SACS Appellate Group Wins Another Dismissal of Catastrophic Injury Complaint On Summary Judgment In Difficult Venue

On September 13, 2018, the Supreme Court in Melissa Cohen, et al., v. The City of New York, et al., Index No. 6146/2012 (Sup. Ct. Queens Co.) (Balter, J.), granted our motion for summary judgment on behalf of defendant LiRo Engineering, Inc. The action arose out of an automobile accident in which a speeding, intoxicated driver lost control of his vehicle and struck and killed a pedestrian and broke through two store fronts just off of the exit ramp adjacent to bridge and plaza reconstruction on the east side of the Queensboro Bridge. The plaintiff was a passenger in the vehicle, and sought to foist liability on our client for its participation in the construction project for causing or contributing to the accident. We were successful in demonstrating to the court that the co-defendant driver’s negligence (his intoxication and speeding) were the sole proximate cause of the accident, that the driver’s version of the accident was “not credible as a matter of law since it was refuted by the physical evidence at the accident scene and the characteristics of the location where the collision occurred” and “was contrary to eyewitness accounts of the accident, the findings of police investigators, and the plaintiff’s own admission following the collision”. We were also successful in attacking the plaintiff’s expert’s (Nicholas Bellizzi’s) testimony for its telling omissions, and for Bellizzi’s affirmative assertions that were “belied by the record”. Tim Capowski, John Watkins and Christopher Theobalt principally briefed the successful motion.

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