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$19,550,157 VERDICT – Product Liability – Asbestos Expsoure – Carpenter contracts ... - page 13 / 32





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The jury found that the parties had not entered into a contract for the remediation of mold.

Attorney for defendant: Phyllis Shandler of Miller Miller & Shandler in Haverstraw, NY.


Cortazzo vs. Norfleet Management, et al. Index no. 000607/09; Judge Linda S. Jamieson, 01-12-11.



Employer’s Liability – Plaintiff falls from ladder while working – Comminuted heel fracture.

Westchester County, NY

In this negligence matter, the plaintiff alleged that the defendants were negligent in providing him with the wrong type of ladder which tipped when the garage door he was working on was activated, causing him to fall to the ground and fracture his heel. The defendants denied the allegations.

The male plaintiff, a garage door installer, was work- ing on the installation of garage doors for the defen- dants. The plaintiff was required to secure a mechanical arm with the controller along a door’s upper edge. This required the plaintiff to use a ladder to get to the height necessary to make the connec- tion. The defendants gave the plaintiff an extension ladder which was propped against the garage door. As the plaintiff was working on the arm connection, the door began to open. The extension ladder tipped and the plaintiff fell a distance of about 12 feet to the ground.

As a result of the fall, the plaintiff injured his foot and wrist. He was diagnosed with a comminuted heel fracture which required open reduction and fixation surgery, as well as a wrist injury. The plaintiff brought suit against the defendant town, the maintenance fa- cility itself and the public school district for the town. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants were negli- gent in failing to comply with labor laws which re- quired provisions of safe proper equipment. The plaintiff contended that the use of an A-frame ladder would have been the proper ladder and would have prevented the ladder from tipping when the door suddenly opened, since would not have been leaning against the door.

The defendants denied the allegations and disputed the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s injuries and damages. The defendants contended that the plain- tiff was the one who decided to place the ladder he was provided in the spot that he did and he was neg- ligent in doing so, causing his own injuries.

The plaintiff moved for summary judgment on the is- sue of liability which was denied by the trial court. The plaintiff appealed the ruling and the appellate court reversed, holding that since the incident occurred as a result of an elevation related hazard, the plaintiff was not provided the proper and safe equipment by the defendant.

The matter was to proceed solely on the issue of damages. The parties agreed to settle the plaintiff’s claim for the sum of $1,3750,000 in a pre-trial medi- ated settlement.


Plaintiff’s economics expert: Pia Di Girolamo, Ph.D. from Philadelphia, PA. Plaintiff’s vocational assessment expert: Stuart Schnin, M.S. from New York, NY. Defendant’s vocational assessment expert: Melissa Fass-Karlin from Morganville, NJ.

Danilo Riffo-Velozo vs. Village of Scarsdale, et al. In- dex no. 65/07; Judge Joan B. Lefkowitz, 12-10-10.

Attorneys for plaintiff: Michael Arce and Yolanda Castro-Arce of The Arce Law Office in Bronx, NY. Attorney for defendant: Thomas J. Dargan of Lewis Johs Avallone Aviles & Kaufman in Melville, NY. Attorney for defendant: Alyson M. Piscitelli of Jacobwitz Garfinkel & Lesman in New York, NY.



Fraud – Former director sued after embezzlement of funds discovered – $58,544 in misappropriated funds.

Kings County, NY

In this matter, a New York City non-profit organization sued its former director for recovery of misappropriated funds. A default judgment was entered in the plaintiff’s favor after the defendant ceased defending the case, a decision following her guilty plea in a Federal criminal court.

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New York Jury Verdict Review & Analysis

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