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.

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).

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).

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).

MVA Case Dismissed against Client Contractor

9/15/2020

Plaintiff sustained severe injuries when he was rear-ended by a work van operated by the co-defendant/driver. Plaintiff alleged the driver was in the course of his employment by our client and/or that our client owned and controlled the work van because our client’s name appeared on the side of the van. Through deposition testimony, work logs, title and insurance documentation, we established that our client neither employed the driver nor owned the van. The Court accepted our proof and dismissed the case against our client as a matter of law. (Suffolk County, August 2020).

Summary Judgment Dismissal of Dog Bite Case

6/1/2020

Plaintiff was bitten by a dog while visiting a tenant in a building owned personally by our client’s principal. Our client was awarded summary judgment dismissal of all claims. We demonstrated that our corporate client did not own or lease the premises, did not have a duty to maintain the premises, and, therefore, owed no duty to the plaintiff regarding the subject dog. Case dismissed! (Bronx County, June 2020).

Labor Law §240(1), 241(6), 200 claims Dismissed on Motion

5/2/2020

Plaintiff, an employee of an HVAC contractor, while installing ductwork stepped into a hole cut into the basement by the masonry subcontractor. Plaintiff sued the general contractor, and our client, the plumbing subcontractor alleging violations of Labor Law Secs. 240(1), 241(6), 200, and common law negligence. The hole was intended to house a pump, to have been installed by our client at a later date.

The Court dismissed the complaint, and all cross claims, against our client, granting our summary judgment motion. We successfully argued that our client was not a proper labor law defendant and, under the facts of this case, owed no duty to plaintiff such that it cannot be liable under common law negligence. The Court agreed, holding that our client did not exercise, nor was it granted, supervisory authority over the work site or plaintiff’s work, such that it was not an ‘owner, contractor, or agent’ subject to labor law liability. On the issue of common law negligence, the Court again agreed, holding that our client owed no duty to plaintiff, as it did not create the condition or ‘launch a force of harm’ by making the condition more dangerous. (Suffolk County, May 2020).

Labor Law §240(1), 241(6), 200 claims Dismissed on Motion

5/2/2020

Plaintiff, an employee of an HVAC contractor, while installing ductwork stepped into a hole cut into the basement by the masonry subcontractor. Plaintiff sued the general contractor, and our client, the plumbing subcontractor alleging violations of Labor Law Secs. 240(1), 241(6), 200, and common law negligence. The hole was intended to house a pump, to have been installed by our client at a later date.

The Court dismissed the complaint, and all cross claims, against our client, granting our summary judgment motion. We successfully argued that our client was not a proper labor law defendant and, under the facts of this case, owed no duty to plaintiff such that it cannot be liable under common law negligence. The Court agreed, holding that our client did not exercise, nor was it granted, supervisory authority over the work site or plaintiff’s work, such that it was not an ‘owner, contractor, or agent’ subject to labor law liability. On the issue of common law negligence, the Court again agreed, holding that our client owed no duty to plaintiff, as it did not create the condition or ‘launch a force of harm’ by making the condition more dangerous. (Suffolk County, May 2020).

Slip and Fall Case Dismissed against Client Contractor

4/13/2020

Plaintiff, a night-time security guard, slipped and fell on oil and water on the basement floor of a High School during his nightly rounds. The oil was alleged to have leaked from the boilers and the water was dripping from pipes. He sued all contractors involved with the boilers and pipes, including our client, a Duct Cleaning Company who performed annual cleaning of the boiler’s exhaust and ductwork for the school district. In our motion for dismissal, we established that the leak emanated from inside the boiler, the repair of which was outside the scope of our client’s work. Further, our client notified the school of the leak at the start of its work, and finished its work after the leak was repaired. The court agreed that our client had no duty with respect to the water leak, and was not otherwise responsible for the oil and water condition that caused plaintiff’s fall. All claims and cross-claims were dismissed against our client as a matter of law. (Suffolk County Supreme Court, August 2019).

Bronx Labor Law Action Dismissed as a Matter of Law

4/2/2020

The plaintiff, a Site Safety Coordinator, alleged severe injuries and permanent disability as a result of tripping over debris-filled garbage bags and falling into an unprotected excavation hole at a worksite. He underwent bilateral knee surgeries, and claimed a variety of injuries to his back and limbs resulting in total incapacitation from employment. Plaintiff commenced suit against the owner and our client, the general contractor, asserting claims under Labor Law 200, 240(1) and 241(6). Original motions for summary judgment by all parties were merely stamped “denied” without written decision. Re-argument motions were similarly denied, and appeals were pending when we applied to the new judge to consider the original motions on the merits. The court granted the request and issued a 10-page written decision granting our motion and dismissing plaintiff’s complaint in its entirety. The court agreed with our argument that 240(1) was inapplicable in that the hole did not pose an elevation-related risk that required the special protections afforded by the statute, but rather the type of “ordinary and usual” peril a worker is commonly exposed to at a construction site. Regarding 241(6), the court agreed that Industrial Code Sections 23-1.7(d) & (e) (slipping and tripping hazards) did not apply because plaintiff did not slip on an elevated platform or trip within a passageway; and that 23-2.1 (storage of debris) was not applicable where plaintiff fell in a common area. Finally, the court dismissed the negligence/200 claims against our client agreeing that our client, among other reasons, did not have the authority to direct or control the injury-producing work. Case dismissed! (Bronx County Supreme Court, March 2020)

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