SKETCHES OF COURT: Verdict in labor law 200 trial
In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Carolyn Wade listens as plaintiff’s attorney Thomas O’Malley (standing), of the law firm Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman, makes his opening remarks to the jury in the damages phase of the labor law trial Kolari v. Whitestone Construction Corporation. Both parties had earlier been found liable for the accident, but the jury determined that the plaintiff’s negligence was not a substantial factor in its cause.
Feim Kolari was working as a union roofer when he injured himself by a backwards step and a twisting fall into an unguarded drainage hole. He sustained an avulsion fracture to his ankle, and alleges that he suffers from chronic intractable pain and has not been able to return to work. Kolari eventually underwent two arthroscopic surgeries to remove bone fragments and repair a ripped tendon. He further claims he has related injuries to his knee and back. O’Malley sought compensation for Kolari’s pain and suffering, as well as lost income and the loss of a generous union benefits package.
Paul J. Bottari (at right), of the law firm Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, represented the defendant. He disputed Kolari’s claims of being unable to return to roofing work, citing testimony by a vocational rehabilitationist, and maintained that sedentary work options were also available. Bottari further said that there was no causal relationship between the accident and any claims related to back or knee issues.
The jury returned a total award of approximately $635,000 in the trial that concluded this week in Kings County Civil Term. Court reporter Doreen Gaeta-Milella (at left) recorded the proceedings, as court attorney Turquoise Haskin (center) looked on.
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