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$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.

Contact the New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr

At the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr, we have fought for the rights of personal injury victims in central New Jersey for more than four decades. We carefully choose the cases we handle, so that we can provide the highest levels of service and personal attention to each client. We are also happy to take over your case, if your first lawyer does not seem to have your best interests in mind.

To set us a free initial consultation, send us an e-mail or call our office at 732-537-8570.

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.

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