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August 2016: Defense Verdict in Safe Premises Case

August 11, 2016

Senior Trial Partner, John J. Barbera, assisted by Associates Aisling McAllister and Olivia DeBellis, obtained a defense verdict in Supreme Court, Bronx County before Judge Julia Rodriguez. The case involved the defense of a commercial building in Manhattan on a claim of failure to inspect and maintain safe premises. The plaintiff alleged that he was confined to a wheelchair and permanently disabled after being struck in the head by a metal paper towel and trash receptacle that was built into a wall. The plaintiff underwent cervical fusion of his fifth cervical vertebrae as a result of the injury and claimed onset of chronic regional pain syndrome. Plaintiff sought over six million dollars in damages. The defense called an expert in materials science and bio-mechanical engineering to challenge the plaintiff’s theory of how the accident occurred. The defense also disputed the relationship of his claimed injuries to the accident. The jury returned a verdict for the defense based largely on the expert testimony of the bio-mechanical engineer who demonstrated that the unit could not have fallen down based on the reasonably safe and sound manner in which it was securely fastened to the wall.

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