Stephen M. Cohen Wins Defense Verdict in Action Arising from Negligent Operation of Motor Vehicle Into a Construction Staging Area

The plaintiff, a 74-year-old passenger in a vehicle owned and operated by defendant Stephen Naklicki, sought damages for personal injuries sustained in an accident that occurred in the predawn hours of Monday, August 5, 2013, in a closed truck inspection area which was being utilized by our client, Kiska Construction Inc., as a “staging area” in connection with its rehabilitation of nine bridges project. The staging area was located along the eastbound Long Island Expressway approximately one-half mile west of Exit 66. Mr. Naklicki, who intended to exit at Exit 66, allegedly became confused by the absence of any “ramp closed” signs and drove directly into the staging area, crashing through a chain link fence and finally, crashing into stored concrete barriers that plaintiff argued, were partially on the paved road. Plaintiff alleged that Kiska was negligent in failing to provide adequate signage, warnings and traffic control devices and in otherwise failing to properly close an exit ramp/access road in accordance with the New York State Highway Law, NYSDOT Standard Specifications Section 619 (maintenance and protection of traffic) and the Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices. In December, 2016, plaintiff settled with Mr. Naklicki. Following a jury trial on liability before Hon. Janice A. Taylor, Kiska successfully obtained a defense verdict thereby dismissing the plaintiff’s case.

Stoehr v. Stephen Naklicki and Kiska Construction, Inc., Index No. 707071/14 (Queens Co. Sup. Ct., Jul. 24, 2017)

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