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$19,550,157 VERDICT – Product Liability – Asbestos Expsoure – Carpenter contracts ... - page 21 / 32





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her future earning capacity. The jury found the defen- dant Richard F. 100% liable for the plaintiff’s damages.

Ashley Hicks vs. Charles Stern & Richard Franco. Index no. 015582/2008; Judge Matthew A. Rosenbaum, 09- 16-11.


Plaintiff’s neuropsychology expert: Michael Santa Maria from North Tonawanda, NY. Plaintiff’s pediatrics expert: Robert Arp from Brooklyn, NY. Defendant’s neuropsychology expert: Shlomo Finnar. Defendant’s psychology expert: James Borland from New York, NY.

Attorneys for plaintiff: Michael Ponterio, Neil McKinnon, and Keith Vona of Lipsitz & Ponterio, LLC. Attorney for defendant: Paul Garrity of Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP in Rochester, NY. Attorney for defendant Richard Franco: Paul J. Bottari of Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP in Rochester, NY.


Premises Liability – Hazardous Premises – Plaintiff hospital employee trips and falls on raised basement tile floor of hospital – Defendant contractor allegedly negligent in failing to detect tripping hazard.

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of NY

The plaintiff hospital employee contended that as she was returning from lunch in the hospital basement with several co-employees when she tripped and fell on a raised portion of the tile floor in the corridor, suffering injuries to her knee and spine. The defendant contended that because it was a service contractor operating on property owned by the employer, pursuant to an agreement with the employer, it did not owe a duty of care to a third-party such as the plaintiff.

The plaintiff countered that the defendant’s failure to identify the defect and notify the employer resulted in the launching of a force or instrument of harm on which liability to a third-party beneficiary could be based. The plaintiff further alleged that although the defendant did not have an affirmative duty to in- spect the premises for an unsafe condition, the de- fendant had a duty to become aware of unsafe conditions that may cause others harm during its in- spections. The plaintiff argued that in failing to be-

come aware and advise the hospital of the unsafe condition, the defendant released an instrument of harm.

The defendant countered that even assuming that it failed to properly inspect the premises, the plaintiff had failed to make any argument that its actions launched a force or instrument of harm that could render it liable. The defendant pointed out that the plain terms of the contract required it to advise the hospital of conditions of which it was aware. The de- fendant also pointed out that it would have a duty to indemnify the hospital only if its negligence was the sole cause of an incident, and denied that this provi- sion could form the basis for a third-party beneficiary claim.

The court concurred with the defendant’s position and granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment.


Weissman vs. Aramark. Index no. 09-CV-1221 (DLI) (VVP); Magistrate Viktor V. Pohorelsky, 08-26-11.

Attorney for defendant: Frank D. Thompson, II of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP in New York, NY.



Property Owner Liability – Alleged dangerous garage door at single family rental home – Plaintiff tenant lifts door with difficulty when the door drops precipitously, resulting in her catching it and raising it a second time – Alleged lumbar herniation.

plaintiff, who parked on one side each day, contended that she had no difficulties after moving in until the day of the incident when she encountered great difficulties elevating the door. The plaintiff contended that she was ultimately able to do so, but after she let go, the door fell again. The plaintiff contended that she stopped it and raised it again, but suffered severe back pain.

Erie County, NY

The plaintiff moved into the rental home with her boyfriend approximately one month earlier and there was a two car garage. Each door opened independently and was not motorized. The

The plaintiff’s mechanic contended that the springs were not properly balanced, resulting in the incident. The defendant landlady denied that the plaintiff’s

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New York Jury Verdict Review & Analysis

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