Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani Westchester Partner Allyson Avila obtained a unanimous defense verdict after a five day jury trial in Orange County, New York on behalf of the firm's client, a large real estate developer.
The plaintiff, a 40-year old male fell off a makeshift scaffold while he was performing sheetrock work during the course of construction of a home that was part of a large development in Monticello, New York in 2015. As a result of the fall, he sustained fractures to both legs requiring surgery. Summary judgment on liability was issued against the firm’s client and its general contractor pursuant to Section 240(1) of the New York State Labor Law. At the time of the incident, the plaintiff was working for a co-defendant, sheetrock company that was subcontracted to do the sheetrock work. The plaintiff had discontinued the action against the sheetrock company prior to trial.
The settlement demand was $3.5 million and an offer of $1 million was made prior to the trial. The co-defendant sheetrock company had refused to offer any settlement funds and claimed that they had no fault for the accident. They also argued that they were the plaintiff’s employer and were barred by the Worker’s Compensation Law.
At trial, Avila was able to establish that the co-defendant sheetrock company was 100 percent at fault for the accident and the firm’s client was entitled to a complete pass through of the liability. In addition to establishing that the sheetrock company was 100 percent at fault for the accident, the jury found that the sheetrock company was not the plaintiff’s employer.