Senior partner Paul Clark recently obtained a defense verdict in the Supreme Court, Kings County before Judge Debra Silber. Of note, the case caught the interest of the courthouse sketch artist who captured our cross examination of the adverse engineering expert. In Tompkins v. Larstand Corporation, plaintiff tripped and fell over a misleveled sidewalk that was located on the boundary line between two commercial properties. She sustained significant injuries and underwent a shoulder rotator cuff repair, anterior cervical discectomy with fusion and lumbar laminectomy with fusion. As result, she claimed to be permanently disabled from working.
Heeding the advice of Paul and the co-defendant’s counsel, the two adjacent property owners reached an agreement that they were jointly responsible for the sidewalk. This agreement eliminated a significant dispute with the other defendant and freed the defense to focus solely on challenging plaintiff’s theory of liability rather than pointing fingers at each other. Plaintiff claimed that the sidewalk was unsafe but Paul successfully argued that the sidewalk, when viewed in its entirety, was no different than most City sidewalks and that the 1 ¼ inch lip was not dangerous.
Despite a difficult jurisdiction for the defendants, the jury returned a defense verdict thirty minutes after deliberations began. In an abundance of caution, the insurers settled the case, foreclosing any the probability of a subsequent appeal. If you have any questions, please email Paul at