2011 defense verdicts

Supreme Court, Kings County — Dora Brisk v. Eichler's Inc. et al

September 14, 2011 — A Kings County jury returned a verdict for the defense on liability as against plaintiff, a 42 year old woman who claimed that, on February 3, 2009, around midday, while carrying her grandchild in her arms when walking on a Brooklyn sidewalk, she was struck and precipitated to the ground by virtue of the actions of defendant’s employee. Plaintiff contended that the Eichler employee, also transiting the same sidewalk, ran into her while carrying a load of books. Ms. Brisk underwent shoulder, elbow and wrist surgery. Defendants contended that plaintiff was not attentive to her surroundings, was rushing during a snow event, and was distracted. By reading the transcript of the (no longer available) defendant, and through the testimony of a weather expert (to emphasize that the conditions were greater than those of a “slight flurry”), defendant was able to persuade the jury that plaintiff did not undertake due care and that the defendant was not negligent under the circumstances. Prior to verdict, the insurer had offered a high-low ($300,000-$50,000) but plaintiff declined it. Justice Bernadette F. Bayne presided over the trial.

Supreme Court, County of Queens — Nidia Rodrigues v. NYC Transit Authority

August 10, 2011 — A Supreme Court, Queens County jury returned a unanimous defendant’s verdict in favor of the New York City Transit Authority as against a 62 year old factory worker who sustained a fracture of the second metacarpal of the dominant hand following a trip and fall accident, allegedly due to a defective condition of the TA stairs leading from the elevated train platform to stairs maintained by the TA. Plaintiff claimed five months of lost earnings due to the injury. Partner John V. Wynne represented the TA; the Honorable Janice A. Taylor presided.

Supreme Court, County of New York — Sampson v. NYC Transit Authority

January 26, 2011 — A New York County jury returned a verdict for the defendant New York City Transit Authority in the face of 31 year old plaintiff’s $2.5 million demand. This mother of three children originally claimed that she was caused to trip and fall due to a defective (unlevel) condition of the subway staircase. She sustained a torn meniscus, requiring surgery, as well as a L5-S1 herniation with laminectomy, fusion and foot drop, and alleged a significant work disability with special damages in excess of $155,000. During the course of trial, plaintiff admitted that she did not trip, but merely slipped on a wet step while wearing open-backed sandals and descending the subway stairs in the rain. Under the “storm in progress” doctrine, a party in control of the premises must be given a reasonable amount of time to remedy a dangerous condition. Plaintiff was represented by the firm of Morrison & Wagner; Roger P. McTiernan Jr. successfully defended the case for the NYC Transit Authority. The Honorable Carol E. Huff presided. Sampson v. NYC Transit Authority

Supreme Court, County of Queens — Luz Batista v. NYC Transit Authority

March 23, 2011 — A Supreme Court, Queens County jury returned a defendant’s verdict in favor of the New York City Transit Authority as against a 52 year old maintenance worker who required an ORIF for fractures of the olecranon and humerus following a trip and fall accident, allegedly due to a defective condition of concrete sidewalk one foot in front of the TA stairs leading from the elevated trains. Demand $350,000; $0 offer. Partner John V. Wynne represented the TA; the Honorable Janice A. Taylor presided. Luz Batista v. New York City Transit Authority.

Supreme Court, County of New York — Devino/Deberry v. NYCTA

June 14, 2011 — A Supreme New York jury returned a defense verdict in the matter of Devino/Deberry v. NYCTA tried before Justice Donna Mills. Plaintiff Devino claimed a cervical herniation with fusion, two months post accident; plaintiff Deberry had alleged a torn meniscus with arthroscopic surgery. Partner John V. Wynne successfully defended the Transit Authority against claims that the bus was traveling too closely to the plaintiffs’ minivan which became disabled in a bus stop. The bus was turning into the bus stop when the minivan’s operator opened his door into the bus.