from the building, fell hitting him and the unsecured ladder he was standing on, dashing them both to the ground.
In a bifurcated trial, the trial court denied Vinasco’s motion for a directed verdict on Labor Law 240(1). The jury’s eventual verdict found no liability on the part of defendants for failing to provide proper protection to Vinasco.
The trial court’s denial of plaintiff’s post-trial motion under CPLR 4401 was improvident, says the 2d Department in Vinasco v. Intell Times Sq. Hotel, LLC, 2014 NY Slip Op 07497 (2d Dep’t, 11/5/14). There was no rational way in which the jury could find that the hoist which held the gate up was adequate under 240(1), or that the unsecured ladder provided proper protection, or that both were not the proximate cause of plaintiff’s injuries.
But if things were so clear, then why was there no DV at the close of plaintiff’s case? And if they remained that clear after all the evidence was in, why no J-NOV after the erroneous verdict? The answer, we believe, is that same ingrained philosophy that prevents some judges from, well, judging. The cost of that failure is great, both in time and money. Moreover, as many of us in the plaintiff’s bar suspect, such “inabilities” are too frequently not distributed evenly on both sides of the caption.