On January 22, 2020, an appellate court vacated a Staten Island jury verdict of $1,102,000, based on the improper comments of plaintiff's counsel in closing arguments. The jury had determined that a 73 year old woman suffering from multiple severe medical issues unnecessarily died as a result of negligent care at a residential health care facility.
The Appellate Division, Second Department ruled that a new trial on all issues was warranted because plaintiff's counsel in his/her summation: characterized the defendant as a corporation that has “two lawyers”, a “tech person”, “general counsel” and “video people”; argued that the defendant's witnesses changed their testimony from other sworn testimony that was not in evidence; and, claimed that the defendant failed to call witnesses who were not under its control. The appellate court reversed the trial court who denied the defendant's post trial motion to vacate the verdict. Nieves v. Clove Lakes Health Care & Rehabilitation, 2020 WL 356093