Brooklyn Boro

SKETCHES OF COURT: Judge favors city in manhole cover slip-and-fall trial

March 10, 2016 By Alba Acevedo Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Court sketch by Alba Acevedo

In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Kathy King listens as plaintiff’s attorney David Pomerantz (standing), trial counsel for the law offices of Paul Vesnaver, addresses the jury in the slip-and-fall trial Devon Goodman v. City of New York. At issue was the determination of liability.

Goodman claimed that he was seriously injured when he tripped on the protruded edge of a manhole cover on E. 80th Street in Brooklyn. Pomerantz recounted details of the incident in his opening statements, and indicated that he would seek to prove that his client’s accident of Nov. 18, 2007 at around 3 a.m., implicates the city as negligent in the maintenance of the area around the cover.

Defendant’s attorney, Sean O’Brien (at right), of the New York City Law Department, made note in his opening remarks that there was no proof that the city was made aware of or put on notice for any problem with the manhole cover. Additionally, he professed skepticism that the events transpired as claimed.

Pomerantz’s witnesses failed to appear. O’Brien moved for a directed verdict, claiming the plaintiff failed to make a prima facie case. Judge King ruled in favor of the City of New York and the case was dismissed this week in Kings County Civil Term.