Brooklyn Boro

SKETCHES OF COURT: Jury finds defective condition not attributable to defendants

August 20, 2018 By Alba Acevedo Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Court sketch by Alba Acevedo
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In this courtroom sketch Hon. Kathy King listens as defendant’s attorney Richard Koehler (standing), of the law firm Hammill, O’Brien, Croutier, Dempsey, Pender & Koehler, addresses the jury during his closing remarks in the slip-and-fall trial Jamison-Cox v. Brooklyn Union Gas, et. al. At issue was the determination of liability.

Janet Jamison-Cox headed out of her apartment in June 2010 to report to her early morning shift with the Transit Authority. While crossing Waverly Avenue toward where she had parked her car, Jamison-Cox claims that she tripped on a hole in the roadway in the 3:30 a.m. darkness and was seriously injured.

Steven Beldock (right), trial counsel to the law offices of Bruce S. Reznick, Esq., maintained that the hole was created when the defendants failed to properly restore the roadway to a safe condition after working on gas lines in that location. Beldock called on two witnesses for the plaintiff and who testified to having observed the performance of roadway work by Keyspan in that location.

Koehler maintained that work permits indicated that the defendants had been working on a nearby sidewalk, but not in the roadway where there were no gas lines. Koehler further sought to impugn witness testimony when he noted that Keyspan had ceased gas operations years prior to the accident and that, contrary to witness testimony, any truck and uniform signage would have indicated “National Grid,” not Keyspan. Koehler also introduced Google Map images in which he maintained that the roadway defect was in evidence before the accident.

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The jury was charged with determining whether or not the defendants had created the condition that caused Jamison-Cox’s accident. The jury deliberated briefly before returning a unanimous verdict against the plaintiff.


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