Our practice in tort litigation involves primarily the defense of claims—through to trial and appeal—brought against individuals, corporations and other business entities, and the insureds of insurance carriers. We have particular expertise and experience in the following types of claims.
Subrogation and Property Damage Defense
We have extensive experience handling property damage cases, generally those involving some type of damage sustained to a residential or commercial real property. We usually are called on to defend contractors in various trades in cases involving primarily water or fire losses, or other events connected with work claimed to be faulty, or due to faulty design or improper installation. The work in these areas allows us to work closely with engineering and other experts, from which we have developed a list of nationwide experts to use in many disciplines. These types of cases often involve multiple parties and document intensive. Handling them involves an intimate knowledge of tort law, insurance law, contract law, and the rules involving contribution and indemnification. These types of cases are extremely fact intensive and very often are not resolved until just before, during, or after trial.
Defense of contractors and subcontractors in construction lawsuits involving personal injury, property damage and construction defects, including those claims involving strict liability brought under the New York Labor Law.
General Liability Defense
We aggressively defend all aspects of general, premises and automobile liability claims brought against owners, operators and managers of companies and commercial properties.
Product Liability Defense
We defend manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and others who make products available to the public against claims that they should be held responsible for the injuries those products cause.
Environmental and Toxic Tort Claims Defense
We have extensive experience in defending environmental clean-up cases under the New York Oil Spill Action and asbestos cases.
Examples of our success in defending tort cases include:
- Defense verdict in a jury trial on behalf of an electrician involving claims by seven subrogated insurers that the electrician’s work negligently caused a fire involving multi-million dollar damages.
- Defense verdict in a jury trial on behalf of an appliance manufacturer involving strict products liability claims for serious burn injuries from an allegedly exploding gas range.
- Directed defense verdict in a jury trial on behalf of an appliance manufacturer involving the distribution of an allegedly defective commercial washing machine that caused personal injuries.
- Dismissal on summary judgment of all NY Labor Law claims under sections 240(1) [Scaffold Law] and 241(6) against an owner and general contractor after establishing that the alleged accident was not gravity-related and that there were no violations of the Industrial Code. Case on remaining negligence claims settled soon thereafter at mediation with minimal contribution on behalf of the firm’s clients.
- Dismissal on summary judgment of subrogated property damage claims after establishing our client contractor’s work was not a factor in causing the subject loss.
- Our client making a small contribution towards a global settlement during trial on behalf of an HVAC contractor in a multi-party lawsuit involving noise claims by an owner in a NYC co-op.
- Dismissal on summary judgment of an individual’s personal injury claims against a snow removal contractor, after demonstrating that its work did not meet any of the exceptions to impose potential liability for a slip and fall.
- Dismissal on summary judgment of warnings and warranty claims in a products suit against a printing press distributor involving a hand crush injury.
- Dismissal of claims under the “serious injury” threshold of the New York No-Fault Law in motor vehicle accident lawsuits.
- Dismissal of federal “Graves Amendment” law claims made against a nationwide truck leasing company.
- Dismissal on summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, of injury claims against a subcontractor in connection with the installation of a glass enclosure in a high-rise office building.
- Dismissal on summary judgment of injury claims against the general contractor in connection with a retail store renovation.