By Leslie Abele and Thomas M. Bona
Court: Supreme Court of the State of New York – County of Bronx
Judge: Hon. Wilma Guzman
Case Type: Premises Liability, General Liability
Caption: Graham v. RAR 2-222 Broadway Owner SPE, LLC
Index No.: 25860/14
Decision Date: July 11, 2022
Decision: Motions for Summary Judgment Pending at time of Case Settlement
At PMT, we know that clients and insurance carriers are looking for resolution of cases so we always look at how we can resolve each case most favorably for our client in the quickest period of time. PMT partner Leslie Abele recently did just that.
In Graham v. RAR 2-222 Broadway Owner SPE, LLC, plaintiff claimed to have tripped and fallen on a sidewalk adjacent to the building located at 214 Broadway, New York, New York. She alleged the trip and fall was caused by uneven sidewalk flags. Plaintiff alleged multiple injuries, including lumbar spine herniation requiring a lumbar fusion and right knee cartilage tear requiring arthroscopic surgery. Plaintiff’s economic expert projected future medical care costs in the range of $845,624.to $1,272,666.
Plaintiff brought an action against the owner entities of the building adjacent to the place of plaintiff’s fall. Plaintiff’s claim was based on Administrative Code of the City of New York Section 7-210, which imposes a non-delegable duty upon building owners to maintain the sidewalk adjacent to their building. The litigation was commenced in Bronx County.
The building owner commenced multiple third-party actions against six contractor entities based on two separate construction projects which were ongoing at the time of the plaintiff’s fall. One project was the building owner’s own building renovation and the second project was the Fulton Street Transit Center. PMT represented Bovis Lend Lease. Parsons Brinckerhoff Holdings Joint Venture (“Parsons Brinckerhoff”) had contracted with the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“MTA”) to act as the MTA’s Agent for the Fulton Street Transit Center Project.
Following completion of discovery and depositions, Leslie Abele, a seasoned construction litigator, moved for summary judgment on the grounds that Parsons Brinckerhoff could only be found liable upon a finding that Parsons Brinckerhoff occupied, owned, controlled, or made a special use of the property where plaintiff fell. The other defendants also moved for summary judgment.
Using the motions as leverage forced plaintiff to reconsider her settlement demand. Following oral arguments on the defendants’ respective motions, but before the decision, the plaintiff agreed to mediate the case. The case settled for $1,450,000 and our client paid $10,000.
When our client has no responsibility for an accident, we aggressively proceed through discovery and depositions to establish our client’s defense. To force plaintiff’s hand, Pillinger Miller Tarallo files for summary judgment when appropriate and pushes for mediation to resolve the case. Here, the client paid a nominal settlement and was freed from years of waiting to reach the trial calendar. Let us show you how we can resolve cases for you.
Should you have any questions, please call our office at (914) 703-6300 or contact:
Marc H. Pillinger, Executive Partner
Jeffrey T. Miller, Executive Partner