Fullerton Beck LLP special litigation counsel Joseph Sauer prevailed in a high-exposure personal injury case, before the New York County Supreme Court, on behalf of the firm’s client, an elevator company and third-party defendant. Joe identified missing language in a contract at the outset of the litigation, which saved his client millions of dollars in damages. 

The plaintiff, a mechanic for the elevator company, alleged he sustained a severe back injury when he moved an 800-pound piece of equipment in the course of modernizing an elevator in a New York City office building. He claimed the company didn’t provide him with the appropriate tools to move the equipment safely, and due to his injury, he needed lumbar spinal fusion surgery. 

When assigned the case, Joe scoured the elevator company’s contract with the building to find that it lacked the “standard” indemnification language, which is highly unusual.  Based on this finding and the fact that there was no grave injury, according to worker’s compensation law, Joe filed a motion for summary judgment, which the court granted. 

This was a significant win for the defense as cases with this kind of injury can garner large sympathy verdict numbers. But, with Joe’s attention to detail and thorough investigation, he successfully got the case dismissed before having to appear in court.