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Manhattan Judge Refuses to Dismiss Punitive Damages Claim Against Building Owner/Manager

On June 14, 2018, Justice Carol Robinson Edmead agreed that a jury or trial judge should decide whether the conduct of an owner/manager of a building on Lexington Avenue by 59th Street in Manhattan was so egregious and dangerous (to the general public) that would warrant punitive damages in addition to the usual compensatory damages. Basically, one morning in February 2014 a construction worker was walking on the sidewalk on Lexington Avenue when he was struck with snow and ice that slid off the defendant's building. The plaintiff's shoulder and neck were so severely injured that he required an arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder and a cervical laminectomy with fusion, which have left him permanently disabled from working. The plaintiff pointed out that the design of the building facade was especially dangerous because snow and ice (then and now) routinely slides off the exterior downward sloping metal ledges underneath the glass windows on each floor.

The defendant's argued against punitive damages on the ground that they had never received a violation and that none of the prior victims of the falling snow and ice had sued them. Justice Edmead replied this defense was a red herring: "The evidence in this case shows that the falling ice was an immense problem for years, and that the Defendants allowed it to continue during that time, culminating in a number of people being hit with falling ice....as complaints of pedestrians being hit with snow and ice go back years." It was also noted that there was video evidence showing defendants employees viewing chunks of ice fall onto the sidewalk with their security cameras before the accident happened. They apparently did nothing to prevent the plaintiff's accident. Richards v Alexander's Inc., Vornado Realty, 2018 WL 2984971

Ronald C. Burke, Esq

Trial Attorney with 30+ Years of Experience Attorney Ronald C. Burke, Esq. has more than 30 years of experience and has focused his career on representing clients in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and legal malpractice. He is a seasoned trial lawyer and has won many seven-figure settlements and verdicts for his clients over the years, including many case victories listed among the largest in the history of the New York State. He has been featured in the news and is a regular lecturer for the New York County Lawyers Association, as well as having lectured before the New York State Bar Association. Ron is also an attorney with Kelner & Kelner, a New York personal injury law firm. Awards and Accolades Mr. Burke's awards and accolades are many. Among them, he has been included in New York Super Lawyers® each year since 2010, and he has received the highest-possible AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. Verdict Search, a part of the New York Law Journal, frequently recognizes his notable successes after winning some of the highest settlements and verdicts in past years. He was also featured in their list of the "Top New York Verdicts of 2011" and "Top New York Settlements of 2012." He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as before the United States Supreme Court. When Attorney Burke is not handling legal malpractice cases, he is highly involved in the local community. He is a member of the Village of Rockville Centre Volunteer Fire Department, has served on the local school board and as Chairman of the local Zoning Board. Learn more about Attorney Burke and how he can skillfully handle your malpractice case by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke, Esq. right away to schedule your complimentary case evaluation. Our firm is here to help! Contact a New York Legal Malpractice Attorney Our firm provides each client's case with thorough preparation and aggressive representation, ensuring that you win the best possible results for your case whether it is settled or goes to trial. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. Burke can provide the strong and relentless representation you need to establish negligence in a legal malpractice case and to recover any damages you may have suffered. Our firm can recover compensation for pre-trial and trial malpractice, violations of fee arrangements, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more. Contact us today!

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