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SKETCHES OF COURT: Jury awards partial verdict in breach of contract trial

April 22, 2016 By Alba Acevedo Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Court sketch by Alba Acevedo
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In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Dawn Jimenez-Salta listens as plaintiff’s attorney Marc Weingard (standing), of the law firm Weinberg, Gross & Pergament, addresses the jury during opening remarks in the contract trial Metropolitan Enterprises NY v. Khan Enterprises Construction. Court reporter Robert Frankel records the proceedings.

Khan was a general contractor for the New York City School Construction Authority in 2008 and subcontracted work on three projects to Metropolitan. Metropolitan erected scaffolding and sidewalk bridges (the shed structure protecting pedestrians passing underneath) and provided scaffold-related services.

Brian Gardner (second from right) and David Meglino (far right), of the law firm Cole Schotz, represented Khan. They alleged that there were no signed contracts to breach, but that to the effect that sums were due, Metropolitan was fully paid. That Metropolitan performed the work required was not in dispute.

The claim by Metropolitan of damages by breach of contract(s) was at least $513,900. The parties referenced contracts or proposals for base- or change-work orders, signed and unsigned, for a total of six, relating to the three school projects. The jury was asked to consider whether and to what extent these six represented enforceable contracts. They included unspecific numbers around certain pricing provisions, and the jury was tasked with doing the math.

The diligent jury awarded Metropolitan a partial verdict. There are several unresolved legal issues in this trial, the case’s second, as well as pending issues from the trial that took place four years earlier. These issues, which include for instance questions around recoverable sales taxes, could impact the award, and may be left to the court if the parties do not arrive at a post-trial consensus.


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