A Solid Victory for the Appellate Team
The SACS Litigation/Appellate Strategy & Advocacy Group won an important modification in the Appellate Division, First Department that will allow its client, an HVAC contractor, to present a liability defense at trial. Plaintiff claimed that he was injured after tripping on Masonite boards that the HVAC contractor placed on an office building’s lobby floor. The Supreme Court denied the contractor summary judgment dismissing the complaint and further found no issues of fact as to plaintiff’s comparative fault, effectively narrowing the case to a damages only trial. Despite the First Department’s initial resistance, we successfully persuaded the panel that plaintiff’s comparative fault was indeed still at issue. As a consequence, the contractor can now argue that plaintiff shoulders a share of responsibility for the accident. Chris Simone and Gerard Rath handled the briefing and Jon Shaub orally argued the appeal.