Scott Stopnik concentrates his legal practice on construction litigation and related labor law, contract and coverage matters. He has extensive experience litigating in state and appellate courts, as well as practicing in federal courts in New York and nationally. Scott manages and administers a national program of litigation for one of the largest cable operators in the United States. Further, he heads national litigation programs for an insurer and major contractors, assisting clients in the administration of litigation and risk management programs. Over the course of Scott’s career, he has worked with commercial and residential real estate developers, construction managers, general contractors, subcontractors, service providers and insurers toward the resolution of complex claims and commercial issues. Scott has contributed numerous articles to Wilson Elser advisories on construction liability, insurance coverage, motor vehicle and trucking liability topics.
A pragmatic counselor and zealous advocate, Scott’s experience at two major insurers handling construction-related issues helped him develop an appreciation for the underlying costs of litigation and the impact these costs can have on the clients’ and insurers’ business models and forecasts. He relies on this perspective combined with the depth and breadth of his experience to review a particular case and quickly identify the best means for resolution, with the interests of the client paramount at all times.
Areas of Focus
Scott represents all parties involved in the development, construction, demolition, renovation and rehabilitation of properties as well as the service and maintenance of all aspects of commercial and residential development. He has represented numerous such parties in connection with a full range of claims, including personal injury, construction defect and breach of contract. Scott’s specialized knowledge of the development and maintenance of properties has enabled him to effectively defend his clients in all areas of potential litigation as warranted by their businesses, including claims involving elevator liability, municipal liability, transportation liability, premises and security liability, and insurance coverage matters.
General Liability & Casualty
Property subrogation and hospital liability are natural outgrowths of Scott’s construction practice. He represents property insurers in legal actions to recover monies from third parties responsible for a loss, such as plumbers and caulkers in connection with claims where it is alleged that that faulty work caused water damage. Hospitals, given the nature of the services they provide, are particularly vulnerable, and Scott is experienced at mounting a strong defense in instances of injury and loss.
Successfully defended general contractor in connection with a Labor Law liability matter where plaintiff survived 11-story fall onto vehicle in traffic; plaintiff claimed $98 million in economic loss exclusive from claim for pain and suffering; resolved during pending summary judgment motion practice for $12.1 million.
Represented commercial real estate owner and associated parking garage in connection with claim where plaintiff sued our clients and parking garage man-lift maintenance company whereby plaintiff sustained bilateral leg crush injuries rendering plaintiff permanently disabled and scarred, which required six surgeries among other medical treatment; defended trial and case settled prior to verdict for $4.9 million.
Successfully resolved matter in connection with Owner Controlled Insurance Program representing owner, managing agent, tenant, general contractor and demolition subcontractor in connection with construction accident asserting, among other claims, a violation of Labor Law § 240(1); plaintiff fell from scaffold sustaining maleolus and calcaneal fractures, each requiring surgical intervention, claiming a permanent inability to acquire gainful employment; plaintiff conveyed firm settlement demand of $7 million; using and leveraging significant investigation and deposition testimony, successfully resolved claim at mediation for $1.65 million.