News & Blog

Defense Verdict in Queens Supreme Court January 25, 2017

January 25, 2017 • Posted By Douglas R. Rosenzwei • Construction Claims, News, Trial Practice

Defense Verdict in Queens Supreme Court January 25, 2017  On Monday, January 23, 2017, we obtained a defense verdict for our clients in Klimowicz v. Powell Cove Associates LLC & AVR Realty Company, LLC.  This was a Labor Law §240 action in which plaintiff, a bricklayer, claimed that he fell through a gap in scaffolding planking on June 20, 2008.

During the trial plaintiff attempted to establish that he had fallen through the gap up to his shoulders, and as a result of this fall, he had injured his right shoulder which eventually required two (2) surgeries.  He also claimed reduced strength and that his work, employment and life were severely hampered by the injury.  Plaintiff’s demand was $1,000,000.00. During the trial we were able to use plaintiff’s early medical records to establish that he initially made complaints to a hospital one (1) month after the accident and subsequent visits to different doctors, as well as testimony at a workers’ compensation hearing on March 5, 2009, that he had injured his arm and shoulder while pulling planks or boards on a scaffold, that he had testified that he had not fallen, and that he had actually injured himself while pulling planks.  In subsequent testimony at depositions, plaintiff testified that he injured himself while falling through the gap.  Plaintiff called to the stand William Malletta, Ph.D., to establish that based upon his reading of the transcript, etc., his opinion was that if there was a gap in planking, this would indicate that improper protection was afforded to plaintiff and this was a violation of good safety practices. Following summations, and jury charge on the sole remaining claim of liability under Labor Law §240 (at the outset of the trial plaintiff discontinued his claims pleaded under Labor Law §§200 and 241(6)).  The jury deliberated for three (3) hours before returning a defense verdict.   Judge Diccia Pineda-Kirwan presided over the trial.  For further inquiries, please contact Joseph A. French or Douglas Rosenzweig.