STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – A student whose leg was fractured by a karate workout partner two years ago at a popular Castleton Corners martial arts school has scored a legal takedown.
The boy and his father have settled a lawsuit with Dragon Kim’s Karate USA and his workout mate for a total of $157,500, show recently filed court papers.
Thomas Brzezinski, the injured boy’s dad, had sued New York Institute of Martial Arts Inc., the corporate name of Dragon Kim’s Karate USA, and his son’s partner, in state Supreme Court, St. George.
A civil complaint alleged the defendants “negligently and carelessly” caused the boy’s injury on Feb. 1, 2018, in the Manor Road martial arts school.
The school is one of three Dragon Kim’s Karate U.S.A. schools in the borough owned by Grandmaster Jhong Uhk Kim, a well-known Staten Island entrepreneur and philanthropist.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff, a Meiers Corners resident listed in court papers as "K.B.," was practicing with another student identified only as "D.D."
The complaint contended the boy asked his partner to “stop using a karate move,” but D.D. failed to listen to or hear him.
As a result, plaintiff’s leg was fractured, even though it should have been apparent to D.D. that he was hurting his partner, said the complaint.
The complaint alleged loud music inside the school distracted D.D., and instructors did not properly supervise the boys.
The plaintiff, now 14, sought unspecified monetary damages.
His court filings said his right tibia was fractured in the incident. Subsequently, he slipped while walking on crutches and injured his right foot and ankle, said his court paper.
The boy later underwent surgery.
The defendants had denied the allegations.
In recent court filings, attorneys for both defendants maintained the plaintiff and his parents understood the risks of taking a martial arts class when they signed him up.
The boy began taking martial arts lessons four months before his was hurt, wrote Joseph E. Hopkins, the lawyer for Dragon Kim’s Karate.
The injury occurred during a “grappling drill,” not sparring, Hopkins wrote, and both students had been instructed on how to “properly perform the move.”
Richard Imbrogno, an attorney for D.D. and his mother, Cassandra Delince, said the two boys had consented to the grappling drill “by their voluntarily participation in the martial arts class.”
As it turned out, the parties ultimately opted to settle the case instead of going to trial.
Under the agreement, Dragon Kim’s insurance carrier agreed to pay $87,500, court papers show.
Delince’s homeowner’s carrier will shell out $70,000, said court documents.
In an affidavit to the court consenting to the settlement, Brzezinski said his son has “made a good recovery from his injures and has resumed all of his daily activities without difficulty.”
Lonny Levitz, the plaintiff’s lawyer, concurred.
“We believe that the settlement is in the best interests of the plaintiff based on the liability of the case and his recovery from his injuries,” wrote Levitz, a partner in the West Brighton law firm of Kuharski, Levitz & Giovinazzo.
Dragon Kim's Karate USA Martial Arts and Self-Defense Classes in Staten Island
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Dragon Kim's Karate USA Martial Arts and Self-Defense Classes in Staten Island
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