News Brief

Lum, Zemsky, Cash and Greenfield Take Back-to-Back Liability Verdicts for Casino Client

June 5, 2019

Larry Lum (Partner-New York) and Jessica Zemsky (Of Counsel-White Plains) defended an international gaming conglomerate (casino) in Queens County Supreme Court on a negligent security case, when its security staff knocked down an innocent bystander while violently ejecting an intoxicated individual. The casino insisted on trying the case due to the excessive settlement demand of $500,000; plaintiff was a 78-year-old woman who sustained multiple herniated discs, torn menisci in both knees and a stress fracture in her right knee. A 5/6 liability verdict in plaintiff’s favor was ultimately rendered after two days of deliberation. Thanks to a solid defense, plaintiff and her attorney endured substantial stress during the course of the trial just to prove liability, prompting them to accept less money than their lowest demand before the verdict (and less than one third of the initial demand) to forego another trial on damages.  

Three days later, Larry’s team secured a directed verdict on liability in favor of the same casino client in Kings County Supreme Court. In this case, Benjamin Greenfield (Associate-White Plains) worked the case up, Joshua Cash (Partner-New York) selected the jury and served as the second chair at trial, while Larry joined the case for opening. The plaintiff, a 69-year-old woman, slipped and fell in the casino’s food court on what she described as spilled food, which was corroborated by her husband. She sustained a fracture to the tibial plateau and underwent surgery for a torn meniscus. The plaintiff’s attorney relied solely on the surveillance video showing plaintiff’s fall without any specific inspection and cleaning protocols on the part of the casino to establish a prima facie case. He underestimated the importance of notice and lost sight of the fact that he could not show how long the condition was present or that the casino’s staff somehow created it. The demand before trial was $350,000, and $50,000 was rejected right before the start of trial.

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