By Jeffrey D. Schulman and Thomas M. Bona
In two separate complex, multi-party lawsuits, PMT’s Kevin W. Connolly, Esq. successfully defended a contractor against negligence allegations that it created or exacerbated dangerous roadway conditions. The plaintiffs’ claimed that our client’s ongoing construction work was the proximate cause of the death of one plaintiff and serious injuries of the other. However, Mr. Connolly won summary judgment in both cases and masterfully defended plaintiffs’ appeals. As a result, in both cases, summary judgment was affirmed by the Appellate Division.
In Roberto Rodriguez, As Administrator of the Estate of Beatriz Rojas Rodriguez, deceased, Roberto Rodriguez, Individually v. Alexander Palacio, City of New York, New York City Department of Transportation, New York City Economic Development Corporation, Liro Engineers, Inc., and Triumph Construction Corp.(Index No.: 28861/2011), a driver lost control of his vehicle on a Queensboro Bridge off-ramp to Queens Plaza South. Plaintiff challenged the ramp’s configuration and submitted an engineer’s affidavit that the placement of orange traffic barrels in the roadway narrowed traffic lanes and caused the accident. PMT represented the contractor for the adjacent Queens Plaza South project. The motion court and the Appellate Division agreed that PMT’s submissions established, as a matter of law, that the contractor did not launch an instrument of harm or create or exacerbate a dangerous condition. Among other things, PMT established that there were sufficient warning signs and the contractor’s work breached no duty to the driver or decedent, notwithstanding the allegations about the orange traffic barrels.
The second action, Melissa Cohen and Itzhak Cohen v. The City of New York, New York City Department of Transportation, New York City Economic Development Corporation, Triumph Construction Corp., Grant Norman Riddell and Nikki Riddel (Index No.: 6146/2012), also arose out of single vehicle accident on a Queensboro Bridge off-ramp to Queens Plaza South. The plaintiffs, an injured wife and her husband, claimed an unreasonably dangerous roadway caused the accident. Again, the motion court and Appellate Division agreed that PMT submissions established that the Queens Plaza South construction contractor did not launch an instrument of harm or create or exacerbate a dangerous condition. In addition, the courts agreed that PMT’s submissions established that the driver’s negligence was the “sole proximate cause of the accident.”
Kevin W. Connolly led PMT’s defense effort with Partner Marc H. Pillinger integral to these victories.
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
Jeffrey D. Schulman, Executive Partner