Highland Park Premises Liability Lawyers discuss $10.6 Million Elevator Award Upheld by New Jersey Court
An elevator company’s motion for a new trial—which would be the third trial in the case—has been rejected by a New Jersey Superior Court.
According to court records, Richard Tufaro, a union master carpenter, was working inside an elevator at the Headquarters Plaza in August, 2005, when the elevator dropped two floors. Tufano, 48 years old at the time, suffered permanent spinal cord damage and has been unable to work since.
Tufaro filed a personal injury lawsuit against Schindler Elevator Corporation, alleging that they had failed to properly maintain the elevator. A jury returned a verdict in his favor, awarding him $2.8 million, and giving his wife $950,000. Attorneys for the elevator company appealed, arguing that the judge had improperly instructed the jury. They won their appeal and the case was sent back for a new trial. That trial ended in 2014, with the jury awarding Tufaro and his wife $7.75 million. That verdict was also appealed, asking for a new trial and claiming that the damages were excessive.
In its opinion, the New Jersey Superior Court addressed both issues. The panel concluded that a new trial was not appropriate, as Schindler had, in its arguments, “failed to address the legal standard warranting a new trial.” The court also found the damage award not to be excessive, even though it was approximately twice the amount the first jury awarded.
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The Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr is a New Jersey personal injury firm located in Highland Park, New Jersey serving the communities of New Brunswick, Edison, Somerset, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy and Colonia, New Jersey.