SKETCHES OF COURT: After fall, construction employee seeks damages

March 24, 2014 By Alba Acevedo Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Arthur M. Schack (left, seated) listens as defendant’s attorney Mathew Ross of Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP (right, standing) answers questions off the record regarding a late disclosure surveillance video. Erfan Ibne (far right, seated) is a paralegal at Wilson Elser. The case before Justice Schack is Brian and Jacqueline Petrides v. School Construction Authority, City of New York and New York City Board of Education. 

At issue in this trial is the determination of damages after an accident in April of 2010, at a construction site on the grounds of P.S. 89 in Brooklyn. Plaintiff Brian Petrides (foreground, seated, with cane), an employee, was dismantling scaffolding when he took a 20-foot fall. He underwent subsequent spinal and shoulder surgeries and presently suffers post-op complications. Plaintiff’s attorney Edmond Chakmakian (left, standing), sole practitioner, is seeking damages against the defendant for his client’s injuries as well as loss of income and loss of consortium.  

Chakmakian objected to Ross’s late disclosure of the surveillance video. Justice Shack excused the jury from the courtroom while he previewed the video to determine if there was any prejudice. As previous video was essentially the same but from a different angle, the judge allowed it into evidence. At top right, a screened image depicts the plaintiff as observed through a chain link fence, walking with a cane. 

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Ross sought to mitigate the damages considered against his client. He alleged that pre-existing conditions substantially contributed to Petrides’ present circumstances. He cited prior medical and injury history, including a motorcycle accident in 2003.

In the earlier liability phase of this bifurcated trial, the jury found 100% against the defendant. The damages phase of the trial is scheduled to continue this week in Kings County Civil Term. 


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