his arm and a bone in his pelvis. The trial was venued in Rockland County
  • $1,200,000 Settlement in a Suffolk County case where a driver was struck by another driver that was charged with Driving While Intoxicated (VTL ?1192(2)
  • $2,000,000 Settlement in a case against The City of New York for a client that required spine surgery
  • $1,250,000 (the entire insurance amounts) for a woman that aggravated a prior spine injury requiring surgery
  • $1,150,000 Settlement for a laborer that sustained a facial laceration while working with an unsafe saw
  • $1,750,000 Settlement for a Suffolk County woman that sustained a back injury in an accident with a bus
  • $1,000,000 Settlement following a Jury Verdict in the Bronx for a 14 year-old that had arthroscopic knee surgery after an accident
  • $1,175,000 Settlement on the eve of trial for a woman with long standing and preexisting cervical herniations. The victim was struck by unsafely stacked products in a large supermarket
  • $1,500,000 Settlement in a case against The City of New York for a 57 Year-Old woman that sustained back and leg injuries after being knocked down by an unmarked police car while crossing the street
  • $2,250,000 Settlement during trial for a laborer that sustained a lower back injury requiring surgery
  • $1,000,000 Settlement (the entire insurance policy) for a 36 year-old man that sustained lung damage during a fire that took place in his apartment. The suit was brought against the landlord for illegally removing the fire escape 4 months before the fire occurred
  • $1,450,000 and $924,000 Settlements in two concurrent causation cases in Queens County
  • $5,585,000 Jury Verdict in Queens County for a 35 year-old undocumented worker that sustained back and wrist injuries requiring surgery
  • $1,950,000 for a Female That Sustained Spine Damage in a Premises Accident.
  • $32,756,156 Jury Verdict in Suffolk County for a 60 year-old man that sustained a traumatic brain injury
  • $1,350,000 Settlement for a Construction Laborer that had two tips of his fingers from his dominant hand amputated in a construction site accident
  • $3,231,000 Settlement against a Bronx slumlord on behalf of an infant that was burned with hot water while bathing in her home
  • $1,220,000 Settlement for a truck driver that sustained an elbow injury and aggravated a long-standing back injury just before trial in a Nassau County tractor trailer accident
  • $2,000,000 Settlement for an injured client that sustained non-surgical spine injuries in a elevator accident
  • $1,300,000 Settlement for a Brooklyn bicyclist whose prior neck and back injuries were aggravated after being struck by a van
  • $1,200,000 for a 54 Year-Old female in Nassau County that exacerbated neck and back injuries requiring surgery
  • $1,823,000 Jury Verdict in a non-surgical disc bulge case in Kings County. His client, a surgeon, missed a total of one day of work
  • $1,000,000 Settlement for a Suffolk County female that underwent a neck surgery after a motor vehicle accident
  • $1,100,000 Settlement during trial for a female laborer that sustained a back injury in a construction accident
  • $1,650,000 Settlement for a family in a wrongful death action due to the negligence of a building owner in a deadly fire
  • $2,750,000 Settlement for a 57 Year-Old female pedestrian that sustained a neck injury after being struck by a van

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Member, Board of Directors, New York State Trial Lawyers Association, 2008 - Present
  • Board of Directors, Member- Tuesday’s Children
  • Past Co-Chairman, New York State Trial Lawyers Association Partnership for Justice
  • Member, Brehon Law Society, 2008 - Present
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
  • New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
  • New York
  • Past-President, Brooklyn Manhattan Trial Lawyers Association, 2007 - Present
  • Panelist, New York County Democratic Judicial Screening Panel

Videos

  • On March 13, 2004, at 4:30 PM, Jimmy Dunne, a Vietnam Veteran, retired railroad conductor and American Legion Commander, and his wife were returning from a birthday party, when they witnessed and stopped to help the victims of a three-car crash in the small town of Port Jefferson Station, New York. Jimmy offered help because he was a Good Samaritan, and he knew CPR. While Jimmy gave his statement to police officers, a brand new Subaru driven by Lisa Lloyd crashed into the police barricades and slammed into Jimmy. Lisa kept going, with Jimmy’s head smashed into the windshield, until the fire chief ran alongside her car, dove through the window and threw the car into park. Jimmy was catapulted 30 feet into the air, landing on his head and changing his life forever in that split moment. Jimmy’s head was fractured in two places, and he suffered a brain hemorrhage. He plunged into a coma for a month and required brain surgery to treat his injuries. He now requires round-the-clock nursing care due to his injuries. Lisa Lloyd later pleaded guilty to second-degree assault while driving a car while impaired by drugs. Today, the Insider Exclusive will show you Jimmy Dunne’s truly courageous struggle to recovery; and how Stephen Murphy, former top homicide prosecutor for the Brooklyn DA’s office, and Daniel O’Toole, partners at the law firm of Block O’Toole & Murphy got Jimmy justice with a record judgment of $32.7 million, the largest non-medical malpractice personal injury award in Long Island history., The Good Samaritan: The Jimmy Dunne Story

Educational Background

  • Johns Hopkins University, B.A. in Political Science, 1994

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Can Injured, Undocumented Construction Workers Recover Lost Wages?The New York Law JournalOn February 22, 2010, the New York Law Journal featured an article by two of Block O'Toole & Murphy's construction accident attorneys: Stephen J. Murphy and David L. Scher. The central question of the piece is whether undocumented construction workers have the right to recover lost earnings resulting from injuries on the job. As they put it, "If a worker has obtained employment without documentation, a violation of the law, should he be able to recover lost wages after he is hurt on the job?" Both experienced construction accident attorneys, Murphy and Scher begin by discussing a 2006 decision by the New York Court of Appeals, Balbuena v. IDR Realty LLC, a landmark which held that undocumented construction workers may be entitled to recover lost earnings as a result of workplace injuries. After reviewing the differences between the Balbuena decision and a U.S. Supreme Court Decision, Hoffman Plastic Compounds Inc. v. NRLB, Murphy and Scher proceed to a decision by the Appellate Division, Second Department (Coque v. Wildflower Estates Developers Inc.), which concluded: "Where an employer violated the IRCA in hiring an employee, such as by failing to properly verify the employee's eligibility for work, the employee is not precluded, by virtue of his submission of a fraudulent documentation to the employer, from recovering damages for lost wages as a result of a workplace accident." A similar decision was made the by the First Department in Macedo v. J.D. Posillico Inc., holding that the worker's lost earning was not forfeited by submitting a fraudulent social security card because the employer failed to comply with its employment verification obligations in good faith. Murphy and Scher note that "the principles established in Balbuena have even been applied to prevent certain defendants from inquiring about an injured construction worker's immigration status." This was the case in a 2007 New York Supreme Court case, Gomez v. F&T Int'l (Flushing, NY), in which the employer failed to verify the immigration status of two demolition workers, a violation of the IRCA. The court, punishing the company for its apparent practice of intentionally hiring undocumented workers, denied a motion to compel further deposition regarding the immigration status of the injured workers. While it may first appear that the Balbuena decision struck a blow against the IRCA by "rewarding" undocumented workers, the Court was persuaded that "limiting the lost wage claims would increase employment levels of undocumented aliens." This, in turn, would make it "more financially attractive" to hire undocumented workers, thereby thwarting the purpose of the IRCA. In conclusion, Murphy and Scher note that federal legislative changes, such as making it a crime to work without documentation, would have a dramatic impact on the law, compromising a major underpinning of Balbuena. The final irony, they note, is that "stricter federal immigration laws could encourage further hiring of undocumented aliens, leading to less safe work environments and more injuries, because subsequent injury claims would become far less valuable, absent lost earnings components.", Author, Can Injured, Undocumented Construction Workers Recover Lost Wages?, The New York Law Journal, 2010
  • Co-Authored with colleague David Scher concerning construction accident cases that appeared in the New York Law Journal
  • Adjunct Professor of Law for eight years, taught trial advocacy at the St. John's University School of law

Industry Groups

  • Law

Comments

  • “one of the best plaintiff's personal injuries lawyers in the business”
  • “Mr. Murhphy has demonstrated himself to be one of the best trial lawyers in the State of New York. His compasssion, intellect, logic, dilengence and character allow him to accomplish record results on a regular basis.”

These comments were made by fellow attorneys during the annual nomination process.

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Office Location for Stephen Murphy

1 Penn Plaza
Suite 5315
New York, NY 10119

Phone: 212-736-5300

Fax: 646-825-4032

Last Updated: 5/15/2022

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