$500,000 VERDICT: CONTRACTOR HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR UNSAFE HOME RENOVATIONS

Attorney(s): Sharon Scanlan

Settlement: $500,000 Verdict

After a house fire in their Elmont home in Nassau County, our client required substantial renovations to be able to move back in.  After hiring a contractor the work began.  Since the fire destroyed the stairs an entire new staircase was installed.  The staircase was delivered with a covering affixed to each step to protect the wood.  After the stairs were installed, the contractor removed the protective covering to install the molding around the stairs.  The contractor then re-affixed the protective covering on all the steps, except one.  The contractor simply laid the protective covering on the third from the bottom step.  As our client was walking down the steps, without any warning, the protective cover slipped out causing him to tear the muscle and tendons in his legs.  The tears were so bad he needed surgery.  The contractor refused to accept any responsibility for creating the trap.  Trial Attorney Sharon Scanlan warned the contractor’s lawyer and the contractor that if a jury found them responsible, we would not limit our recovery to only the available insurance.   A Nassau County jury didn’t accept the contractor’s excuses and found him 100% responsible for creating the trap.  The case settled for the full policy amount of $500,000 plus an additional $22,000 paid by the contractor directly to cover our unnecessary court costs.

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