James Deegan obtained a defense verdict in a work-related construction accident incident involving a trip/slip and fall case in Supreme New York. Plaintiff claimed to slip and fall over carpet tiles strewn across a pathway allegedly left by our client, the carpet tile installer, at a USB Bank under renovation resulting in reconstructive shoulder surgery and single level fusion to the lumbar spine. Plaintiff also alleged permanent disability and lost earnings for over 25 years. Plaintiff’s demand was $5 Million, non-negotiable.
The case was bifurcated due to the fact that a jury could not be empaneled because no jurors were willing to sit for over three (3) weeks. Bifurcating the trial reduced the trial to a few days, making it easier to empanel a jury.
Plaintiff testified that he was vacuuming the second floor while he slipped over loose carpet tiles in the hallway, causing him to fall backwards. During cross-examination Mr. Deegan was able to establish that Plaintiff never looked up or behind himself while vacuuming and had Plaintiff looked to his rear at any time as he vacuumed he would have seen the alleged obstruction without falling.
The jury found the carpet tiler negligent, but found no proximate cause. The jury also found in favor of defendants on the Labor Law section 241 (6) violations alleged.