Mario and Ester Seoane v. Seatrain Lines, Inc.
Type of Injury
FALLDOWN – LADDER
New York, NY
Defense verdict for Seatrain Lines. Costello & Sons dismissed during trial. Other Third-party Defts. discontinued during trial
V/1-12 MARITIME ACCIDENT – FALLDOWN – LADDER
Mario and Ester Seoane v. Seatrain Lines, Inc. (Third-party Pltf.) v. Costello & Sons Ship Servicing Co., Inc.; Fox Ladder & Scaffold Co., Inc.; McAllister Bros., Inc.; and Louisville Ladder Co., Inc. 27937/82 3-week trial Verdict 11/7/85 Judge Louis Grossman, New York Supreme
VERDICT: Defense verdict for Seatrain Lines. Costello & Sons dismissed during trial. Other Third-party Defts. discontinued during trial.
Pltf. Atty: Paul C. Matthews, Manhattan
Deft. Atty: Joseph E. Donat of Bigham, Englar, Jones & Houston, Manhattan, for Seatrain
Bruce F. Gilpatrick of Heidell, Pittoni & Moran, Manhattan, for Costello
Jeffrey I. Schwimmer of Sheft, Wright & Sweeney, Manhattan, for Fox Ladder
Celestino Tesoriero of Grainger, Tesoriero & Bell, Manhattan, for McAllister
Jeffrey W. Herrmann of Javits, Robinson, Brog, Leinwand & Reich, Manhattan, for Louisville
Facts: On 7/19/79, Pltf., a 47-year-old seaman, fell from a ladder while aboard a ship owned by his employer, Costello & Sons. The ship was docked at a port owned by Seatrain, the owner of the ladder. Pltf. was using the ladder to climb onto a barge owned by McAllister to unhook containers when, he claimed, the ladder slid, causing him to fall. Pltf. claimed that the ladder was defective because it was curved and lacked rubber shoes. The major issue at trial was notice. Pltf.’s foreman testified for Pltf. that he had told a Seatrain representative about the ladder before the accident. Seatrain’s foreman testified that he could not recall that conversation. The ladder was not available for inspection. Fox Ladder & Scaffold was the party who sold the ladder to Seatrain 10 years before the accident. Louisville manufactured the ladder . Injuries: comminuted fracture of the distal ulna with subsequent nonunion of the ulnar styloid process. The bone had not healed by the time of trial, 6 years after the accident. Deft. contended that Pltf. was capable of performing physical labor despite the nonunion. Pltf. also alleged significant psychological injuries including suicidal ideation. Offer: $300,000; demand: $750,000. Pltf. Experts: Dr. Leo Koven, orth. surg., Manhattan; Dr. Edward Allegra, treating psychiatrist; Dr. Edmond Provder, rehabilitative medicine; Matityahu Marcus, economist. Deft. Expert: Dr. Vincent Lodico, surgeon, Manhattan; Dr. Mortimer Shapiro, neurologist, Manhattan; Dr. Harold Bennett, subsequent treating physician; Dr. Morris Ehrenreich, Ph.D., rehabilitation specialist; Dr. James Ferretti, psychiatrist; Reginald King, maritime expert.