Our Results

Cascone & Kluepfel, LLP is proud of our track record of success in all areas of liability defense. Select a categoy below to view some of our results.

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Defense Verdict at Trial on Labor Law §240(1)

8/30/2022

Plaintiff, a 48-year-old welder, claimed he was working on a five-foot scaffold when it shook and caused him to fall to the ground. He claimed severe and permanent injuries to his back and both knees – rendering him permanently incapacitated from any type of work. He underwent three knee surgeries, multiple spinal injections and was recommended for future lumbar fusion surgery. Plaintiff brought claims against our clients, the owner and general contractor, under Labor Law § 240(1) on the ground that the scaffold was unsafe, did not have railings and failed to provide him proper protection. At trial, through the use of party and non-party testimony, photographs, and project plans, we established that the scaffold was not five feet tall and did not require railings under the circumstances. We also attacked plaintiff’s credibility with different versions of the accident that he had reported to his Supervisor and medical providers within weeks after the alleged incident. The jury returned a Defense Verdict finding no violation of Labor Law § 240(1)!

(Supreme Court, New York County, June 2022)

Dismissal of Labor Law Action Upheld on Appeal

3/23/2022

We successfully obtained an affirmance on appeal of a Bronx Decision dismissing all claims against our client on the ground that, although our client signed a contract to become the General Contractor BEFORE plaintiff’s accident, it did not take over the responsibilities of the former General Contractor until AFTER the accident.

The plaintiff claimed severe injuries when he fell into a construction trench. Our client was hired to take over as General Contractor three weeks before plaintiff’s accident, but due to a backlog of work, did not begin work at the site until after the accident. The Supreme Court, Bronx County, agreed and dismissed all claims against our client finding that it was not a “contractor” or “agent of the owner” for purposes of Labor Law liability at the time of plaintiff’s accident.

On appeal, the plaintiff and owner argued that the Contract imputed our client with authority over the site as of the date it was signed, and that this, together with our client’s Mechanic’s Lien seeking payment as of the Contract date, shows our client was the General Contractor regardless of when our client first showed up at the site. The Appellate Division, however, adopted our argument that the Owner’s acknowledgment that our client did not actually take over as General Contractor until after the accident precluded liability, and affirmed the Order dismissing all claims against our client.
(Appellate Division, First Department- March 2022)

Trip and Fall Case Dismissed Against Client, Town

2/1/2022

Plaintiff was injured when she stepped in a hole in a road while jogging. The road is owned and maintained by our municipal client (“Town”). The plaintiff claimed the hole was the result of a prior negligent repair. Plaintiff further argued the Town had prior written notice of the hole through a telephone complaint that was reduced to writing by the Town six weeks prior to the accident. On motion, we established that while repairs were made more than two years before the accident, there were no recent repairs that resulted in an immediate hazard as required to hold the Town responsible for negligently creating the condition. We also established through case law that making note of a telephone complaint does not satisfy the prior written notice requirement to maintain suit against the Town. In its decision on our motion, the court found that the Town did not create the hole and did not have prior written notice of it, and dismissed plaintiff’s complaint against our client as a matter of law.

(Supreme Court, Suffolk County, January 2022)

Denial of Summary Judgment Reversed on Appeal – Case Dismissed!

2/1/2022

Plaintiff, an employee of our commercial tenant, sustained severe injuries, including fractures and tears to his left ankle, left knee and left shoulder, and underwent four surgeries, as the result of a slip and fall on fish skin on the sidewalk of our client’s market. Plaintiff sued the sanitation company hired by our client and the landlord who, in turn, commenced a third-party action against our client for indemnification pursuant to our client’s lease. The lease required our client to indemnify the landlord for injuries arising out of any acts or omissions of our client or its agents. The Bronx Supreme Court denied our motion summary judgment, finding that our client caused the condition. We appealed this decision. In reversing the Bronx Court decision and dismissing the third-party complaint against our client, the Appellate Division, First Department, agreed there was no evidence that our client caused the fish skin to be on the sidewalk. The evidence instead suggested the fish skin fell to the sidewalk during the co-defendant’s garbage pick-up just moments before plaintiff’s accident. Another successful result in a high exposure slip and fall case!
(Appellate Division, First Department, November 2021)

Another Defense Verdict for Ajay Bhavnani!

1/25/2022

In a two-car motor vehicle accident plaintiff sustained serious injuries claiming that our client’s truck sideswiped her vehicle while it was stopped. With thorough investigation during the discovery process, including tracking down uninvolved non-party witnesses, and Mr. Bhavnani’s effective trial strategy and questioning, the Queens County jury found the evidence proved that our client was in the process of making a turn on to a side street when it was the plaintiff’s vehicle that struck the right rear of his truck. Case dismissed, and another defense verdict for another happy client.
(Supreme Court, Queens County November 2021)

Labor Law Action Dismissed against Client Contractor

1/25/2022

The plaintiff construction worker sustained serious injuries when he tripped and fell over electrical cords at a residential renovation project. Our client contractor was responsible for the heating and plumbing. Through discovery and depositions, we established that our client was not responsible for the materials that caused plaintiff’s fall. We moved for summary judgment on the issue of liability. The court found that our client was free from negligence and dismissed plaintiff’s complaint and all cross-claims against our client as a matter of law.
(Supreme Court, Queens County October 2021)

Labor Law Claims Dismissed Against Plumbing Subcontractor

10/28/2021

Plaintiff fell when he stepped on a cinder block with his right foot which then became entangled in electrical extension cords causing him to fall at a home renovation project in Queens. Plaintiff sustained a fractured cervical vertebra and a fracture hip, necessitating a total right hip replacement.

Upon completion of all depositions, we moved for summary judgment on the issue of liability showing the Court our client, a plumbing subcontractor, was not the general contractor; did not supervise, control, or direct the plaintiff’s work; did not place or use any of the electric cords or subject cinderblock. The Court granted our motion dismissed all claims and cross-claims for contractual and common-law indemnification against our client.

(October 2021 Supreme Court, Queens County)

Plaintiff’s Negligence was Sole Cause of Accident

10/20/2021

We represented the owner and operator of a supermarket with a loading dock in the rear. The plaintiff delivery driver sustained knee injuries requiring surgery when he attempted to rappel down from the loading dock by using a cable hanging from the building. He commenced a lawsuit against our client alleging our client was negligent in failing to provide a safe means of egress from the loading dock. After the depositions, we filed a motion for summary seeking an order dismissing plaintiff’s complaint as a matter of law. We argued that our client was not negligent, had no notice of any dangers posed by the cable, and that plaintiff’s act of negligence in grabbing the cable and rappelling down from the loading dock was the sole proximate cause of his injuries. The court agreed and found that even if our client was negligent regarding the cable that plaintiff’s intervening act of negligence was a superseding and sole cause of the accident. Case Dismissed!
(Supreme Court, Suffolk County, October 2021)

Big Win for the Defense Bar! – Trial Verdict Dismissing Labor Law §240(1) Claim Affirmed on Appeal!

9/22/2020

Plaintiff, a 44 year-old construction worker, was rolling a 1000 lb. steel I-beam on the ground using a long “make-shift” pry-bar. The steel I-beam rolled back, causing the bar to snap out of plaintiff’s hands and strike him in the face and head. He sustained fractured orbital bones in his face that required open reduction and internal fixation, traumatic brain injury with cognitive deficits and memory loss, neck injuries for which he underwent cervical discectomy and fusion at C3-4, and back injuries for which he had a double laminectomy and fusion at L3-4 and L4-5. Plaintiff claimed he was permanently disabled from employment and sought past and future lost wages in the amount of $1.5 million; past medical expenses of $550,000, and; future medical expenses in the amount $3 million.

Our involvement in this case began when the insurance carrier for the defendant site owner called upon us for a second opinion after former counsel recommended tendering the policy limits to settle the case. We opined that Labor Law §240(1) was not triggered under these facts, and the case was transferred to our firm to defend at trial.

The jury trial was held before Judge Robert J. McDonald in Supreme Queens. At the close of the plaintiff’s case, our firm moved for a directed verdict. We argued that §240(1) contemplated vertical motion and to allow this case to proceed under §240(1) would wrongly expand the findings of Runner and Wilinski and further undermine the purpose of Labor Law §240(1). After hearing from both sides, Judge McDonald agreed, granted our motion and dismissed plaintiff’s case as a matter of law. Plaintiff appealed.

On appeal, by unanimous decision, the Appellate Division, Second Department, affirmed the directed verdict agreeing that the case did not involve the kind of elevation-related risk contemplated by Labor Law §240(1). The court found that plaintiff and the steel beam he was rotating were both at ground level and did not call for the use of the protective devices mentioned in the statute. This case presents a shining example of the CK Difference! (Appellate Division, Second Department September 2020).

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