Joseph Laird Partner




Joseph Laird is a trial lawyer who focuses his practice on the defense of personal injury and property damage claims. Joe has extensive experience in state and federal courts, and has successfully tried cases to verdict throughout New York State. He also has prepared briefs and argued appeals before the various Appellate Divisions. 

As administrator for the national casualty program of a leading global specialty provider of property and casualty insurance and reinsurance, Joe provides comprehensive program management services, backed by a dedicated practice area within the firm. His services include evaluation, investigation and litigation of claims; opinions on coverage and risk-transfer opportunities; management of budget and litigation expenses; and reserve recommendations. Joe’s accomplished negotiating skills provide leverage and enhance cost-effective resolution of claims. 

Joe also represents at trial individuals, corporations and self-insured entities in automobile liability, premises liability, general negligence and product liability cases, as well as clients charged with violations of New York State Labor Law. He has developed particular experience handling claims involving the hospitality and real estate industry and construction sites, and he regularly defends contractors, engineers, design professionals and developers in construction defect litigation involving significant property damage claims. 

Based on insights gained in defending numerous liability and negligence claims, Joe is able to quickly identify potential issues in a particular matter and provide the client with a good sense of where the case is headed. Whether the client’s interests are best served by early case resolution or trial, Joe is equipped to handle all aspects of litigation from inception through resolution. 

Prior to entering law school, Joe worked in the New York Capitol as a legislative aide to a state senator from New York City.

Representative Matters

Rafik Bangiyev & Emma Khaitova v. Dawn A. Bruno & Scott T. Churchill (33927/06), Supreme Court, Kings County, NY (Hon. Arthur M. Schack, J.S.C.): Plaintiffs alleged that the insured driver ran a red light and struck their vehicle. The incident occurred at the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and Booth Street in Queens, NY. Plaintiff Bangiyev alleged spinal and shoulder injuries; plaintiff Khaitova alleged a meniscus tear of the right knee requiring surgical intervention. Plaintiffs demanded the policy limits. The trial was bifurcated. On April 16, 2008, after a two-day trial, the jury returned a unanimous 6-0 defense verdict. Case published in the Jury Verdict Reporter.

June Burns v. XCHIRO Corp. (2686/06), Supreme Court, Rockland County, NY (Hon. Robert M. Berliner, J.S.C.): Plaintiff allegedly slipped and fell on a raised section of carpet at a fitness facility owned by the insured corporation. As a result of the accident, plaintiff fractured both arms and required an approximately two month hospital and rehabilitation facility stay. Plaintiff alleged almost a million dollars in medical expenses and pain and suffering. The trial was bifurcated. On October 5, 2007, after the liability phase of the trial, the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict on behalf of the insured. Case published in the Jury Verdict Reporter.

Lied Eckblad v. Delvin K. Jones, et al. (118078/04), Supreme Court, New York County, NY (Hon. Kibbie F. Payne, J.S.C): Plaintiff was riding her bicycle southbound on Central Park West when she was struck by the insured’s vehicle, a boiler repair truck. Plaintiff alleged that a New York City Transit Authority Bus had merged into traffic without signaling, causing her to move over and be struck by the insured’s vehicle, which was allegedly traveling at a high rate of speed and could have avoided plaintiff with the exercise of due caution. Plaintiff only came into contact with the insured’s vehicle. As a result of the accident, plaintiff sustained a Galeazzi fracture of the left arm, which necessitated an open reduction with internal fixation. Plaintiff claimed, among other things, that the injury ruined her ability to pursue a career as a violinist. On March 27, 2006, the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict on behalf of the insured driver and owner. The codefendant was found 100 percent liable for the happening of the accident. Case published in the Jury Verdict Reporter.

Leonie Buchanan v. Metropolitan Suburban Bus Authority (MSBA), Rick Yungandreas, Daniel Wasserman & Faye Wasserman (5848/99), Supreme Court, Queens County, NY (Hon. Joseph Risi, J.S.C.): Plaintiff was a passenger in a municipal bus driven by the insured driver and insured owner (MSBA). As a result of an alleged short stop, plaintiff claimed that she was thrown forward and sustained various injuries as a result. The insured driver alleged that the short stop occurred as a result of being cut-off by a third-vehicle, who also was a defendant in the case. The trial lasted four days. On May 24, 1999, the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict on behalf of the insured driver and owner finding the codefendant 100 percent liable for the happening of the accident.

John S. Pawlowski v. Alliance Overhead Doors, Inc., et al. (18532/97), Supreme Court, Bronx County, NY (Hon. Norma Ruiz, J.S.C.): Plaintiff’s car was struck in the rear by the insured’s commercial van while traveling on the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn, NY. The insured driver had moved to Russia since the accident and was not available to testify at trial. As a result of the accident, plaintiff allegedly tore the lateral meniscus of his right knee, which required surgical intervention; the surgeon testified at trial on plaintiff’s behalf. The trial was bifurcated by stipulation of the parties. With respect to the issue of liability, the jury found in favor of plaintiff; however, on the issue of damages, the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict on behalf of the insureds and did not make any award to plaintiff for his alleged injuries. Case published in the Jury Verdict Reporter.

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