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SKETCHES OF COURT: Jury shows plaintiff the door in premises liability trial

August 10, 2018 By Alba Acevedo Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Court sketch by Alba Acevedo
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In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Katherine Levine listens as plaintiff’s attorney Anthony Hirschberger (standing), of the law offices of Hach & Rose, addresses the jury during his summation in the premises liability trial Allen v. New York City Housing Authority. At issue was the determination of fault. 

Cora Allen claimed to have been injured in September 2013, when a wooden bi-fold door allegedly came off the wall and fell on her in her Sumner Houses apartment. At the time of the accident, Allen was tending to laundry in a washing machine in the closet. Hirschberger maintained that a dangerous condition existed as a result of improper installation of the door, and elicited testimony from an expert witness mechanical engineer who concluded that the door had been installed backwards.  

NYCHA, which owns and operates the property, was represented by Paul Krez (at right), of the law firm Krez & Flores. Krez called on the NYCHA inspector who had checked the closet door a year before the alleged incident, to testify. The inspector, now a NYCHA property maintenance supervisor, asserted that the door had been properly mounted. At the time of the inspection, he recalled, the washing machine was in the kitchen. 

Krez challenged Allen’s allegation that an accident had ever happened, which prompted reactive behavior from Allen, who was escorted out of the courtroom.  

The jury deliberated approximately two hours before it returned a verdict for the defendant. The jury determined that Allen had not been involved in an accident, in the trial that resolved last week in Kings County Civil Term. 

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