Appellate Division Sets Aside Jury Verdict

The Appellate Division, First Department recently affirmed the trial court’s decision to grant the defendant utility company’s motion to set aside a jury verdict and dismiss the Complaint. Daryl Paxson, Esq. drafted the appeal papers and Daniel Ratner, Esq. orally argued the issues on behalf of the defendant.

The First Department found that the trial evidence was insufficient as a matter of law to support the jury’s verdict that the defendant was responsible for the injury plaintiff received when she bumped into a trash bag containing broken fluorescent bulbs in the store she was working. Plaintiff presented no evidence that the person who changed the bulb and discarded it in the bag was acting within the scope of his employment. Secondly, the defendant presented unrefuted evidence that its employees did not change the light bulbs, that its service ended at the building wall, that it did not own or maintain electrical equipment inside the building, that independent contractors provided the services for the energy efficient program it sponsored, and that the subject building was not enrolled in that program at the time of the accident.