In a four-day trial in Onondaga County, Monaco Cooper Lamme & Carr, PLLC partner, Mackenzie Monaco, was successful in defending her client, a Fortune 250 satellite and streaming company, who was sued for negligence related to a trip and fall incident which occurred at a customer’s home.
The case involves plaintiff, an 83-year-old married woman, who requested a service call from the defendant to repair a satellite receiver in her home. On the day of the incident, the plaintiff’s husband let the defendant’s satellite technician into their house and into the bedroom where the satellite receiver was located. The technician entered the bedroom with a toolbelt and a large canvas bag that they sat on the floor and pushed flush against a dresser. The plaintiff knew the technician was in the house but was doing laundry in another room. The technician exited the house to inspect the actual satellite and the plaintiff thereafter entered the bedroom carrying a two-foot stack of laundry in her hands. The laundry almost entirely obscured her ability to see in front of her. When she walked into the bedroom, she tripped over the technician’s canvas bag, fell to the floor, and injured herself.
Before and during trial, MCLC attorney Mackenzie Kesterke was successful in submitting and arguing the following motions to the court, all of which were granted:
- Motion to preclude the plaintiff’s expert, based on the grounds that the expert was unnecessary and irrelevant, the proposed testimony intruded on the province of the jury, the issue for the jury to decide did not involve any policy, industry, or community safety concerns, the expert’s expertise was in IT, not satellite service, and the plaintiff’s expert disclosure, along with the new claims from the Bill of Particulars, were prejudicially served on defendants with improper notice prior to trial.
- Motion in Limine to preclude plaintiff from offering or eliciting any testimony regarding industry standards, safety standards, corporate greed or policy arguments (preclude the use of the reptile theory).
- Motion in Limine to preclude plaintiff from alleging the new claims alleged in an Amended Bill of Particulars regarding safety issues, served only 30 days before trial.
- Motion in Limine to ensure all parties use proper pronouns.
- Motion to preclude any testimony regarding the allegations in the Amended Bill of Particulars.
- Motion to preclude allegations of consent, as it was not alleged in the plaintiff’s Complaint or Bill of Particulars.
- Motion to preclude the language “upsell” and corporate greed.
Ms. Monaco, on direct examination of both the plaintiff and her husband, elicited from both that they did not think the defendant’s technician did anything wrong. She argued that her client’s technician was reasonably prudent in the placement of the canvas bag on the floor, that the bag was not inherently dangerous, that the bag did not cause a dangerous condition, that her client did not act negligently, and that accidents can simply happen in the absence of negligence. The jury agreed with Ms. Monaco’s argument and unanimously returned a no cause of action on liability.
About Mackenzie Monaco
Mackenzie Monaco maintains an active litigation practice representing a wide range of clients, from individuals and local businesses to national corporations, in state and federal courts throughout New York. Mackenzie delivers counseling, risk management, and tort defense services to the hospitality and retail, construction, insurance, and health care industries. She also maintains an active trusts and estates practice. She is Vice-Chair of ALFA’s Hospitality & Retail Practice Group. Mackenzie can be reached at email@example.com and (518) 675-7739.
About Mackenzie Kesterke
Mackenzie Kesterke is a litigator practicing in the areas of general litigation and personal injury, construction, product liability, and professional liability specifically medical malpractice. She practices in state, federal, and appellate courts throughout New York State. She is co-chair of the Albany Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Committee. Mackenzie can be reached at (518) 818-6148 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Monaco Cooper Lamme & Carr, PLLC
MCLC is a law firm dedicated to providing exceptional legal services and unparalleled value while building rewarding and lasting relationships with our clients. Our team includes seasoned trial and transactional attorneys who are nationally recognized industry and legal authorities in a wide range of practices and are supported by a remarkable professional support staff. For more information on our firm, visit mclclaw.com or contact our Marketing Director, Stacy A. Smith at email@example.com.