Overview

Excess carrier clients rely on Tim to identify, evaluate, monitor and mitigate their risk in catastrophic property and casualty matters of every kind. As senior partner and co-chair of the firm’s Litigation/Appellate Strategy & Advocacy Group, Tim brings more than 25 years of experience litigating on behalf of leading international insurers.

Litigation Strategy. Tim focuses much of his time on litigation strategy: he helps clients and their counsel evaluate legal issues and liability exposure, then to prepare and implement tactics and arguments to win, survive, or weaponize summary judgment – and future appeals.  Tim and his team are considered the last word on all aspects of New York damages and, because of this, are routinely asked to provide formal and informal damages evaluations by excess carriers to set reserves and negotiate the risk.  Tim advises throughout the lifespan of a matter, from pre-complaint analysis to post-verdict motions and appeals, to best position his clients for optimal results.

Trial Monitoring. Tim has overseen the remarkable expansion of the firm’s now 17-attorney (and growing) team’s appellate trial monitoring practice. Clients and carriers have come to rely on Tim and his group as a seamless supplement to their trial teams, as a liaison and reporting aid, and as a failsafe ensuring critical appellate preservation. The group’s experience in this regard – over 500 trials monitored to date – is unparalleled in New York, and there isn’t even a distant second. It is this hands-on, real-world experience that gives our attorneys pragmatic courtroom savvy to complement their appellate acumen. Top-notch trial defense teams in the New York metropolitan area routinely recommend and request our group’s retention because of the value-add we bring without disruption to the trial presentation.

Appeals & Motions. Tim has litigated hundreds of appeals and thousands of motions in state and federal and appellate courts throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

A lengthy list of his representative matters is available here, and includes numerous successful appeals and dispositive motions in a wide variety of areas, including catastrophic personal injury and property claims, subrogation, professional liability, premises liability, Labor Law, mass torts, complex torts, toxic torts, product liability, insurance coverage, and general commercial litigation.

Data Analytics & Thought Leadership. As a leader of the Litigation/Appellate Strategy & Advocacy group, Tim oversees the firm’s efforts to monitor, synthesize and share data analytics on the risk landscape in New York with clients, municipalities and amicus curiae entities.  Tim’s client service philosophy is based on the belief that our group better protects our many clients in individual cases by eliminating improper and inefficient court and industry practices that negatively impact all litigants.  While always striving to win individual battles for our clients, the ultimate mission is to better serve them by winning the war.

His findings and articles, which help adjusters and defense attorneys make more informed strategic decisions, have been prominently featured in the New York Law Journal and are shared industry-wide.  Tim also regularly lectures at client and national seminars on issues of importance to the insurance defense industry and Bar.

Among other honors, Tim has been awarded an AV® Preeminent™ rating by Martindale Hubbell; was recognized as a “Top Ten Lawyer for 2012” by AIG, one of the nation's largest insurance and financial organizations; was named to Super Lawyers by his peers in 2019 and 2020; and is widely recognized in the New York legal community by defense and plaintiff lawyers alike as a preeminent appellate practitioner and strategic litigation consultant.

Honors & Recognitions

Super Lawyers, 2019-present

Martindale Hubbell, AV® Preeminent™

https://www.martindale.com/attorney/timothy-robert-capowski-422146/

“Top Ten Lawyer,” AIG, 2012

  • AV Preeminent
  • Super Lawyers

Experience

Reported Decisions and Published Articles

Abedin v. Roadtex Transportation Corp., __ A.D.3d __ (2d Dep’t, Nov. 11, 2020) (obtaining reversal of order precluding social media discovery from Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat accounts and last known addresses and phone numbers of three of infant plaintiff’s friends in case involving claims of wrongful death and emotional distress/zone of danger, with accompanying claim of “$12,000,000 in expenses for psychotherapy and psychopharmacological medication throughout [infant plaintiff’s] lifetime”)

Zhou v. Tuxedo Ridge, LLC, __ A.D.3d __ (2d Dep’t, Feb. 19, 2020) (vacating $20.7 million judgment in favor of plaintiff, awarding a new trial on liability, and reducing the aggregate damages verdict to $2.3MM; the new trial on liability was occasioned by the trial court’s erroneous application of CPLR 3117(a)(3)(ii) in excluding crucial non-party witness’s testimony that devastated plaintiff’s claim, and the court’s error in refusing to charge the jury on assumption of risk)

Astoria Generating Company, LP, v. Riley Power, Inc., __ A.D.3d __ (2d Dep't, Jan. 29, 2020) (in $93 million subrogation claim arising out of electric generating plant explosion, obtained unanimous reversal of motion court’s decision denying enforcement of contractual limitation on damages, resulting in a reduction of risk to the client on the loss from $93 million [plus years of interest] down to a maximum of $4 million)

Bellucia v CF 620, et al.172 A.D.3d 520, 523 (1st Dep’t 2019) (in mass tort elevator worksite accident litigation involving seven consolidated actions/appeals with twenty-two plaintiffs and demands of $50 million, obtained vacatur of summary judgment liability findings against deep-pocket insured and vacatur of dismissal of two elevator contractor tortfeasors)

Wilk v. Columbia University2019 WL 1715075 (1st Dep’t 2019) and Breeze Nat’l., Inc. v. Century Sur. Co., __ A.D.3d __ (1st Dep’t 2019) (obtained Supreme Court decisions from Judge Silver in companion actions that were unanimously affirmed on appeal, resulting in dismissal of third-party complaint against client in wrongful death action arising out of construction accident on basis of waiver of subrogation and antisubrogation and additional insured determination in favor of client)

Doomes v. Best Transit Corp., Index No. 16893/1994 (Sup.Ct., Bronx Co., July 19, 2018), 126 A.D.3d 629 (1st Dep’t 2015), 92 A.D.3d 490 (1st Dep’t 2012), 68 A.D3d 504 (1st Dep’t 2009) (obtained unprecedented 3 appellate and 2 post-trial motion victories for client in high exposure fatal bus crash litigation involving combined product liability and negligence claims, vacating a $30 million judgment in 2008 in favor of multiple plaintiffs that ultimately resulted in a defense verdict on retrial in 2018 obtained by the eminent Alan Kaminsky, Esq.)

Santibanez v. NSLA, et al., Index No. 5634/14 (Sup.Ct., Nassau Co., July 17, 2018) (obtained summary judgment dismissal of plaintiffs’ complaint in catastrophic paraplegia injury case involving Labor Law causes of action)

Carlton v City of New York, 161 A.D.3d 930, 930 (2d Dep’t 2018) (obtained vacatur of Labor Law 240(1) liability summary judgment determination)

Hedges v. Target, East River Plaza, LLC, et al., 58 Misc. 3d 1211(A), 94 N.Y.S.3d 538 (Sup.Ct., N.Y. Co. 2018) (obtained summary judgment dismissal/withdrawal of all claims against client and grant of common law and contractual indemnification as against all remaining defendants in high profile, high exposure premises liability matter that later resulted in a $45+ million verdict against the remaining owner and security defendants)

Smolinski v. Ford Motor Credit, et al.78 A.D.3d 1642 (4th Dep’t 2010) (obtained vacatur of $50 million judgment against defendant for 22-year-old’s quadriplegia injuries and ordering new trial on basis of evidentiary errors and plaintiff attorney misconduct)

Melissa Cohen, et al., v. The City of New York, et al., Index No. 6146/2012, Roberto Rodriguez, et al., v. Alexander Palacio, City of New York, et al., Index No. 28861/2011, Palacio v. City of New York, et al., Index No. 26142/2011  (Sup.Ct., Queens Co. 2018) (obtained summary judgment dismissal of wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury claims in three separate actions against contractors involved in roadway construction project on Queensboro Bridge)

Joao Dias v. NYCHA, Index No. 505822/2015 (Sup.Ct., Kings Co., Dec. 4, 2018) (Rivera, J.) (obtained post-trial motion $9.3 million remittitur of $15.2 million damages verdict)

Yao v. World Wide Travel (I-95 Bus Crash Litigation), 2018 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4369 (Sup.Ct., Kings Co., Dec. 20, 2017) (obtained summary judgment dismissal of all claims against target truck company defendants in high profile, high exposure consolidated/mass tort bus crash case involving 15 wrongful death plaintiffs and multiple catastrophically-injured personal injury plaintiffs)

In re 91st Street Crane Collapse Litigation, Index No. 771000/2010 (Sup. Ct. New York Co. 2015) (obtained CPLR 4401 order dismissing all claims against client general contractor (and granting it common law indemnification) upon close of plaintiffs’ proof in catastrophic wrongful death actions that later resulted in a $95 million verdict against the remaining defendants following a year-long trial)

U.S. Energy Dev. Corp. v Superior Well Servs., Inc., 155 A.D.3d 1553, 1554 (4th Dep’t 2017) (obtained dismissal of all claims of negligence against insured arising from allegations of negligence, promissory estoppel and unjust enrichment arising from insured’s work on 97 different wells and involving damages claims of $20+ million)

Bermejo v. New York City Health and Hospitals Corp., 135 A.D.3d 116 (2d Dep’t 2015) (obtained lengthy seminal decision curbing improper IME discovery practices by plaintiffs resulting in mistrial and awarding costs of trial and appeal and attorneys’ fees to defendants)

Rolland v. Senn, 2015 WL 4080836 (Superior Ct., Pa. 2015) (obtained vacatur of $20+ million verdict in judicial hellhole and obtained new trial on liability and damages on basis of multiple erroneous rulings)

Zeng Guang Lin v. Hutch Realty Partners LLC, et al., Index No. 24253/08 (Sup. Ct. Queens Co. 2015) (obtained extremely favorable settlement during pendency of simultaneous post-trial motions and appeal from $68 million judgment in brain injury case)

Town of Amherst v. Hilger106 A.D.3d 120 (4th Dep’t 2013) (obtained excellent decision providing basis for client’s subrogation/indemnification recovery of $31 million of $32 million judgment against recalcitrant third-party defendant in complex recovery action against the NYSIF arising out of paraplegia injuries sustained by roofer in construction accident)

Matter of Steam Pipe Explosion at 41st St. & Lexington Ave.147 A.D.3d 421, 422 (1st Dep’t 2017) (obtained remittitur of $12.2 million verdict down to $4.8 million and, more importantly, rendering the insured’s obligation $0 upon application of G.O.L. 15-108 set-off arising from co-defendant Con Ed settlement with plaintiff)

Shipe v. Saker Shoprites, Inc., 2013 WL 3184736 (Superior Ct., N.J. 2013) (obtained reversal of liability judgment against client for sex discrimination)

National Union v. Zurich, 2011 WL 1103475 (Superior Ct., App. Div. 2011), certification denied 207 N.J. 189 (2011), and reconsideration denied __ N.J. __ (2011), and interest and fees granted __ N.J.Super. __ (N.J. Super. Ct., Law Div., Civ. Part, Mercer Co., Karchman, J., June 5, 2013) (obtained reversal of summary judgment against insurer in subrogation action arising from wrongful death judgment from construction accident, ultimately resulting in an over $7 million recovery in favor of the insurer)

Atl. City Assocs., LLC, v. Carter & Burgess Consultants, Inc., Nos. 09-3124, 10-2033, 2011 WL 1683099 (3d Cir. May 4, 2011) (obtained vacatur of $12.7 million judgment against client for delay damages from construction project on basis of consequential damages waiver clause)

Fisher v. Flanigan, 89 A.D.3d 1398 (4th Dep’t 2011), mot. for rearg. and lv. denied 92 A.D.3d 1267 (4th Dep’t 2012), rearg. den. 92 A.D.3d 1267 (4th Dep’t 2012), mot. lv. den. 19 N.Y.2d 803 (2012) (successful in ghost-writing briefs that obtained dismissal of complaint in catastrophic injury product liability action against the manufacturer of an RV involving a quadriplegic plaintiff)

Melo v. Morm Management Co., 93 A.D.3d 499 (1st Dep’t 2012) (obtained order dismissing $5.5 million judgment and awarding new trial in favor of client on causation in premises liability case)

Michaud v. Lefferts 750 LLC, 87 A.D.3d 990 (2d Dep’t 2011) (reversing and awarding summary judgment dismissing complaint against client in lead exposure case)

Midler v. Crane, 14 N.Y.3d 877 (2010) (obtained order setting aside multimillion-dollar liability verdict against rheumatologist and granting new trial)

Dessasore v. New York City Housing Authority, 70 A.D.3d 440 (1st Dep’t 2010) (obtained vacatur of $5 million judgment and new trial on liability and causation for client in premises liability case)

Firmes v. Chase Manhattan Automotive Finance Corp., 50 A.D.3d 18 (2d Dep’t 2008) (obtained substantial remittitur of $14 million judgment down to $7.6 million in motor vehicle accident personal injury case (leg amputation) and, in a seminal CPLR 4545 ruling, obtained reversal of order precluding collateral source offset, resulting in another $800,000 reduction)

Carlson v. Porter, 53 A.D.3d 1129 (4th Dep’t 2008) (successful in ghost-writing briefs in appeal in wrongful death action arising from motor vehicle accident from $26.8 million judgment that obtained dismissal of all claims against insured and substantial remittitur of damages award down to $7.5 million [well below carrier’s attachment point])

Lowery v. Lamaute, 40 A.D.3d 822 (2d Dep’t 2007) (obtained reversal of $4+ million money judgment and dismissal of complaint against physician defendant on causation grounds)

Leniar v. Metropolitan Transit Authority, 37 A.D.3d 425 (2d Dep't 2007) (obtained reversal and dismissal of catastrophic brain and physical injury claims from 25-foot fall onto concrete of Verrazano Bridge pursuant to sole proximate cause exception to Labor Law 240(1))

Butler v. Grimes, 40 A.D.3d 569, 570 (2d Dep’t 2007) (obtained remittitur of $5+ million judgment to $3.5 million)

Christopherson v. Queens-Long Island Med. Group, P.C., 17 A.D.3d 393, 393 (2d Dep’t 2005) (obtained reversal and dismissal of all claims against hospital involving claims based on ostensible or apparent agency)

Johnson v. Freihofer Baking Co., Inc., 16 A.D.3d 461, 461 (2d Dep’t 2005) (obtained substantial remittitur of damages award in Labor Law action)

Perkins v. Murphy, 7 A.D.3d 500, 500 (2d Dep’t 2004) (obtained dismissal of complaint against physician insured on summary judgment and affirmance on appeal)

Evans v. St. Mary's Hosp. of Brooklyn, 1 A.D.3d 314 (2d Dep't 2003) (obtained remittitur of jury verdict of $100 million for pain and suffering to $1.8 million for catastrophic anoxic brain damage)

Huthmacher v. Dunlop Tire Corp., 309 A.D.2d 1175 (4th Dep't 2003) (obtained vacatur of a $8.6 million damages verdict against client in a wrongful death Labor Law case arising from a 45-foot fall onto concrete)

Esposito v. N.Y. City Indus. Dev. Agency, 1 N.Y.3d 526, 528 (2003) (obtained dismissal of all Labor Law claims against defendant building owners and lessees on basis that injury-producing work constituted routine maintenance not covered by the statutes, and on basis of plaintiff’s special employee status)

Mondo v. Ellstein, 302 A.D.2d 437, 438 (2d Dep’t 2003) (obtained reversal and dismissal of all claims against defendant surgeon on basis of demonstration of lack of proximate causation)

Presley v. United States Postal Serv., 317 F.3d 167, 171 (2d Cir. 2003) (obtained remand and reconsideration of Magistrate’s clearly erroneous rulings on damages and apportionment)

Kaplan v. Nadler, 289 A.D.2d 454, 454 (2d Dep’t 2001) (obtained reversal of order setting aside jury verdict and reinstating jury verdict in favor of defendants)

Johnson v. Commercial Interior Contr. Corp., 281 A.D.2d 394, 394 (2d Dep’t 2001) (obtained vacatur of non-jury trial verdict and $5+ million judgment on basis of appearance of impropriety involving judge and plaintiff counsel relationship)

Mateo v. City of New York, 274 A.D.2d 337, 337 (1st Dep’t 2000) (obtained reversal of order striking defendant’s pleadings on the basis of failure to comply with discovery)

Wright v. New York City Hous. Auth., 273 A.D.2d 378, 378 (2d Dep’t 2000) (obtained vacatur of jury verdict in favor of plaintiff on basis of trial court’s error in refusing request to unify trial and exclusion of plaintiff’s party admission)

Amo v. Little Rapids Corp., 268 A.D.2d 712, 718 (3d Dep’t 2000) (obtained vacatur of jury verdict and new trial in Labor Law 240(1) case on basis that trial court erroneously granted plaintiff’s motion for a directed verdict when issues of fact existed as to the de minimis height of plaintiff’s alleged fall)

Heller v. Lous Provenzano, 257 A.D.2d 378 (1st Dep't 1999) (obtained vacatur of $2.25 million jury verdict for pain and suffering on basis of fundamental trial misconduct by plaintiff despite failure of counsel to timely object)

Goldstein v. St. John's Episcopal Hosp., 267 A.D.2d 426, 427 (2d Dep’t 1999) (obtained summary judgment and affirmance of dismissal of plaintiff’s’ complaint on basis of lack of capacity to sue on basis of plaintiffs’ failure to list claim in bankruptcy)

Fitch v. Turner Const. Co., 241 A.D.2d 166 (1st Dep't 1998) (obtained reversal of erroneous antisubrogation determination as against client and obtained full indemnification recovery of pay-and-chase settlement outlay)

Olsen v. Burns, 267 A.D.2d 366, 367 (2d Dep’t 1999) (obtained significant remittitur of wrongful death pain and suffering and loss of parental guidance awards)

Day v. Maimonides Med. Ctr., 698 N.Y.S.2d 150, 150 (2d Dep’t 1999) (obtaining reversal of motion court’s order vacating dismissal of plaintiff’s action)

Torres v. NY City Hous. Auth., 261 A.D.2d 273, 273 (1st Dep’t 1999) (obtained reversal of order granting plaintiff’s motion for leave to file amended notice of claim and denying defendant NYCHA’s motion to dismiss complaint)

Rudy v. Chasky, 260 A.D.2d 625, 626 (2d Dep’t 1999) (obtained reversal of order granting plaintiff’s motion to restore pursuant to CPLR 3404)

Crespo v. Bakken, 256 A.D.2d 377, 378 (2d Dep’t 1998) (obtained reversal of order granting co-defendant tortfeasor’s motion for summary judgment)

Pierce v. City of NY, 253 A.D.2d 545, 548 (2d Dep’t 1998) (obtained significant remittitur of $2.5 million pain and suffering award down to $1 million, and obtained modification of order denying insured third-party plaintiff partial indemnification on antisubrogation grounds)

Agli v. Turner Constr. Co., 246 A.D.2d 16, 26 (1st Dept 1998) (obtained dismissal of Labor Law 240(1) cause of action on summary judgment that was affirmed on appeal, and further obtained dismissal of Labor Law 241(6) cause of action on appeal)

Cicalese v. Caruana, 250 A.D.2d 568, 569 (2d Dep’t 1998) (obtained vacatur of jury verdict and judgment on basis that trial verdict was against the weight of the evidence on proximate causation)

Prete v. Rafla-Demetrious, 224 A.D.2d 674 (2d Dep't 1996) (obtained reversal of money judgment against client neurologist on causation grounds)

Francis v Leon D. Dematteis Assoc., LLC, 99 A.D.3d 856, 857 (2d Dep’t 2012) (obtained affirmance of dismissal of complaint for insured contractor arising from claims of negligent mold remediation)

Zohar v. 1014 Sixth Ave. Realty Corp., 24 A.D.3d 125, 127 (1st Dep’t 2005) (obtained affirmance of dismissal of complaint for insured property owner arising from claims of property damage by commercial tenants)

Andree v. Demopoulos, 36 A.D.3d 731, 731 (2d Dep’t 2007) (obtained affirmance of dismissal of complaint as against third-party defendant hospital for negligent misrepresentation and other grounds)

Peter T. v. Children's Vil., Inc., 30 A.D.3d 582, 586 (2d Dep’t 2006) (obtained reversal and dismissal of claims against juvenile treatment center)

LaPierre v. Efron, 22 A.D.3d 808, 809 (2d Dep’t 2005) (obtained affirmance of grant of CPLR 4401 motion dismissing all claims against insured physician)

Villano v. Long Island Jewish Med. Ctr., 195 Misc. 2d 799, 813 (Sup.Ct., Nassau Co. 2003) (obtained dismissal of plaintiff’s claims against oral surgeon on motion)

Heller v. Louis Provenzano, Inc., 303 A.D.2d 20, 26 (1st Dep’t 2003) (obtained reversal of order granting plaintiff’s motion to amend complaint to add claim for punitive damages)

Mills v. Moriarty, 302 A.D.2d 436, 436 (2d Dep’t 2003) (obtained affirmance of summary judgment dismissal of all claims against defendant surgeon on basis that plaintiff’s affidavit was provided by a nurse practitioner lacking proper qualifications to offer opinion on relevant standard of care)

Castillo v. Zargaroff, 299 A.D.2d 512, 512 (2d Dep’t 2002) (obtained affirmance of CPLR 4401 dismissal of all claims against defendant surgeon and hospital on causation grounds)

Cohoes Realty Assocs. v. Lexington Ins. Co., 292 A.D.2d 51, 54 (1st Dep’t 2002) (obtained vacatur of order dismissing complaint against insurer)

Braddy v. 601 Crown St. Corp., 282 A.D.2d 638, 639 (2d Dep’t 2001) (obtained affirmance of order vacating default)

Grosser v. YRL Assocs., 281 A.D.2d 591, 592 (2d Dep’t 2001) (obtained summary judgment and affirmance on appeal in favor of defendants on basis of lack of actual or constructive notice)

Cicalese v. Caruana, 274 A.D.2d 540, 541 (2d Dep’t 2000) (obtained affirmance of jury verdict in favor of defendant)

Schortemeyer v. K-Mart Corp., 272 A.D.2d 391, 391 (2d Dep’t 2000) (obtained summary judgment and affirmance on appeal on basis of absence of actual or constructive notice of alleged dangerous condition)

Alvarez v. Brooklyn Hosp.-Caledonian Hosp., 255 A.D.2d 278, 278 (2d Dep’t 1998) (obtained affirmance of motion court’s order denying poundage application by Sheriff’s Department)

Playford v. Phelps Mem. Hosp. Ctr., 254 A.D.2d 471, 471 (2d Dep’t 1998) (obtained reversal of Supreme Court’s order denying defendants’ motion to dismiss on statute of limitations grounds)

Edwards-Samouge v. Brookdale Hosp. Med. Ctr., 246 A.D.2d 508 (2d Dep’t 1998) (obtained affirmance of Supreme Court’s denial of plaintiff’s motion to restore pursuant to CPLR 3404)

Collum v. NY City Health & Hosps. Corp., 244 AD.2d 380, 381 (2d Dep’t 1997) (obtained reversal of Supreme Court’s order dismissing action on statute of limitations grounds, and obtained reinstatement of complaint on basis of establishment of continuous course of treatment)

Loehner v. Simons, 239 A.D.2d 468, 469 (2d Dep’t 1997) (obtained modification of judgment to the extent of dismissing award of damages to decedent’s distributee in absence of evidence of economic injury)

Rosado v. Klotz, 239 A.D.2d 330, 331 (2d Dep’t 1997) (obtained reversal of Supreme Court’s order reinstating plaintiff’s complaint)

Vann v. City of N.Y., 232 A.D.2d 631, 631 (2d Dep’t 1996) (obtained summary judgment dismissing complaint and affirmance on appeal)

Newsroom

News

Education

University of New York, Buffalo, School of Law, J.D., 1994

State University of New York at Fredonia, B.S. in Communication/Media, 1989

Admissions

  • New York, 1995
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 2002
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 2002
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 2002
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