Pezzullo v. Raymond and Arlene Rumbowski; Rohan Swimming Pool Center; George Rohan

/ / Case Verdicts

Case Name

Pezzullo v. Raymond and Arlene Rumbowski; Rohan Swimming Pool Center; George Rohan

Type of Injury

SUCCESSOR CORPORATION ISSUE

Occupation

correction facility guard

Location

NY

Verdict

This was a structured settlement, made before jury selection, with a guaranteed payout of $1,898,672.

Verdict Amount

$1,898,672.00

Case Details

VII/21-41 SWIMMING POOL ACCIDENT – QUADRIPLEGIA – SUCCESSOR CORPORATION ISSUE

SETTLEMENT Pezzullo v. Raymond and Arlene Rumbowski; Rohan Swimming Pool Center; George Rohan; and Royal Pools & Spas, Inc. 2280/85 Date of Settlement 8/88 Orange Supreme

Pltf. Atty: John J. Basso of Spiegel, Pergament, Brown & Basso, Poughkeepsie

This was a structured settlement, made before jury selection, with a guaranteed payout of $1,898,672.

The accident occurred on 8/6/83. Pltf., a 25-year-old correction facility guard, was a guest at a party at Deft. Rumbowski’s home. He dove into the shallow end of Deft.’s pool and struck his head on the bottom. Pltf. was rendered a quadriplegic and is confined to a wheelchair. Pltf. claimed that the pool did not have lights, depth or warning markers, and no reference points indicating its deep and shallow ends. Pltf. also claimed that Rohan Swimming Pool Center negligently designed, constructed, and installed the pool, according to standard safety precautions and advancements pursuant to National Swimming Pool Institute recommendations. Evidence indicated that Deft. Rohan Swimming Pool Center built the pool for Deft. Rumbowski about 15 years before this incident. Several years before the accident, Rohan sold the business to Deft. Royal Pools & Spas, which consisted of the same employees, business, and customer lists. The new owner was Deft. George Rohan’s son-in-law. The old and new corporations shared newspaper ads which stated: “same corporation, new name only.” At the time of the incident, Rohan was out of business and uninsured. Pltf. claimed that Deft. Royal Pools was negligent on the theory of successor corporation liability and a continuing duty to warn based on advancements in the safety field. Injuries: spinal cord trauma at C-3 resulting in quadriplegia. Pltf. can move his arms but has no fine motor movement in his hands. Demonstrative evidence: “Day in the Life” film, as part of a videotape settlement brochure distributed to all counsel and insurance carriers; scale model of swimming pool; blowup of survey of homeowner policy. Specials: $500,000. Pltf. Experts (on the videotaped brochure): George Lawniczak, Jr., Ph.D., water safety, Las Vegas, Nevada; Edmond Provder, vocational evaluation, Manhattan; Andrew Weintraub, Ph.D., economist, Temple Univ.